AFRIFF Takes Young Filmmakers To Montana State University
For her outstanding role in the movie 93 Days, Nollywood diva Bimbo Akintola has emerged Best Actress of the Year at the just concluded Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) 2016, at the Eko Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Excited Akintola, who played late Dr Stella Adadevoh in the movie, which centres on the Ebola virus and the battles fought by unsung heroes, said, “It was a huge honour for me to take on the character of such an inspiring woman. Learning about her life was an interesting challenge for me and I knew I had no other choice but to give it my very best. It is my hope that posterity will be able to see and understand what Dr Adadevoh did to help save Nigerians from the Ebola epidemic.”
Due to the strong story behind the movie and outstanding performances by actors and actresses in the movie, 93 days has shown at the Toronto International Film Festival and Chicago International Film Festival and is currently in cinemas across the country.
Meanwhile, AFRIFF is an international platform that promotes and recognises filmmakers and entertainers in Africa. The organisation honours people, who have made distinguished efforts in the filmmaking industry. And this year, it found Bimbo Akintola worthy of the prestigious award.
After a week of screening over 150 movies and documentaries, including workshops and industry sessions, the sixth African International Film Festival (AFRIFF) came to an end with a star-studded Globe Award. Hosted by the talented Nollywood actress, Kemi Lala Akindoju and TV presenter, Uti Nwachukwu, the event, which was attended by top dignitaries from the business and political terrains, also had filmmakers from Africa and beyond, whose films screened at the weeklong event.
Tagged The Broadway Show, the closing ceremony thrilled guests to breath-taking shows, including duets and a mind-blowing tribute to the late Afro-beat legend, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, led by actor Gideon Okeke.
It was also a moment of celebrations for winners, as the festival’s Closing Night Movie, ’76, a movie about events that heralded and succeeded the Military coup d’état which led to the demise of General Murtala Ramat Muhammed, and directed by Izu Ojukwu, won four awards including – Best Screenplay, Best Feature Film, Best Actor, Best Director and others.
Speaking at the glamorous event, Founder and Executive Director of AFRIFF, Ms. Chioma Ude, noted that the crucial component of the festival is the training it provides to the young minds of Africa.
“We’ve trained over 1,300 of those minds in our free workshops, as we continue to emphasize that AFRIFF should, and must educate as much as it entretains. AFRIFF has cultivated a space in which entertainment and education can cohesively co-exist and I’m proud to say that we have watched several members of the AFRIFF family go on to develop in the industry with the skills they have acquired from their training,” she said.
According to Ude, AFRIFF, in its 6th year continues to be at the forefront in showcasing African cinema.“Over the past six years, we covered three cities and we have had over 20,000 visitors of which 30% have been foreign. Each year, our global invitation to the world fixates on exhibiting the large diversity of ethnicities, cultures and languages on our continent and combatting the absence of authentic African subjects in film.”
She thanked the Ministry of Information and Culture as well as sponsors such as Access Bank and Air France for what she described as their incessant support.
For the Festival Coordinator Mrs. Afie Braimoh, who gave a summary of the entire festival activities at the closing event, AFRIFF decided to engage Secondary School pupils in Lagos to an IMAX education in line with the festival’s goal to build capacity.
“We had over 250 kids who have not stopped expressing their gratitude to the wonderful unique experience. In Line with educating our young, 150 students were also trained by the best in the industry at the Afrinolly Studios.”
In the end, some of the lucky students were selected to attend one month training on filmmaking at the Montana State University, United States of America. While Mena Sodje, Jumoke Aderonmu, Tosin Adeyemi, Joseph Ottoman and Hannah Babatunde will train in acting, the scriptwriting class will have Jennifer Eneanya, Olubunmi Ajiboye, Lois Burutu, Cynthia Okoroafor and Lani Aisida, while Marvellous Michael, Bolaji Adelakun, Moyo Shomade, Chisom Ifeakandu, Richard Ofoe, Vivian Ubochi and Ngozi Emmanuel with train in filmmaking.