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VILLAFFEST set to light up Owerri

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All is now set for the maiden edition of Village Arts & Film Festival (VILLAFFEST). The event, which is expected to attract notable Nigerian artistes and film practitioners, will be staged in Owerri, the Imo State capital.

According to the founder and director of the project, which is conceived as a yearly festival, Kelechi Eke, VILLAFFEST will hold a week before Christmas and will feature arts exhibitions and screening films from eight countries, including Cameroon, Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, and the United States.

In a statement made available to the media, Eke hinted that the festival, which will have filmmakers, artists, dancers and culture workers in attendance, will open with a tour of the city and closes with an awards ceremony bill to hold at The Beland, Owerri.

Eke, who’s also the founder of the yearly The African Film Festival (TAFF), in Dallas, Texas, said the project seeks to celebrate Africa’s cultural vibrancy through indigenous Arts and Films for the preservation of the people’s culture.

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According to him, the festival will rekindle passion for local content as the only way in showcasing and exporting our unique cultural traits that has long been misrepresented across big screens around the globe.

“The festival is scheduled to hold from December 16 to18. African artistic artifacts are the most original. Our stories are only best told by us, for us, and consumed globally. Arts and Film have unique expression that goes beyond linguistic expressions; it harbors a natural emotional vehicle of communication that often needs no speech. The actions are worth a million words.”

He continued: “From filmmaking to visual arts and performances, VILLAFFEST seeks to encourage African Youths with interest in arts and film, providing them a unique platform to harness and push the boundaries of their creativity. The idea is to challenge them to not only dream, but also find like-minded mentorship opportunities, which is much needed for their career growth while maximizing the avenues for networking opportunities.”

VILLAFFEST, according to him, is a sister festival to The African Film Festival (TAFF) formed in 2015 to serve as a platform for educative references to African culture and to expose African films to non-African communities.

On why he’s hosting the festival in his home town, Owerri, Eke said he wants to include the Southeast part of the country in the world map of film festival hosting cities, adding that the likes of veteran actor Pete Edochie, Patience Ozokwo aka Mama G, Richard Mofe Damijo, President of Directors Guild of Nigeria, Fred Amata, Okey Bakassi, Anne Njemanze, Angela Phillips will be attending.

“Also, Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, the founder of African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA), and incumbent president of Association of Movie Producers (AMP); Nollywood patron, Andy Boyo and the founder of African Film Festival, AFRIFF, Ms Chioma Ude have confirmed that they will attend the festival, which will be the first of its kind in the Southeast region.”

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