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At 2019 Lekki International Film Festival, Tade Ogidan, Lancelot, others bag awards


Frontline fashion designer Austin Aimankhu (left), a guest and Dapo Adeniyi, Lekki Film Festival Director at the gala event

It was glitz, glamour and razzmatazz at the inaugural edition of the Lekki International Film Festival, which was concluded on Saturday night with a gala/award ceremony.

The event, which attracted high networth guests and leading figures in the motion picture industry such as, Kene Mkparu, managing director at Komworld and founder of the Filmhouse Cinemas chain, Lola Onigbogim founder of the Africa Movie Channel, Ijeoma Ekeugo of Zenith Bank Headquarters, Tosin Bakare, president of Alliance Francaise, Lagos, who is the daughter of deceased Lagos industrialist Molade Okoya-Thomas and Tokunboh Odebunmi founder of Obalende Suya restaurant chain.

Also in attendance were Ifeoma Anthony of Guinness, Deji Irawo CEO of the X2D Channel, numerous Nollywood stars that include Kenneth Okoli, Wole Ojo and Mercy Iyamu. Festival forum/seminar participants include, Kingsley Uranta of Channels Television, Duro Oni a former Director-General of the Centre for Black and African Civilisation (CBAAC) and Deputy Vice-Chancellor University of Lagos, Jonathan Haynes, a professor from New York and the leading authority in African film, Tony Adah, a professor at the University of Minnesota, USA.


Nigerian cinematographers, Tade Ogidan and Lancelot Imasuen, and three other filmmakers took home the award plaques. The other winners are Cameroun’s Jude Fokwang, a professor in Denver, USA; Balaraba Ramat Yakubu, younger sister of the late Nigerian Head of State, Murtala Ramat Mohammed and Okhomina Joseph, a film student.

The festival, which ran for four days, featured speakers at the festival forum that ran on the second and third days.

Imasuen’s new and yet to be released film, Family First, received the Best Film Award while Tade Ogidan’s film now running in the cinemas, Gold Statue, won the Best Feature Film Award. The Best Indigenous Language Film Award went to the film, Palace Coup, a Hausa language film set in the early 19th century Kano and produced by Balaraba Ramat Mohammed. The Best Documentary Film Award went to Something New In Old Town by Fokwang, which is set in contemporary Cameroon.

The Best Short Film, which went to Okhomina Joseph’s 10 minutes short feature, Depression, may have beaten some of the very intense short films on the final shortlist, because of the issue of great currency that is its theme.

Something New In Old Town is set in a notorious suburb of the Cameroun capital city of Yaounde known as Old Town, which is the normal hub for prostitution and urban violence. Peasants and artisans, because of their low pay and pecuniary existence, also adopt it as home. The documentary depicts Old Town peasants, former prostitutes and noble people of the poor and neglected district building a new life for themselves by forming voluntary societies with inbuilt self-support mechanisms, also with very strong social bonding

Tade Ogidan’s Gold Statue is a resounding social message about the aspirations of the young in society whose quest to get marvelously rich even in the face of grave danger to itself and at the risk of the desecration of sacred monuments and assets strikes at another theme of social resonance.

Lancelot Imasuen’s Family First is the story of family bonding and the preservation of the family tie at a time of social insecurity, upheavals and economic turbulence.

The chairman of the jury, Segun Oyekunle, was until his appointment as the Managing Director and CEO of Abuja Film Village, a consultant in African film in Los Angeles, USA, who spent nearly 30 years working in Hollywood.

Other jury members include, Augusta Okon, Tajudeen Agboola and Jahman Anikulapo.

Augusta Okon is a lawyer who has given her career wholly to the film industry, serving for some while in senior management at Filmhouse Cinemas. Taju Agboola is a seasoned production and post-production expert and former editor of the African Videomaker magazine. Jahman Anikulapo is former editor of The Guardian Newspaper on Sunday and a seasoned arts activist.

The winners emerged from a keen contest involving a shortlist of 15 films; two films that nearly breasted the last tape where produced by London-based cinematographers.


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