From Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
The Edo State International Film Festival (ESIFF), yesterday, said it has received 1,551 movie entries from 94 countries for the maiden edition of the festival.
The festival, organised by the Edo State Government in collaboration with private sector partners, is aimed at spurring the state’s booming creative industry.
The Managing Director of Edo State Skills Development Agency, EdoJobs, Ukinebo Dare, disclosed this while briefing journalists in Benin City, ahead of the commencement of the film fiesta.
The state also unveiled the logo and brand ambassadors for the film festival. The ambassadors include Nollywood actor and film producer, Nosa Rex Okunzuwa, and actress and television host, Linda Osifo.
Dare said the event, scheduled to hold between September 1st and September 4, 2022, aims at boosting the film industry and repositioning the state as a choice location for film and television productions.
She further noted that, as part of the festival, over 200 movies will be shown at different locations in the state, providing an opportunity for networking and developing talents in the state’s creative sector.
Dare said, “Edo State International Film Festival has received 1,551 movies as entries for the festival from 94 different countries. We have an international jury, including film professors and filmmakers from around the world that will watch all these films and select the best movie from these entries that will be shown during the festival. The festival holds from 1st to 4th of September, 2022.”
Noting that winners will receive up to $6,000 in rewards, the EdoJobs Managing Director added, “We have three categories in the festival that have cash prizes of $2,000 each. These categories include the best student film; the best film shot with a phone or a tablet and best used technology in the filmmaking. The winners will be announced during the film festival.”
She continued: “We are going to have 200 movies showing for four days at three different locations in the state as it will create opportunities for film critics, content producers and movie celebrities to interact and build a strong network to improve the art and craft of film making in the state.
“We will be partnering with some reputable organisations to ensure the film festival is a success.”
On his part, the Festival Director, Mr. Davison Izegaegbe, said the film festival will include several training programmes to further expose creatives in the state and showcase the Edo film industry to the international market.
He noted, “The film festival is not for the fun of showing movies but to attract and expose film makers to the international market.”
Commissioner for Arts and Culture, Hon. Bamidele Olaitan said, “This event is another initiative of the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration to restore the hope of the Edo people.
“This festival has allowed us to embark on a journey to tell our stories ourselves to the world and change our narratives as well as market ourselves and our cultural heritage to the world.”