iREP, AWDFF Begin Virtual Documentary Film Festival

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Yinka Olatunbosun

Yesterday, the iREP Documentary Film Festival in collaboration with the US-based African
World Documentary Film Festival at the School of Theatre, Television, &
Film at San Diego State University began a virtual film festival that would
feature no fewer than 60 films.

The four-day event which runs till March 21st had largely drawn other collaborators
from Cameroon, South Africa, Ghana, Rwanda and the Caribbean to keep alive this
multicultural event that was cancelled last year due to the lockdown measure
against the ravaging Covid-19 pandemic.

With the theme, “Africa in Self-Conversation,” the programme in its usual tradition
will include screenings, conversations, lectures, producers’ conventions
amongst others. Femi Odugbemi, the Executive Director of iREP, has described
the virtual film festival as a necessary child or circumstances.

“Through the collaboration of both Lagos-based iREP and San Diego, US-based AWDFF,
however, the documentary world will be treated to a feast of flicks that have
been carefully curated to reflect the diversities of human experiences through
themes that cut across social, cultural and political issues that affect the
collective. The virtual option has enabled us to harvest films from even
greater numbers of countries and filmmakers; and especially the notion of
bringing Africa and its diverse diasporas together has been greatly enabled by
the virtual option,” the iREP programme directorate revealed.

Designed to promote awareness about the power of the documentary format to serve as a
means of deepening and sharing social and cultural education as well as
encouraging participatory democracy in African societies, iREP is perhaps one
of the most cosmopolitan cultural gatherings in Lagos. This explains why the
educational outreach programme will strengthen the exchange of knowledge.

Significantly, the iREP-AWDFF partnership has enabled the extension of the Festival to
university communities across the continent and the diaspora, which had always
been the strongest culture of the AWDFF, which started and continued as a
university-based festival project. To this extent, the School Outreach scheme
will ensure screening and conversation contents attract the interest and
participations of students in select campuses in South Africa, Cameroon,
Nigeria, Rwanda, USA and The Caribbean.

Some
of the movies to be screened include Femi Odugbemi’s “Unmasked”, Ayo Adewunmi’s
“Confra,” Siji Awoyinka’s “Elders’ Corners,” Kaka Benson’s “King of Highlife:
Cardinal Rex Lawson” amongst others.