By Ogova Ondego
Published October 23, 2013
Seventeen days to the 3rd Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) in Tinapa, Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria, the Programme Administrator, Ikenna Ezenyirioha, speaks to Ogova Ondego about the highlights in his programme.
How many films were submitted to 3rd AFRIFF?
More than 200 films were submitted from which 70 were selected.
Who sits on the Jury of 3rd AFRIFF?
Mahen Bonetti, director of the New York Africa Film Festival; Balufu Bakupa-Kayinda, Congolese president of the African Guild of Filmmakers and Producers; Abdulkadir Ahmed Said, South Africa-based Somali who sits on the advisory board of FEPACI; Wale Ojo, Nigerian Actor; Shaibu Husseni, Nigerian journalist and film critic; Marc Nekaitar, projects Manager of FEPACI in South Africa; Femi Kayode, Nigerian writer; and Hans-Christain Mahnke, film curator for AfricVenir in Namibia.
All the films in the Student Shorts competition are from Nigeria, five of them by Jubril Mailafia, two by Kelly Agbo and the last one by Michael Adeyemi. Do you feel there were enough entries here to warrant an award? Why didn’t you suspend the category like you’ve done with animation?
The Student shorts category is a new category. It was introduced to encourage young filmmakers. As we have said in the past, AFRIFF is passionate about the young people and is determined to influence a better atmosphere to make films than the older filmmakers had. So this category was created to encourage that and it had a lot of entries, however, our programmer was impressed by the work of the three students who film will feature in the programme. If a Nigerian wins it, its fine you cant have a film festival based here and not expect the locals to dominate in submissions and participation. Also it is important to note that Animation had entries that weren’t strong enough to support a competition, hence the decision to cancel.
Why was HALF OF A YELLOW SUN, that was set to open the festival, withdrawn from the programme?
Half of a Yellow Sun was withdrawn by the executive producers of the Film. This was a shock because we had an initial agreement in place and had promoted it as opening film in Nigeria, in Durban and Toronto at the international film festivals. We even had a team fly to Toronto to support its world premiere at the festival. So it was a shock to get the news that they were withdrawing it early in October. But we are very happy with our current lineup and wish the HOAYS team well.
What are the highlights of the AFRIFF 2013 programme?
The opening film—OF THE GOOD REPORT from South Africa–will be a red carpet event. It will be held at Film House Cinemas, Marina Resort, Calabar, Cross River on November 10, 2013 between 6pm and 10pm. Red carpet and cocktails precede the screening of the movie. Attendance is usually by celebrities, filmmakers, crème de la crème of the society, government and foreign dignitaries and both international and local press.
Lined up are technical development workshops. Here, there will be classes in Acting, Screenwriting, Cinematography and Sound for Film. This will take place in the Orange Buildings, Tinapa Business & Leisure Resort between November 11 and November 13,9am – 12pm & 1pm – 6pm daily.
Since its first edition, AFRIFF has provided free training and talent development opportunities for young people and aspiring filmmakers. In partnership with Sound & Motion Studios in Cape Town, South Africa, AFRIFF has provided ground-breaking education in Sound for Film, Acting, Cinematography and Screenwriting for more than 200 youngsters and students.
We have worked directly with students of the National Film Institute (NFI) in Jos, The Creative Arts Department of University of Port-Harcourt, PEFTI Film Institute in Lagos, as well as numerous youngsters off the street, who have dreamed of making a career in the film sector. This year the same opportunity is available to youngsters in Calabar, Cross River State and other neighbouring Nigerian states. The classes here will be for both beginners and intermediate practitioners.
We have also lined up a Masters Class in Sound Design and Camera Appreciation – 2k, 4k, 6k (REDucation) at Marina Resort on November 14, between 10.00am and 12.00pm & 2pm – 4pm. This is the most ambitious short and intensive training programme AFRIFF has ever undertaken.
We have asked the facilitators to create classes on cutting-edge aspects of their specialties, topics like sound effects and surround sound and how Nigeria and Africa need to invest in post-production as well as broadcast audio standards.
Also, world-renowned makers of the RED Camera range, used to shoot movies like SPIDERMAN, BATMAN and many other blockbuster movies, will facilitate a class called REDeducation which teaches camera appreciation and skills to improve technical and conceptual proficiency in the use of 2k, 4k and 6k cameras, which are the rave of the moment. It’s going to be a full and exciting day and it will be something that attendees are likely to talk about for a long while.
The screenings will be in five categories—Features, Documentaries, Animation, Short films, International Panorama. The venue shall be Film House Cinemas, November 11-15, 2013, 10am – 12pm & 1pm – 8pm every day.
An exciting selection of 70 films from Nigeria and all over the world, representing the latest cinematic impulses from the international film circuit as well as student shorts, shall be showcased.
A festival symposium shall run November 11-15, 10.30am – 11.30pm & 3pm – 4pm daily. The focus shall be on sharing knowledge, ideas and trends with a view to empowering filmmakers with pertinent information.
