Nigerian Documentary ‘Awani’ Wins a UNESCO Prize


Yinka Olatunbosun

“When I submitted my film to the Afrika Film Festival, all I wanted was my film to be seen by a wider audience it was amazing being nominated and ultimately winning the UNESCO prize,” says Aderonke Adeola, the producer and director of the film, Awani.

A historical documentary, Awani explores the intersection between colonialism and gender inequality. In the film, viewers are offered the perspectives of such leaders of thought, social commentators, activists and historians as Kemi Da Silva Ibru, Ed Keazor, Bismarck Rewane, Minna Salami, Kadaria Ahmed and Joe Odumakin. The documentary blends expert opinion and archival footage to create a story.
Prior to the completion of Awani, Aderonke Adeola received a grant from the Ford Foundation.

The UNESCO jury had described Awani as: “A pure documentary that encourages active participation in the process of emancipating women in Nigeria, but also globally.’”

This would be Awani’s second award, for the documentary had earlier in the year won an Award of Merit from the Impact Docs Awards. It has, in addition, been well received at several film festivals across the world.

Awani had a bi-coastal premiere at the Ake Arts Festival and the first Yale Africa Film Festival on the same date. It has been screened at the Africa International Film Festival, irep documentary film festival, Africa World Documentary Film Festival and Afrika film festival. During the coming summer, the documentary will be screened at the African Film festival in New York, the Durban International Film Festival and the African Women in Media Conference.

Awani has also held private and sponsored screenings in collaboration with the following organisations SustyVibes, Fate Foundation, WIMBIZ, WAVE academies and Pedro’s Africa. Awani partnered with women’s empowerment foundation Zonta Lagos to host a screening at Queen’s College Yaba.

Aderonke plans to take Awani to more secondary schools in the future.

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