This season, the annual Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) returns for its sixth year of cinematic celebration with an impressive line-up of movie premieres, film screenings, industry sessions, master classes and other festival programmes. This year’s event returns to Lagos, Nigeria and is billed to hold from November 13 to 20, 2016.
Announcing the festival programmes at the Intercontinental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos on Friday, AFRIFF Founder/Executive Director Ms. Chioma Ude said Lagos will just as before, wear the tourism ambiance, playing host to filmmakers and actors from across the globe, with over a hundred films showing at the newly opened Filmhouse-IMAX and Genesis deluxe Cinema, both in Lekki, Lagos.
Ude appeared to have struck the right cord when she announced Nate Parker’s Oscar hopeful, The Birth of a Nation and Izu Ojukwu’s celebrated film on the first Nigerian military coup, ’76, as the opening and closing films respectively, a disclosure which was received with loud ovation.
Diageo Nigeria, world’s premium beverage company and Canon Europe Ltd, a leading provider of digital cameras, join the list of resourceful partners and other developmental agencies such as Ford Foundation, Peugeot Automobile Nigeria (PAN), The Lagos State Government, British Institute, Africa Magic, Multi Choice Nigeria, Access Bank, Bank of Industry, Afrinolly, African Film Consortium (AFC), Filmhouse-IMAX, Genesis Cinemas and Silverbird Group, at the press gathering and cocktail launch.
According to the AFRIFF boss, festival guests are up for the time of their lives during the festival, as all the films in the official line-up are products of the new narratives for African cinema and Black films worldwide.
The selection includes, Steve Gukas’s 93 Days (Nigeria), Kunle Afolayan’s The CEO (Nigeria), Akin Omotoso’s Vaya (South Africa), Nana Obiri’s The Cursed Ones (U.K), Rahmatou Keita’s The Wedding Ring (Niger), Mbithi Masya’s Kati Kati (Kenya), Pascal Amanfo’s If Tomorrow Never Comes (Ghana), Izu Ojukwu’s Remember Me (Nigeria), Mark Dornford-May’s Breathe (South Africa), Ubaka Joseph’s The Missing God (Nigeria), Remi Vaughan-Richards’ Unspoken (Nigeria), Abba Makama’s Green White Green (Nigeria), Perivi Natjavivi’s The Unseen (Namibia), Arnold Aganze’s N.G.O (Uganda), Femi Odugbemi’s Gidi Blues (Nigeria), Paapa Otoo’s Daggers of Life (Ghana) , Ado Bambara’s Shadow of the Passion (Burkina Faso), Dare Olaitan’s Ojukokoro (Nigeria), Lukyamuzi Bashir’s Bala Bala Sese (Uganda) and Niyi Akinmolayan’s The Arbitration (Nigeria).
In addition to the wide range of films, the festival, according to Ude, will also offer industry platforms for skill acquisition, financing, pitching, symposia on alternative revenue streams and piracy.
She also noted that one of the core objectives of the festival is talent development where AFRIFF has been engaging with its partners in creating opportunities for young people to explore filmmaking. “Amongst our Shorts programme are films made by young talents, selected from last year’s training and talent development programmes,” she said. Speaking on Canon’s partnership with AFRIFF, Managing Director of CCNA, Roman Troedthandl, said: “It is incredible to see how far AFRIFF has come in the past 6 years in terms of receiving acknowledgement within the international film industry. The festival has grown from strength to strength in these years. CCNA is proud to partner with AFRIFF and contribute to this success. We are looking forward to this year’s festival and the world class cinema that will be screened.”
Executive Producer of ‘76, Prince Tonye Princewill who responded from London where the film is being screened at the London International Film Festival said “the honour of our film being chosen to close the Africa International Film Festival cannot be described with words. The film has been honoured around the world, but recognition at home means everything to us. The field for Nigerian films is very strong this year, so it is especially rewarding for ‘76 to receive this nod. We are proud of the AFRIFF organizers and hope we can do them justice.”
Kene Mkparu who spoke on behalf of Filmone-IMAX, FilmOne Distribution and The Birth of a Nation, noted that “FilmOne Distribution & Filmhouse Cinemas are truly honoured to be a part of bringing this amazing re-telling of a remarkable piece of African history to the continent of Africa. And like Nate Parker (writer, director, producer and star of the movie) himself said, what better platform to present The Birth Of A Nation to the continent than the biggest African film festival, AFRIFF, here in Lagos Nigeria. We are also delighted that this movie is so important to our partners 20th Century Fox that senior executives of Fox (including Paul Higginson, Executive Vice President, EMEA) as well as stars of the movie will be here, live, in Lagos to launch the Birth of A Nation. This is a movie all Africans must get to the cinema to see. It is our story we never knew, an action packed, hard-hitting, tear-jerking, emotional, thought-provoking tale of the resilient spirit of man and godliness, and is very, very well made.”
Celebrating its 6th edition this November, the festival will once again host worldwide film audiences to a series of technical talent development workshops, business networking events as well as industry discussion panels. Most importantly, AFRIFF features a rich and diverse film programme, with films from all over the world in various genres that are screened over 7 fun-filled days.
Since its inaugural edition hosted in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria in 2010, the Festival has brought together:
· More than 2000 industry guests,
· More than 500 workshop participants.
·2000+ international entries from professional and amateur filmmakers around the world· Guest celebrities such as Lynn Whitfield, Tchina Arnold, Rockmond Dunbar, Malcom Jamal-Warner, Eriq Ebounaey, Hakeem Kae Kazeem, Agbani Darego, and Chris Aire. Kunle Afolayan, Mahmound Ali-Balogun, Genevieve Nnaji, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, Rita Dominic, David Kau, and all other top Nollywood actors and filmmakers are also expected to be in attendance.
AFRIFF is firmly committed to establishing bridges for partnership with international counterparts to ensure quality, expertise and global standards for our local industry.
We at MoviePencil cannot wait for the Festival week and look forward to bringing you coverage of events as they unfold. We also urge you to register for the festival here as it promising to be an exciting week for film in Lagos.
Check out other pictures from the event below