After a week of screening over 150 movies and documentaries, including workshops and industry sessions, the 6th edition of African International Film Festival (AFRIFF) came to an end last Sunday with a star-studded Globe Awards held at Eko Convention Center, Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Hosted by talented Nollywood actress, Kemi Lala Akindoju and TV presenter, Uti Nwachukwu, the event, which was attended by dignitaries from the business and political sectors, also had in attendance filmmakers from Africa and beyond, whose films screened at the week-long event.
Tagged ‘The Broadway Show’, the closing ceremony thrilled guests to breath-taking shows, including duets and a mind-blowing tribute to the late Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, led by actor Gideon Okeke.
It was also a moment of celebration for winners, as the festival’s closing night movie, ’76, a movie about events that heralded and succeeded the military coup d’état that led to the demise of General Murtala Ramat Muhammed, and directed by Izu Ojukwu, won four awards including – Best Screenplay, Best Feature Film, Best Actor, and Best Director.
Renowned Nollywood actress, Bimbo Akintola, won Best Lead Actress for her role in the movie, 93 Days. ‘Green White Green’ by Abba Makama won the Oronto Douglas Award for Best Nigerian film, while Ghanaian filmmaker and animator, Agorkoli Francis Brown, won Best Animation with a price tag of N200,000.
Other recipients include the beneficiaries of AFRIFF/Ford Foundation scholarship to the University of Montana, United States, for further training in different aspects of filmmaking.
Speaking at the glamorous event, Founder and Executive Director of AFRIFF, Ms. Chioma Ude, noted that the crucial component of the festival is the training it provides to the young minds of Africa. “We’ve trained over 1,300 of those minds in our free workshops, as we continue to emphasize that AFRIFF should, and must educate as much as it entertains. AFRIFF has cultivated a space in which entertainment and education can cohesively co-exist and I’m proud to say that we have watched several members of the AFRIFF family go on to develop in the industry with the skills they have acquired from their training,” she said.
According to Ude, AFRIFF, in its 6th year continues to be at the forefront in showcasing African cinema. “Over the past six years, we covered three cities and we have had over 20,000 visitors of which 30% have been foreign. Each year, our global invitation to the world fixates on exhibiting the large diversity of ethnicities, cultures and languages on our continent and combatting the absence of authentic African subjects in film,” she stated.
Ude thanked the Ministry of Information and Culture as well as sponsors such as Access Bank and Air France for what she described as their incessant support.
“With AFRIFF, we will continue to infiltrate the minds of both the young and the old, illustrating the significance of the film industry as a profession in Africa, and we will remind our global audience that ‘we are here’ and as long as we live, we have a story to tell,” she concluded.
For the Festival Coordinator, Mrs. Afie Braimoh, who gave a summary of the entire festival activities at the closing event, AFRIFF decided to engage secondary school pupils in Lagos to an IMAX education in line with the festival’s goal to build capacity.
“We had over 250 kids who have not stopped expressing their gratitude to the wonderful unique experience. In line with educating our young ones, 150 students were also trained by the best in the industry at the Afrinolly Studios. Tonight, some of those lucky students will be selected to attend a month of film making in the U.S.”