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Nigeria hosts Africa International Film Festival — RT Africa

Young Nigerian filmmaker Adekunle Blue’s film ‘Man and Masquerades’ has won in the ‘Students Shorts’ category at the Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF), held in Lagos, Nigeria from November 5 to 11. She shared her impressions with RT on Sunday. 

The budding artist noted the status of AFRIFF as one of the largest film festivals and that the competition was intense. “It’s not easy to get into AFRIFF and it’s definitely not even easy to win,” she explained.

Blue said that “the industry is definitely not what it was 10 years ago… African cinema has grown immensely since 2010. We have international streaming platforms coming into the industry and it’s kind of like improved the quality of our works.”

She also mentioned that 95% of Nigerian films are made in English, which is a product of the country’s colonial history with Britain. However, it’s “more comfortable to make it in our language,” for example in Yoruba, a language spoken in West Africa, primarily in Southwestern and Central Nigeria. Making such films “shows a sign of the liberation… we can talk about our own culture,” Blue said. 

AFRIFF was founded in 2010 by Chioma Ude, a Nigerian entertainment executive, and takes place annually in Nigeria. It describes itself as delivering a rich program that fosters the exchange of ideas, production connections, and business relationships.

The festival’s main objective is to improve the African film industry to a level where its products can compete favorably worldwide.

“We need to understand international policies and laws to sell our indigenous content globally,” the founder of AFRIFF stressed during a press briefing in Lagos. 

The jury consisted of 11 members, including Stephen ‘Dr.’ Love, known for producing the popular Netflix movie “They Cloned Tyrone,” Cuban-American producer Ranada Shepard, Hollywood producer Nicholas Weinstock and others.

The event provides an opportunity for novice and recognized filmmakers across Africa to come together. Last year, over 100,000 film enthusiasts from around the world participated physically and virtually.

Over 2,000 films were submitted from more than 100 countries across five continents. The jury chose over 100 films from among the entries. The opening night film choice was ‘Orah’, a crime thriller which was written and directed by Nigerian-Canadian filmmaker Lonzo Nzekwe.

In addition to film screenings, the festival also held seminars on various topics in the world of filmmaking.

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