Tackling Storylines in a Digital Era


Vanessa Obioha

As technology continues to challenge the traditional form of storytelling, the lines between fiction and reality gets blurrer. The contention between what is real and what is preferred and how it affects documentary will be the focus of the ninth edition of the annual iREP Documentary Film Festival.

Themed ‘Storylines’, the festival will examine the current realities about imagery and perspectives, while seeking ways that documentaries could consolidate on the digital tools in telling their stories.

According to a statement by the organisers, the theme was conceived on the traditional framework of Africa in Self-conversation.

Scheduled to hold between March 21 and 24, the festival will feature over 30 international film screenings that delicately captures the generic theme of Africa-in-Self-Conversation; a Producer’s roundtable; paper presentations and panel discussions; and of course a workshop for budding talents.

Through its workshop, iREP has trained over 200 young and upcoming filmmakers in the rudiments of filmmaking and understanding of the documentary film art.

“We would expand the platform this year to accommodate the ever-growing number of participants,” reads the statement.

Also scheduled to speak at the festival are professionals like architect Theo Lawson, Esmeralda Kale, Bibliographer of Africana in the Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies; renowned documentary filmmaker, Awam Amkpa and Niyi Cooker who is E. Desmond Lee Distinguished Professor of Theatre and Media Studies at the University of Missouri, Saint Louis.

The festival will open with a cocktail event to welcome guests as well as networking at its traditional home, Freedom Park, Lagos Island. Other screenings and discussions will also hold at the Nigerian Film Corporation, Ikoyi, Lagos.