This year we have several topical issues on the burner; like how to access funds & investors, understanding the festival circuits, alternative distributions platforms, and how to get into acting.
Our Closing Gala Ceremony shall be on November 16, 8pm – 12 mid night. There are 10 awards–Best Feature Film, Best Screenplay, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Documentary, Best Short, Best Student Short, Special Jury Award and Audience Choice Award–to be given out. There will be no animation competition/award this year, though.
We are also currently in talks with the Industry Guilds about endowing a special ‘Goodluck Jonathan Award’ for best Nigerian Film. In addition to the plaques, monetary prizes shall also given to awardees.
The following films are competing for awards at AFRIFF 2013:
• Inumber Number by Donovan Marsh, South Africa
• Felix by Roberta Durrant, South Africa
• Durban Poison by Andrew Worsdale, South Africa
• La Pirogue by Moussa Toure, Senegal
• B for Boy by Chika Anadu, Nigeria
• Lies Men Tell by Ikechukwu Onyeka, Nigeria
• Have a Nice Day by Imoh Umoren, Nigeria
• Clouds over Conakry by Cheick F Camara, Guinea/France
• The Flower Girl by Michelle Bello, Nigeria
• One Man Show by Newton Aduaka, Nigeria/France
• The Meeting by Mildred Okwo, Nigeria
• Confusion Na Wa by Kenneth Gyang, Nigeria
• Layla Fourie by Pia Marais, South Africa
• Tey by Alain Gomis, Senegal
• Of The Good Report by Jahmil Qubeka, South Africa
• Brother’s Keeper by Ikechukwu Onyeka, Nigeria
• Tall as a Baobab by Jeremy Teicher, Senegal/USA
• Under Starry Eyes by Dyana Agaye, Senegal
• Mother of George by Andrew Dosunmu, Nigeria
• The Great Kilapy by Zeze Gamboa, Angola
• Finding Mercy by Desmond Elliot, Nigeria
• Virgin Margarida by Licinio Azevedo, Mozambique
• Camarada Presidente by Mosco Kamwendo, Zimbabwe/Mozambique
• Africa Shafted by Ingrid Martens, South Africa
• Devil’s Lair by Riann Hendricks, South Africa
• Daughters of the Niger Delta by Ilsa Van Lamoen, Nigeria
• The Virgin, the Copts and Me by Namir Abdel Messeeh, Tunisia/France
• The Man Who Wanted to Move Mountains by Jean- François DELASSUS, Burkina Faso
• AfriqueCannes by Don Boyd, UK
• President Dia by William Mbye , Senegal
• Joy Its Nina by Jane Thorburn, UK
• Drama Consult by Dorothee Wenner, Germany
• The Hillside Crowd by berni Goldbat, Burkina Faso
• The Lost Tribe by Ubaka Joseph Ugochukwu, Nigeria
• A Thousand Suns by Mille Soleils, Senegal
• Pamoko by Jean-Francois mean, Canada
• A Life with a Temporary Suspension of Deportation by Appolian Siewe, Germany
• Creation in exile by Daniela Ricci, Italy
• Love Prevails by Segilola Scott & Edith Nwekenta, UK
• Love at First Sight by Mark playne,UK
• Mas’q by Andre Rokita, UK
• Haunted Souls by Godwin Otwoma, Kenya
• Ogondah by Willis Ikedum, Nigeria
• Unspoken by Sunny King, UK
• The Wages by Walter Taylaur, Nigeria
• Beleh by Eka Christa Assam, Cameroun
• One Year After by Cristian Pascariu, Romania
• Yellow Fever by Ng’endo Mukii, Kenya/UK
• The Promise by Akin Okunrinboye, US/Nigeria
• Kwaku Ananse by Akosua Adoma Owusu, Ghana
• Security by Mark Middlewick, South Africa
• Twaaga by Cedric Ido, Burkina Faso
• Adamt by Zelalem Woldemariam, Ethiopia
• Dark Days of Kwanele by Jimoh Yusuf, Nigeria
• A Year After (Cameroun)
• Five by BJ Winfrey, USA
• Down and Out by Udoka Oyeka, Nigeria
• Kuhani by Ntare Mbaho Mwine, USA
• Murtala Walks by Okeagu Ikechukwu Henry, Nigeria
• Crazy Love by La’Dapo Kolade, Nigeria
• Free State by Martha Ferguson, Zimbabwe
• La Radio by Amand-Brice Tchikamen/Fidele Koffi, Ivory Coast
• Sodiq by Adeyemi Michael, UK/Nigeria
• Inflitration by Jubril Mailafia, Nigeria
• Retribution by Jubril Mailafia, Nigeria
• Protect Us by Jubril Mailafia, Nigeria
• One Night by Jubril Mailafia, Nigeria
• Mission Possible by Jubril Mailafia, Nigeria
• Patriot by Agbo Kelly, Nigeria
• Talking Drum by Agbo Kelly, Nigeria