Posted by By AZUH AMATUS, who was in Abuja on
At the recently concluded fifth edition of the yearly Abuja International Film Festival, organized by NAFIFO group, the future of Nollywood, was the dominant topic of discussion among the participants, at the four-day event.
At the recently concluded fifth edition of the yearly Abuja International Film Festival, organized by NAFIFO group, the future of Nollywood, was the dominant topic of discussion among the participants, at the four-day event. Fortunately, that was also the theme of this year's festival, which was attended by guests from the public and private sectors, as well as people from the media profession.
Highlighting the challenges and gains of the festival, alongside the significance of this year's theme, Mr. Fidelis Duker, the Festival Director, explained that the greatest challenge facing Nollywood, is its future, adding that the ability to sustain and further develop the industry, is the collective duty of all stakeholders.
Duker, who is also a Nollywood filmmaker, in his address, called for more corporate bodies' participation in Nollywood. “The future of Nollywood therefore, depends on us the practitioners to show a genuine resolve to chart a new course that would guarantee a bright future for the industry and its stakeholders. That way, the real business of the show in the showbizness will be greatly achieved”, Duker stated.
Also speaking at the festival, which held at the Shehu Musa Yar'Adua Centre, Mr. Emeka Mba, the Director General of the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), in his goodwill message, urged Nollywood filmmakers to avail themselves, the opportunity provided by the newly introduced Framework Distribution Policy. “The very idea of a film festival is not new, but it is the creativity that goes into it that makes the difference. The framework distribution policy believes that the future of the film industry lies in building transparent and trackable structures that will be able to sway the confidence of the investors. Therefore, to build the capacity, network and interface that will drive this industry into further relevance even in the face of globalization, we have to use the platforms of framework”, Mba explained.
In his brief message to the organizers of the festival, Mr. Afolabi Adesanya, the Managing Director, of the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC), commended the consistency of the festival in the last five years. He also noted that the film festival forms an integral part of the pivotal processes aimed at expanding the frontiers of the nation's motion picture industry, beyond mere arts and entertainment.
Mr. Adebambo Adewopo, Director General of the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), in his address, congratulated the festival organizers and further reiterated the commission's zeal to continue with programmes under its STRAP Initiatives, geared at empowering stakeholders in the copyright industries.
Interestingly, the above governmental agencies working closely with the nation's film industry, also had pavilions at the market section of the film festival.
In her brief remarks, Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, the CEO of Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA), who also chaired one of the panel sessions, praised the organizers for keeping the spirit of the event alive in the past five years. Osigwe, whose pavilion also stood out at the market section, was also grateful to all those that participated, especially the advertisers at the festival.
Mary Slessor, a short film by youthful filmmaker, Jeta Amata, was used to declare the festival open. However, other short films were also screened at the festival, which also featured workshops, exhibitions, markets, panel discussions and a few special events. Certificates were also given to participants at the event, which was rounded off with a post festival all night party. No doubt a wonderful outing, but some participants who spoke with us want the organizers to improve on the decreasing number of participants at the event and also raise the tempo of its awareness campaign, especially within the media.
Winners at 5th Abuja International Film Festival at a glance:
•Best Feature (Int) - GONE FOREVER - Canada (Mani Nasry)
•Best Feature (Nig) - TSINTSINYA- Hamisu Lamido
•Best Short (Nig) - MARY SLESSOR - Jeta Amata
•Best Short (Int') - BLUE -Isreal - (Maye Neemani)
•Best Documentary - Around the world in 21 Days - UK (Jason Young)
•Best Animation - DANCE WITH THE DEVIL -Germany (Viola Baker)
•Best Audience Rating - MARY SLESSOR - Jeta Amata
•Golden Jury Award - GONE FOREVER - Canada (Mani Nasry)
•Special Recognition Award - Alfa Magnetic Ltd.
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