With the theme, “Sheroes’’, this year’s edition of Africa International Film Festival is a promised playback on authentic African stories; addressing social causes with spotlight on women. Yinka Olatunbosun reports
Radisson Blu Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos was swarmed by celebrities in the movie industry recently when the announcement for the Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) 2019 came through. The festival, arguably the largest film festival in West Africa, is in its 9th year, making it a cultural staple for movie buffs in Lagos. Every festival screening leaves the audience more informed as the selected movies are made of substance in themes, visual story techniques and profound narratives. In partnership with the US Consulate, Lagos and Access Bank, AFRIFF returns on November 10 and runs till Saturday November 16, 2019.AFRIFF 2019: Light, Camera…Sheroes!
It is a season of popcorn as well as other subject matters to chew upon as the festival’s opening film is the award-winning, tear-jerking movie titled, “For Sama’’, by Waad Al-Kateab and Edward Watts, based on the story of a Syrian mother in war-torn Aleppo.
The closing movie is directed by Akin Omotosho. Titled, “The Ghost and The House of Truth,” this movie produced by Ego Boyo addresses crime and forgiveness.
The Founder and Executive Director, AFRIFF, Chioma Ude gave a slice of what to expect at the festival.
“We are proud to theme this year’s festival as one dedicated to SHEROES; those who enable us to dream and to celebrate story telling which challenge the society. We are very much focused on training and supporting more film makers this year and beyond,’’ she said.
Other festival sponsors include Nvivo TV, National Film Video Censors Board, Filmhouse Group and Century Group. Ude also revealed that 4,000 submissions were received from over 130 countries this year and no fewer than 150 of these will be screened. Amongst the select films are feature, short and documentary movies.
AFRIFF was built on the foundation of developing the film industry to compete favorably with global professional standards. To reiterate this, the Public Affairs Officer, US Embassy and Consulate in Nigeria, Russel Brooks said the US mission is pleased to support this festival with a four-day documentary film making workshop to build capacity in telling authentic stories.
Facilitators include Robert Hurst, Hilda Dokubo and the screenwriter for the “Salt’’ movie, Kurt Wimmer. In the same vein, the Group Head, Corporate Communications, Access Bank, Amaechi Okobi gave an insight into the bank’s intervention into the festival.
“We are tired of the negative narratives. We want to change the narrative to tell positive stories,’’ he declared.