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African indigenous language film festival ends
The maiden African Indigenous Language Film Festival (AILFF) ended on July 7 with an award ceremony and special highlife after party. The four days film festival founded by former President of Independent Television Producers Association of Nigeria (ITPAN), Stephen Osezua Imobhio, opened on July 4 at the Cineplex of the Nigerian Film Corporation Lagos Office in Ikoyi.
However, Friday’s closing ceremony held at the Freedom Park, Lagos. With ‘African Indigenous Language Films; Prospects & Imperatives as theme, the festival featured daily screenings, panel discussions, as well as roundtable on indigenous film and the imperative of indigenous language films.
The filmmaker, Femi Odugbemi, delivered the festival keynote, where he argued that Nollywood chances of capturing major nominations for global awards runs through a pathway of its indigenous language films, especially when it is done well and produced with the right production values.
The Nigerian indigenous language films, as Odugbemi posited would far more easily arrest global attention and celebration rather than many recycled narratives that mimic Hollywood formulas. A number of film and broadcast personalities were recognised and honoured for the contribution to the promotion of indigenous language films and contents.
Those who were honoured include, the Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission, Balarabe Ilelah; filmmaker Tunde Kelani, actress Binta Ayo Mogaji, filmmker Yemi Amodu, actor Ali Nuhu and veteran actor Pete Edochie. The late Chairman of DAAR Communication, High Chief Raymond Alegho Dokpesi, received a post houmous award. The next edition of the festival holds in July 2024.
Durban FilmMart Institute announces selected access programmes
The Durban FilmMart Institute (DFMI) has announced the three projects selected from 2023 DFM Access Programme to pitch at the DFM Pitch and Finance Forum in Durban from July 21 to 24. DFM Access is a programme that aims to help participants enhance their projects and improve their pitching skills to succeed in the global film market.
The 12-week programme, which concluded in May, was sponsored by the National Film and Video Foundation’s PESP funding. During the programme, 23 South African projects received one-on-one mentorship and weekly masterclasses highlighting story development, film financing, international co-production, distribution, film packaging and pitching and much more.
The programme concluded with all 23 projects receiving the opportunity to pitch their projects to a panel of industry professionals with three chosen to be featured as part of the 29 official projects – comprising eight animation, 10 documentary and 11 fiction projects – participating in the 14th yearly Durban FilmMart Pitch and Finance Forum. “DFM Access is an important platform to develop filmmakers who have never participated in a market before.
We are grateful to all the mentors and speakers who have invested their expertise and knowledge into the next generation of filmmakers. Although only three filmmakers were selected to participate in DFM 2023, we believe that all project participants received valuable guidance that will benefit their careers long term,” said Magdalene Reddy, Director of DFMI. The successful projects are Namakwaland, The Green Frontier, produced by Haroon Gunn-Salie, Abany’ Omama (Some Mothers), produced by Minenhle Luthuli and GASLIGHT, produced by Emma Tollman
… And Nigeria has a short film Aje and Bruja on Durban Filmfest slate
When the 44th edition of the yearly Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) opens in the city of Durban, South Africa from July 20 to 30, films produced by filmmakers from 15 countries will compete for awards at the festival. However, only nine feature films will compete for awards in six categories of Best Feature Film, Best Direction, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Actor and Best Actress. Although no feature film from Nigeria or by a Nigeria-born filmmaker featured on the feature film slate, Nigeria’s green-white-green flag will fly in Durban during the festival as a short film by a Nigeria-born born filmmaker will be competing for honours in the short film category.
The short film is titled, Aje and Bruja, an amazing work of art directed by Nosa Igbinedion and co-executive produced by Nosa Igbinedion and Orwih Ameh. The 13 minutes short is a supernatural thriller in which two women who wield the ancient African spiritual power of the ‘Aje’ (Powerful Mothers) go on an avenging mission. The film which stars Udoka Oyeka, Ruby Akabueze and Nengi Adoki had premiered at the Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) in Los Angeles in February 2023.
A cross-platform creator, who is passionate about spiritual films, Igbinedion has won multiple short film awards and featured in notable film festivals around the world such as, London Short Film Festival and African International Film Festival, is in the forefront of the effort to retell the African pantheons as super heroes. So far, he has come up with the Rise of the Orisa, a super hero universe based on ancient African deities like ‘Yemoja’ and ‘Oya.’ Igbinedion is currently developing multiple feature films, a television series and a novel.
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