Bridget John is the producer of Adora, the film that won the Best Film in the Diaspora Category at the Nollywood & African Film Critics in Beverly Hills, USA in 2014. Her flick has earned her rave reviews globally and as she prepares to hit the cinemas in Nigeria, she revealed to TAIWO ADELU in this interview how she managed to produce Adora, her experiences and challenges.
Why did you leave fashion designing for the movie industry?
I decided to change career path eight years ago from being a fashion designer to doing something I will enjoy and excel in. The only thing that immediately came to mind was being an actress and I didn’t resist the urge to become one.
How did you feel when ‘Adora’ won the Best Film in the Diaspora Category at the Nollywood & African Film Critics in Beverly Hills?
When Adora was announced winner for Best Film in the Diaspora, I was elated. I felt like I was floating. It was the reward for hard work and my vision. It is the start of big things to come.
Did you see it coming?
I did not see it coming. I was happy that Adora was nominated in five categories and that alone was a blessing but winning it was a bigger blessing and I relish it.
What other award nominations did Adora get last year?
The year 2014 was a great year for me in my career. Adora also won Best Director at the 2014 Festival of Arts and Cultural Exposition, (FACE Awards) in Atlanta, Georgia. I also won Best Actress in a supporting role in a Stage Performance of the Wedlock Of The Gods at the FACE Awards 2014, and went on to win the Best Actress Award for my performance in Adora at the 2014 Hollywood Weekly Magazine Film Festival.
What makes Adora a unique film?
The uniqueness of Adora is attributed to the fact that all the elements that makes a good film were present in the film. The story is very emotional and captivating. It was well interpreted by the director, Austeen Eboka and all the cast members came on set with their ‘A’ game. The cinematographer, Robert Peters captured the right angles needed to convey the story. The crew was amazing. It was a team effort of people with positive energy. It was more about the project and not about who we were as individuals.
You said in a recent publication that Adora is not a true life story, but how did you come about the title?
The story surrounds Adora, a young mother of two, so we decided to name the movie after her.
You described Adora as a low-budget movie, what exactly do you mean by this?
In the United States a reasonable budget for a feature film would start at about $300,000.00 and anything below that could be considered a low budget, shoe string budget or no budget film.
Now, let’s talk about how you intend to distribute and market the film in Nigeria and internationally?
It will be released this year through various distribution outlets in the United States and Nigeria.
When are you planning to premiere Adora in Nigeria?
There was a private screening in Lagos, held in December 2014. There will be a premiere in Nigeria very soon.
I read about how you worked part time to see that the post production of Adora saw the light of the day. Tell us about it.
When I started production for Adora, I only had enough money for pre-production and production. I needed money for the post production, so I got a job as a school teacher for some months to raise the money to complete the film.
How did you feel when Adora premiered on 13 August, 2014 at Dorothy Benson Centre in Rosewell?
The first outing for Adora was the Atlanta Premiere. It was a sold out event. The reaction from the audience was a confirmation that I had done well and the compliments crowned my efforts. I was very pleased and two months later we were invited to Houston, Texas, where it premiered as well.
Can you tell us some notable actors in Adora?
I played the lead, Adora, while the likes of Ross Fleming, La’Darian Raymond, Deborah Peters, Valentine Ndubisi, Diane Diaz and Amaris Samuel starred in it. It was directed by Austeen Eboka, and cinematography by Robert Peters who are Nollywood veterans.
Does this success mean you’ll take your eyes off schooling at the University of North Georgia?
As an actor you should always train regardless of how long you have being in the business. The most talented Hollywood actors still have coaches that work with them on a regular basis. This is also the case with me.
What motivated you to join ‘Greater Tomorrow Children Foundation’ founded by former Eagles star, Paul Okoku?
The Greater Tomorrow Children Foundation is a foundation that is geared towards giving the children of today a better tomorrow. When I was asked to become an Ambassador to this great foundation, I did not think twice about it. I have had the opportunity of been at different events organized by the foundation and I am very impressed about how they have helped mentor and nurture young individuals. They provide for their educational needs as well as feed the less privileged both in the United States and Nigeria. The founder and President of the foundation, Paul Okoku, (ex-Eagles star) showed his humanitarian side once again during the recent Thanksgiving Holiday in Atlanta, giving needy families turkeys and much desired toys to children. There is still a lot to be done that the organization has in place but would need financial support from everyone to see these projects materialize. At present there are text books worth thousands of dollars waiting to clear through customs in Nigeria. The foundation needs the funds to distribute books to students in need of them. There is no better way to live than to be a blessing to someone else.
Who is Bridget John?
I am from a royal and noble family in Benin City. I was born and raised in Nigeria. I am an educator, fashion designer, film maker and an actress.