Nigeria hosts Africa International Film Festival

Lazy eyes listen


Adekunle Blue’s film ‘Man and Masquerades’ won the ‘Students Shorts’ category at the Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF), which was held in Lagos, Nigeria from November 5 to 11. On Sunday, she told RT about her impressions.

The aspiring artist remarked on AFRIFF’s prominence as one of the largest film festivals, as well as the fierce competition. “It’s not easy to get into AFRIFF and it’s definitely not even easy to win,” she said.

“The industry is definitely not what it was 10 years ago,” Blue stated. Since 2010, African cinema has risen tremendously. We have foreign streaming platforms entering the market, which has boosted 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 major goal is to elevate the African film industry to the point where its goods can compete favourably on a global scale.

“We need to understand international policies and laws in order to sell our indigenous content globally,” AFRIFF’s founder said during a news conference in Lagos.

The jury had 11 individuals, including Stephen ‘Dr.’ Love, known for creating the famous Netflix film “They Cloned Tyrone,” Ranada Shepard, a Cuban-American producer, Hollywood producer Nicholas Weinstock, and others.

The festival brings together both emerging and established filmmakers from across Africa. Last year, approximately 100,000 cinema fans from all over the world took part both physically and electronically.

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.