By CHIKA CHIMEZIE
Commendations have been pouring in for the organizers of the just concluded 13th Abuja International Film Festival (AIFF), which took place from October 4 to 7, 2016 at the Silverbird cinemas Abuja. The festival witnessed the screening of 65 films from 37 countries from the over seven hundred entries received from 57 countries. The Film market witnessed the attendance of 30 exhibitors who came to exhibit their product and services during the 4 day event.
The Film Festival this year was very much different from previous years as it had unprecedented 3221 visitors at the festival in 4 days. This is probably the largest number of visitors at any film festival in Nigeria. We also created some programmes that made the Abuja international film festival different from previous edition. You know we are the premiere and longest running independent film festival in Nigeria and West Africa. Uninterrupted for 13 years. this year’s we had a masterclass in acting facilitated by Richard Mofe Damijo, Lancelot Imasuen, Segun Arinze and Francis duru where over 150 actors were trained in the basics of screen acting. We also collaborated with Canon UK and Middle East to train 60 young aspiring Nigerians in cinematography and Photography, here skills and knowledge was transferred which I know the results will manifest in the coming years as most of them will be very successful entrepreneurs in the creative sector.
This is not the first time we are having a minister at the festival. we have had over 3 ministers in the person of Chief Chukwuemeka Chikelu, Mr. Frank Nweke jnr both Minister of Information and Oloye olajumoke Akinjide the former Minister of state FCT, so Ministers attending the Festival is not new but however what is unique is that we had three ministers in attendance namely Alhaji Lai Mohammed the Minister of Information, Alhaji Muhammed Bello of the FCT and Engr. Suleiman Adamu the Minister of water resources. We also had 9 ambassadors from Iran, US, Argentina, Mexico, France, Ghana, China amongst others. Also in attendance were senator ben murray bruce, present and former DG’s, former Ministers and several major stakeholders. We had a large delegation from Cameroon, Ghana, South Africa, Togo, Benin, cote d’voire amongst others for the fepaci meeting. It had more exhibitors as they had a lot to offer the sector.
It was basically a function of careful planning and creating the right programming for the festival. an example is the women in film panel that x-rayed the dominant influence of women in Nigerian cinema lately and of course the fepaci co production and distribution workshop where countries within the west African sub region and neighboring countries discussed areas of synergy and partnership in production, distribution and the fight against piracy.
We are very optimistic of a bigger 2017 film festival. For me it can only be better and we hope to do an appraisal of what happened this year and begin to plan for 2017. I have always said festivals are planned for a year so we will return to the drawing board and begin the plan. What I can assure you is that we will do better and continue to raise the standard.
That is in the pipeline, we will add more interesting categories next year. Some of these additions will be in tune with the best global standard as per award categories for festivals without eroding the essence of the festival. However we will want to get most of the categories endowed and this is obviously possible.
The 13th Abuja International film festival had likes of Richard Mofe Damijo, Emeka Ike, Paul Obaazele, Zack Orji, Evelyn Ikunobe, Thelma Okoduwa, Segun Arinze, Judith Audu, emeka osai, fred amata, sonny mcdon, musi waa and Wilson gilbert from cameroun, akofa asiedu and Kwame boadie from Ghana, ken njoku, chike chekwas, chike brian, bond emeruwa, Mahmood ali balogun, sonny mcdon, tonny anih , ladan salihu former DG FRCN, Mr. John Odey Former Minister of Information amongst several others in attendance
AUTHENTIC WINNERS LIST
OUTSTANDING STUDENT FILM
|A TURNED TABLE||SAMSON NUNGKOP|
OUTSTANDING MALE ACTOR
|PRINCE DAVID OSEI||LAST NIGHT||GHANA/NIGERIA|
OUTSTANDING FEMALE ACTRESS
|JUDITH AUDU||JUST NOT MARRIED||NIGERIA|
OUTSTANDING FILM IN DIRECTING
|SADEGH DACHIGHI||UNTIL AHMAD RETURNS||IRAN|
OUTSTANDING DOCUMENTRY FILM
|RECORD MUNDIALE||MEXICO||SANTIANO GERAT|
OUTSTANDING FILM IN ANIMATION
|MONSTER HUNT||CHINA||RAMAN HUI|
OUTSTANDING FEATURE FILM (FOREIGN)
|HARD COP (VIVIR Y DEJAR MATAR)||ARGENTINA||JUAN GABRIEL CORNEL|
OUTSTANDING FEATURE FILM (INDIGENEOUS)
|A SOLDIER’S STORY||FRANKIE OGAC|
OUTSTANDING SHORT FILM (NIGERIA)
OUTSTANDING SHORT FILM (FOREIGN)
|ALMA||CHRISTA EKA ASSAM||CAMEROON|
GOLDEN JURY AWARD
|MONSTER HUNT||RAMAN HUI||CHINA|
EFERE OZAKO BEST EXPERIMENTAL
OUTSTANDING MUSIC SCORE
|THE TALE OF LOVE||AHMAD RAMEZANZEDEH||IRAN|
AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARDS
ATM LANCELOT ODUWA IMASUEN