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Eyimofe wins Distribution Support award at 35th Belfort Film Festival in France

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A scene from the film Eyimofe

Nigerian feature film, Eyimofe (This Is My Desire) has won the Distribution Support Award at the 35th Belfort Film Festival in France. The award is coming few days after the film was selected for this year’s Torino Film Festival (TFF) in Italy.

In a message to the directors, Arie and Chuko Esiri, to announce Eyimofe as winner in the category, the organisers said: “The jury were unanimous in choosing Arie and Chuko Esiri’s Eyimofe as the winner of the prize for distribution support award: a first, remarkably successful cinematic oeuvre, a masterful scenario, a journey deep into a bustling city, with spot acting and directing that convey this universal reality of our longing for somewhere else, staying clear from any naive optimism.

“This prize is an opportunity for these rising African stars to be added to the map of world cinema, thus helping Nigeria, beyond Nollywood, to make its first step on western stage.”

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The Belfort Film Festival is a yearly international film event founded in 1986 by Janine Bazin and held in Belfort, France. Through its First Films International Competition (from 1st to 3rd film), the festival is dedicated to supporting emerging filmmakers.

Alongside the International Competition, the festival focuses on rediscovering filmmakers from the cinematic heritage with retrospectives, tributes and encounters. It also offers a Post-production Grant for first international feature films.

Since 1986, the festival has been successively directed by Janine Bazin (1986-2000), Bernard Benoliel (2001-2004), Catherine Bizern (2005-2012) and Lili Hinstin (since 2013).

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 on 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 at the 70th Berlin International Film Festival in February, the film has been selected for different international festivals, including Indie Lisboa International Film Festival in Portugal, BFI London Film Festival in UK, Mostra Sao Paolo International Film Festival in Brazil, Cinecitta International Film Festival (CIFF) in Netherlands, Valladolid International Film Festival in Spain, The Viennale in Austria, Sharjah Film Platform festival in UAE, Vancouver International Film Festival in Canada, and AFI Film Festival in USA.

Now with the recent festival selections in Greece, France, Poland and Italy, Eyimofe has been exposed to festival audiences in 14 countries, representing Nigeria everywhere it travels to.

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