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Eyimofe selected for 50th anniversary edition of New Directors/New Films in New York

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Eyimofe

Though all is set for the homecoming of a Nigerian feature film, Eyimofe (This Is My Desire), having screened at prestigious film festivals across the globe, it seems the international film community is not yet done with the film, which premiered at the 2020 Berlin International Film Festival in Germany.

Ahead of its Nigerian premiere on April 18, at the Ebonylife Place, Victoria Island, Lagos, which will be followed by the cinematic release on April 23, the Museum of Modern Art and Film at Lincoln Center (FLC), New York, has announced the selection of Eyimofe for the 50th-anniversary edition of New Directors/New Films (ND/NF). Available from April 28 – May 8 via virtual cinema, in-person screenings will be extending through May 13, at FLC.

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Throughout its rich, half-century history, the festival has celebrated filmmakers, who represent the present and anticipate the future of cinema, and whose daring work pushes the envelope in unexpected ways. This year’s festival will introduce 27 features and 11 shorts to audiences nationwide in the MoMA and FLC virtual cinemas, and to New Yorkers at Film at Lincoln Center.

Selected alongside award-winning Eyimofe in the feature film section is Aleph dir. Iva Radivojević, All Light, Everywhere dir. Theo Anthony, All the Light We Can See dir. Pablo Escoto Luna, Apples dir. Christos Nikou, Azor dir. Andreas Fontana, Bebia, à mon seul désir dir. Juja Dobrachkous, Bipolar dir. Queena Li, Dark Red Forest dir. Jin Huaqing, Destello Bravío dir. Ainhoa Rodríguez, Faya Dayi dir. Jessica Beshir and Friends and Strangers dir. James Vaughan. Others include Gull dir. Kim Mi-jo, Liborio dir. Nino Martinez Sosa, Luzzu dir. Alex Camilleri, Madalena dir. Madiano Marcheti, Moon, 66 Questions dir. Jacqueline Lentzou, Pebbles dir. P.S. Vinothraj, El Planeta dir. Amalia Ulman, Radiograph of a Family dir. Firouzeh Khosrovani, Rock Bottom Riser dir. Fern Silva, Short Vacation dir. Kwon Min-pyo & Seo Han-sol, Stop-Zemlia dir. Kateryna Gornostai, Taming the Garden dir. Salomé Jashi, We (Nous) dir. Alice Diop, We’re All Going to the World’s Fair dir. Jane Schoenbrun and Wood and Water dir. Jonas Bak.

“From intimate, personal tales to political, metaphysical, and spiritual inquiries, the films in the 50th edition of New Directors/New Films embody an inexhaustible curiosity and a fearless desire for adventure,” said La Frances Hui, Curator of Film at The Museum of Modern Art and 2021 New Directors/New Films Co-Chair. “They prove that cinema will continue to illuminate and inspire the way we live, and make art.”

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Film at Lincoln Center is devoted to supporting the art and elevating the craft of cinema. The only branch of the world-renowned arts complex Lincoln Center to shine a light on the everlasting yet evolving importance of the moving image, this nonprofit organisation was founded in 1969 to celebrate American and international film. Through year-round programming and discussions, its annual New York Film Festival; and its publications, including Film Comment, the U.S.’s premier magazine about films and film culture, Film at Lincoln Center endeavors to make the discussion and appreciation of cinema accessible to a broader audience, as well as to ensure that it will remain an essential art form for years to come.

As an independent constituent of the world’s foremost performing arts center, Film at Lincoln Center presents year-round programming that includes premieres of new films from an international roster of established and emerging directors, major retrospectives, in-depth filmmaker talks, and high profile events. Film at Lincoln Center is one of those rare institutions whose stature is matched by its popularity, each year welcoming an aggregate audience of more than 200,000 film aficionados, filmmakers, and industry leaders of every nationality, age, economic, and ethnic group. The organization has been a pioneer among film institutions and one of the film world’s most respected and influential arbiters of cinematic trends and discoveries.

Martin Scorsese, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Agnès Varda, Wong Kar-Wai, Pedro Almodóvar, Spike Lee, Wes Anderson—over the last four decades there is scarcely a major director who has not been introduced to American audiences by Film at Lincoln Center.

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Opening the festival this year is writer-director-star Amalia Ulman’s breakthrough El Planeta, a captivating portrait in miniature of a mother and daughter barely scraping by in Spain’s northwestern seaside town of Gijón. ND/NF will close with All Light, Everywhere, winner of a Sundance Jury Prize for Experimentation in Nonfiction. Director Theo Anthony’s follow-up to the acclaimed Rat Film, All Light, Everywhere uses U.S. law enforcement body-cam footage to anchor an ever-expanding treatise on perception, power and policing. The rest of the lineup showcases work from a broad geographic range, with films from Iran, South Korea, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Nigeria, Australia, Greece, and Georgia; prizewinners from Rotterdam (Pebbles), Sundance (Luzzu), and Berlin (We); and many feature debuts.

“We’re delighted to finally return to our cinemas with this landmark edition of New Directors/New Films,” said Florence Almozini, FLC Senior Programmer at Large and 2021 New Directors/New Films Co-Chair. “There’s something so special about walking into a theater, not knowing what to expect, and discovering your new favorite filmmaker on the big screen. For 50 years, ND/NF has not only launched careers; it’s also, time and again, given audiences that singular, cinematic experience of unearthing something new.”

Set in Lagos, Nigeria, Eyimofe, winner of the Torino International Film Festival’s Achille Valdata Award in Italy, is a two-chapter film that follows the stories of Mofe (Jude Akuwudike), a factory technician, and Rosa (Temi Ami-Williams), a hairdresser, on their quest for what they believe will be a better life on foreign Shores.

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Presented by GDN Studios, directed by twin brothers, Arie and Chuko Esiri, and produced by Melissa Adeyemo, the film was funded entirely in Nigeria, shot on 16mm, and filmed across 48 locations in Lagos. Executive Producers include Maiden Alex Ibru, Toke Alex Ibru, Olorogun Oskar Ibru, Kayode Akindele, and Ifeoma Esiri.
   
Since its world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival last year, Eyimofe has been selected for different international festivals, including Indie Lisboa International Film Festival in Portugal, BFI London Film Festival in the UK, Mostra Sao Paolo International Film Festival in Brazil, Cinecitta International Film Festival (CIFF) in the Netherlands, Valladolid International Film Festival in Spain, The Viennale in Austria, GRAMNet Film Series in Scotland and Sharjah Film Platform festival in UAE.
   
Other festivals include Vancouver International Film Festival in Canada, AFI Film Festival in the USA, Thessaloniki International Film Festival in Greece, New Horizons International Film Festival in Poland, Torino Film Festival in Italy, Hainan Island International Film Festival (HIFF) in China, and Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) in Egypt.

With the recent festival selections in France, India, and Switzerland, Eyimofe has now been exposed to festival audiences in 20 countries – representing Nigeria everywhere it travels to. For more information, please visit: www.eyimofe.film / www.gdnstudios.ng

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