By Ogova Ondego
Published July 17, 2013
As preparations for the third annual Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) scheduled for November 10-17, 2013 in Calabar, Cross Rivers State of Nigeria get into top gear, CHIOMA UDE, the Founder and Executive Director of AFRIFF, speaks to OGOVA ONDEGO about this audiovisual media initiative and what it has in store for festivalgoers in 2013.
What surprises can one look forward to at the third edition of The Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) in Calabar, Cross Rivers State, November 10-17, 2013?
The reason it is called a surprise is not giving away the details so we at AFRIFF urge you to hold the date 10th – 17th November 2013 and promise that you will be surprised.
What makes AFRIFF different from other festivals around Africa?
A festival is a networking stage and every festival has something that distinguishes it from the next. AFRIFF attaches cash to all its awards and most importantly, it focuses on growing young talent and exposing them to the international film circuit.
AFRIFF’s vision is to raise awareness about African Cinema, its vast potential and the tremendous socio-economic impact it has not only on African economies but other economies as well.
“Africa Unites” is a theme that draws on the principle that being African is a bond that goes beyond geography, birth or lineage; as people of African origin are spread across the globe and Africa is also a proud home to many non-Africans. The vision is to reflect a common true African identity and re-establish Africa as the original home of humanity.
How do you cater to the needs of children, youth and other special interest groups?
Our focus is on youth aged from 16 years and above. We provide them with basic filmmaking skills, while building character and leadership skills through the provision of world class education by seasoned local and international instructors in key areas such as Acting for Camera; Script writing; Visual Post-Editing; Cinematography; and Sound for Film.
From Its first edition in 2010, AFRIFF has provided free training and talent development opportunities for 200 young people and aspiring filmmakers. We’ve collaborated with Sound & Motion Studios and City Varsity of Cape Town in South Africa, and with Nigeria’s National Film Institute in Jos, Creative Arts Department of University of Port-Harcourt, and PEFTI Film Institute in Lagos.
The AFRIFF Talent Development Workshops provide beginners and Intermediate Courses for young people as well as master classes for more established filmmakers and professionals in the motion pictures sector.
What is served on the AFRIFF 2013 programme menu?
Oh, many items but highlights include workshops, cultural excursions, film screenings, wine-tasting & cocktails, discussion panels, Governor’s Ball, boat rides, and many more pleasant surprises.
Say something about the composition of the AFRIFF 2013 Jury.
The vastly experienced and well networked Keith Shiri of Zimbabwe is our Programmer and Jury Coordinator. He and his team of experts drawn from across the world shall soon embark on the important task of selecting films for the festival upon the 2013 film submission deadline on July 30, 2013.
Who are the partners of AFRIFF 2013?
Our number one partner and host is Cross Rivers State that positions itself as Nigeria’s tourism capital.
What challenges do you face in preparing and presenting AFRIFF?
The main challenge is that of sponsorship. President Goodluck Jonathan Ebele’s support to and recognition of the film sector in Nigeria is making it a little easier for us to approach the corporate sector for support.
How do you take care of logistics like travel, accommodation and hospitality that are often a nightmare for Nigeria-based event organisation initiatives?
Jata Logistics, a professional company, handles for us festival logistics and each year we as AFRIFF team give our very best to our guests to ensure we have next to no “nightmares” at all.