By Khalifa Hemed
Published May 17, 2017
The fifth annual edition of a film festival dedicated to Nigerian movies has wound up in the French capital, Paris, with the Public Choice Award going to two very different films that both left an indelible mark on the Nollywood cinema landscape in 2016.
THE WEDDING PARTY, a film by Kemi Adetiba that explores what happens when the wedding of the year takes a chaotic turn, and 76, a political thriller by Izu Ojukwu that revolves around a respected army captain’s point of view following his forced participation in an attempted coup, jointly walked away with the award during the festival that ran May 11-14, 2017.They were part of an 11-film programme for the four-day event. Five movies–DINNER, 76, GIDI BLUES, GREEN WHITE GREEN, THE WEDDING PARTY–were in competition.
“I was not expecting this award. It’s an honour for me and for everybody who worked on the film,” said Izu Ojukwu in a closing ceremony that was followed by the World Premiere screening of Ctach[dot]er by the Director Walter Taylaur.
On his part, Moses Babatope, who represented Kemi Adetiba at the festival, expressed his joy at winning the award. He said it was a sign of good omen as the production of THE WEDDING PARTY 2 had just begun in the Nigerian commercial capital, Lagos, and United Arab Emirates’ Dubai.
Saying Nollywoodweek offers “the very best of Nollywood to the Parisian public by bringing the newest developments in the industry”, Nadira Shakur, the Director of Communication and co-founder of the festival, said that “The festival has really cemented its place in the Parisian cultural calendar. Each year we try to offer the very best of Nollywood to the Parisian public by bringing the newest developments in the industry. This year we screened a web-series from REDTV and for the first time, an animated short film from Anthill Studios called PLAY-THING.”
Meanwhile, the 13th annual Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) has announced the films nominated for various awards in 30 categories.
Speaking at at the Raddison Blu Hotel & Conference Centre in Kigali, Rwanda, Berni Goldblat, the President of the Jury, named VAYA from South Africa, QUEEN OF KATWE from Uganda and Nigeria as the movies with the highest number of nominations.
The Jury announced a new AMAA Best Comedy category and three special Jury prizes this year following the quality of films that were submitted for the awards according to Goldblat.
“Every year the competition gets stiffer and this year in particular we have great films for consideration. The quality of production in Africa continues to improve and national governments are investing to support the growth of the motion picture industry. This is a major achievement for AMAA in its 13 years history. The government of Senegal recently announced $3million US dollars fund to support film makers in Senegal. Because of the level of standards AMAA has established as a Jury based awards, filmmakers in Africa are very conscious of attention they put into their works and this has impacted on production value compared to 13 years ago when AMAA started,” he said
After VAYA’s 10 nominations and 76 and QUEEN OF KATWE that were each nominated in eight categories, 93 DAYS, a movie about the 2014 Ebola crisis in Nigeria, earned seven nominations as OLOIBIRI and SLOW COUNTRY, both from Nigeria, received seven and four nods, respectively.
The 13th AMAA ceremony shall be hosted by Lagos State Government in Lagos hon July 15, 2017.