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Eyimofe selected for Hainan International Film Festival in China


Eyimofe set

After a successful outing at the 35th Belfort Film Festival in France where it won the Distribution Support Award, Nigerian feature film Eyimofe (This Is My Desire) has been selected for this year’s Hainan Island International Film Festival (HIFF) in China.

The film, which had its World Premiere at the 70th Berlin International Film Festival in February, will feature in the Spotlight section, alongside Air Conditioner (Angola), Five Fingers for Marseilles (South Africa), Hyenas (Senegal), I Am Not A Witch (UK, France, Germany, Zambia) and Who Killed Captain Alex (Uganda).


On the choice of the films for the Spotlight section this year, the curator of the festival stated, “In the very beginning from the 60s, African cinema is deeply rooted within its colonised history. We often look at African productions through a western lens. These unconsciously western gazes became a burden for African filmmakers who wish to shout out their voices. In the Spotlight section this year, we choose to focus on films that portray African representation by themselves. These films are subject to contemporary African cinema, from the outrages to the popular.”

Meanwhile, this year’s Hainan Island International Film Festival, which opens December 5 and runs till December 12, will host China’s biggest retrospective of Charlie Chaplin films, in collaboration with the UK-China Film Collab, Trinity CineAsia, and Mk2. The event will host 20 screenings of Chaplin films across the island, encompassing five of his classic comedies: Modern Times, The Kid, City Lights, The Great Dictator, and Monsieur Verdoux. The fest is also looking into touring the films around major Chinese cities at a later date.
Now in its third edition, the Hainan Island International Film Festival is a large cultural festival, which is hosted by China media group and the People’s Government of Hainan Province. Hainan enjoys the advantages from the policy of constructing The Pilot Free Trade Zone and Free trade Port with Chinese characteristics, with the visa-free policy for entry tourism of 59 countries, and shows its warm welcome to the artists from all over the world.


With actor Jackie Chan as the promotional ambassador, the inaugural festival was held from December 9 to 16 and included forums, ceremonies, and competitions. Along with Chan, the festival was attended by a number of international film personalities, including Turkish film director Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Bollywood star Aamir Khan, and Hollywood film stars such as Johnny Depp, Nicolas Cage, and Mads Mikkelsen.
Set in Lagos, Nigeria, Eyimofe 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 in foreign Shores. The film is presented by GDN Studios, directed by twin brothers Arie and Chuko Esiri, and produced by Melissa Adeyemo. It 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, the film 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, Sharjah Film Platform festival in UAE, 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 and Torino Film Festival in Italy.

Now with the recent festival selections in France and China, Eyimofe has been exposed to festival audiences in 15 countries – representing Nigeria everywhere it travels to.

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