Diversity at Award Ceremonies? Septimius Awards 2022

Mathew Davis

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Kevin Willmott at Septimius Awards 2022 in Amsterdam winning a Lifetime Achievement AwardSeptimius Awards

While most award ceremonies claim to be diverse, the truth is that the reality usually pans out differently. For example most award ceremonies in Europe showcase films of European film makers and most award ceremonies in America show American films. Despite white people being a minority among the races they are overrepresented in film. Most film festival owners are white and most films shown overly represent white actors and film makers. Jan-Willem Breure realized this when he immigrated to The Netherlands. So he founded the Septimius Awards, an award ceremony with a goal to embrace true diversity. Septimius Awards is an International ceremony showcasing Feature Films, Documentaries, Shorts and Animations. Their goal is to showcase prestigious international films and projects from around the world and grant awards to the best nominees at the yearly event. But what makes the Septimius Awards unique from other award ceremonies is their outreach program. Unlike most award ceremonies, who open their submission to all countries, Septimius Awards does specific outreach to increase diversity. Honoring prominent people such as the writer of Spike Lee, Kevin Willmott with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

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Stan Nze & Reguillo Wijngaarde at Septimius Awards 2022 in Amsterdam winning Best African Actor and a Lifetime Achievement AwardSeptimius Awards

Stan Nze was born on 16 May 1989 in Lagos, Nigeria, to a businessman father and fashion designer mother as a first of five children. He obtained a bachelor's degree in computer science from Nnamdi Azikiwe University in Awka. He also had training in acting at the Stella Damasus Arts Foundation. He made his acting debut in a 2009 TV series named Private Sector and his first major film role was in a 2013 movie named Murder At Prime Suites where he played the role of a serial killer with bipolar affective disorder. He married actress, Blessing Jessica Obasi on Saturday 11 September 2021 in Lagos. He starred in the film Rattlesnake. After a mysterious woman saves her daughter's life, a mother must do something unthinkable to repay the stranger.

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Els Vandevorst at Septimius Awards 2022 in Amsterdam winning a Lifetime Achievement AwardSeptimius Awards

Els Vandevorst is a Dutch film producer. With her graduation film Alaska ( director : Mike van Diem ) she won the Student Academy Award for best student film, a prize that is awarded annually by the organization of the Oscars to the best student films in the world. After the film academy in Amsterdam she (co-)produced many films, both by national and international directors, such as Lars von Trier , Aleksandr Sokurov , Thomas Vinterberg , Martin Koolhoven and Mike van Diem . Wilfried Depeweg and Vandevorst founded in 1997Isabella Films , named after the daughter of Depeweg and Vandevorst. After the success of Het Zuiden and Krijgswinter , both directed by Koolhoven, both decided to join forces with the film production company N279 Entertainment , which was founded in 2010 . This company is named after the road between Asten and Helmond where Martin Koolhoven and Vandevorst grew up. Vandevorst was also the producer of Koolhoven's film Brimstone.

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Jan-Willem Breure & Ray Blinker (Raymill Blinker) at Septimius Awards 2022 in Amsterdam winning a Lifetime Achievement AwardSeptimius Awards

Inequality and lack of diversity are problems each country faces. But the Netherlands has a unique position in the area. Being one of the last countries the outlaw slavery and the only country to still celebrate "Black Face" at of pressure has been put on the Netherlands to change. The Netherlands is becoming more diverse, but not more equal. Maybe this international event can help improvement relations or maybe its just a drop in the bucket. Only time will tell.

Sources: https://septimiusawards.com/

Sources: https://en.wikialpha.org/wiki/Jan-Willem_Breure

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Mathew Davis is a film blogger. He has been writing about films and events covering various cultures.

New York, NY
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