Bill Duke billed for Ghana

Top American film director, producer and actor, Bill Duke will be in Ghana as a special guest of the Accra International Film Festival (AIFF) scheduled to commence from June 25 to June 30. The Executive Director of the festival, Osmo Kwame Addo, confirmed this to Daily Graphic in an interview. According to him, all arrangements for Duke’s coming have been finalized and he would arrive with a team that would explore various opportunities in the entertainment business.


Bill Duke

With an imposing figure standing at 6 ft 4 1/2 inches, always clean-shaven, Bill Duke first became a familiar face to movie goers around the world in Car Wash (1976) where he portrayed a fierce young Black Muslim revolutionary. He was also in American Gigolo (1980) where he played a gay jump.

As the action-film-oriented genre became more popular in America, Duke’s presence was perfect to portray a myriad of “tough guy” roles, chiefly alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in Commando and Predator and also a Police Chief in Carl Weather’s movie, Action Jackson.

He played a corrupt FBI agent in the Mel Gibson movie, Bird on a Wire, and a corrupt Policeman in another Mel Gibson film, Payback.

Duke began directing theatrical films in the 1990s with crime dramas such as A Rage in Harlem (1991), Deep Cover (1992) and Hoodlum (1997). He also directed The Cemetery Club (1993) and Sister Act 2: Black in the Habit (1993), starring Whoopi Goldberg.

“I first met Duke at a film festival in the United States in 2009. We met in the US again 2010 and we started firming up the idea of him coming to Ghana,” Kwame Addo said.

He added that Duke would lead a workshop for actors and filmmakers and also see the possibility of securing roles for some of our film stars in some of his movies.

“Though his mission here is about film, Duke is also bringing in an agency to scout for good rappers from this country. He would also hold discussions with some relevant people about the setting up of a DVD production plant here,” the AIFF Executive Director said.

Activities for the film festival will include a red carpet reception at the La Palm Royal Hotel, screenings at Silverbird Cinema and an awards/dinner night at the Banquet Hall of the State House.

The AIFF is presented by PZ Imperial Leather and supported by His Majesty’s company Freight Services, VIASAT 1 TV, Porche Car Company, Silverbird Cinema, SIC Company, TV3, AIT and Graphic Communications Group Limited.

source: Daily Graphic

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