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AFRIFF 2017 Is Set For Take Off!

Colette Osibo - (On the extreme left), Ojoma Ochai (British Council Head of Arts, West Africa​) - 4th from the left, Chioma Ude (Founder, Africa International Film Festival) - Middle, Laurent Polonceaux, Aurelie Sennacherib, Yoanne TalhourarneBlessing Egbe, Biola Alabi and Lala AkindojuPrince Tonye Princewill (2nd left) with GuestsYomi Sax

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By Oluwatoyin Adeleye

The Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) is back for its 7th edition this year and Accelerate TV is showcasing 5 short films at the festival.

The films are those produced by the five winners from the Accelerate Filmmaker Project.

Colette Otusheso – (On the extreme left), Ojoma Ochai (British Council Head of Arts, West Africa​) – 4th from the left, Chioma Ude (Founder, Africa International Film Festival) – Middle, Laurent Polonceaux, Aurelie Sennacherib, Yoanne Talhourarne

AFRIFF, the biggest festival for celebrating African cinema in Nigeria, is scheduled to run from October 29 to November 4, 2017.

Everyone is super excited for another week of cinematic experience, business networking, movie premieres, film screenings, industry sessions, master classes, workshops, the Globe Awards, and other events that have become the hallmark of the AFRIFF journey since it made debut in 2010.

But AFRIFF is even bigger this year with new international collaborations.

French Consul General, Lagos, Mr. Laurent Polonceaux described the festival as “one of the most important film festivals in Africa,” as AFRIFF 2017 is dedicating two days – November 2-3, 2017 to French films.

Blessing Egbe, Biola Alabi and Lala Akindoju

This is just as British Council, UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities is bringing the London BFI (British Film Institute) into a new partnership with AFRIFF.

Tagged ‘Film Connections’, the British Council’s partnership also aims to share knowledge and give pep to co-production opportunities between filmmakers from Nigeria and the United Kingdom.

AFRIFF Founder/Executive Director Ms. Chioma Ude announced ‘Waiting for Hassana’, a short film by Ifunanya ‘funa’ Maduka (Nigeria/US) and a feature, ‘I Am Not a Witch’ by Rungano Nyoni (Zambia) as the opening night films while ‘Felicite’, an Oscar contender by Alain Gomis (France/Senegal) is the closing night film.

Ude said AFRIFF is well prepared to host filmmakers and actors from around the world this year, noting that the festival continues to attract interests with a record of 3,232 film entries received this year alone.

Prince Tonye Princewill (2nd left) with Guests

She announced the films in competition which include 24 shorts, 11 documentaries and 14 feature length films, while all the films in official selection will be uploaded to the festival website on October 9.

According to British Council Head of Arts, West Africa, Ojoma Ochai, “As part of the Film Connections project, the 2017 AFRIFF will open with the screening of the Rungano Nyoni film ‘I Am Not a Witch’, on the 29th of October. There will also be screening of several acclaimed British feature and short films during the festival – showing for the first time in Nigeria, including ‘Whitney ‘Can I Be Me’ by multi-award winning British Documentarian, Nick Broomfield; ‘Under the Shadow’ by Babak Anvari, winner of the 2017 BAFTA award for outstanding debut by a British writer, director or producer; and ‘A Moving Image’ by Shola Amoo.”

“During the two days devoted to French cinema,” says Polonceaux, “we will welcome here in Lagos, high level professionals working in the production and distribution, and last but not the least, because it is a fundamental element in the funding of the cinema industry, I particularly would like to mention the participation of David Kessler, the Managing Director of Studio Orange and the Director of Orange Content. He’s a leading figure in the French cinema industry. He was among other important positions, the former director of the CNC.”

Yomi Sax

He noted that, for the first time in France, “two Nollywood movies (The Dinner and 10 Days in Sun City) have been commercially released two weeks ago. That’s a first step, but I am sure it will intensify in the coming years.”

The five French movies that will be screened during AFRIFF include ‘Step by Step’, an emotional movie about the physical reconstruction of a man after a serious accident; ‘Wulu’, a Franco-Malian film, ‘Boarders’, a road-trip between Bamako and Lagos; French Blockbuster ‘Valerian’ by Luc Besson, and ‘He Even Has Your Eyes’, the story of Paul and Sali, a married couple who have been struggling to adopt a child for a long time.

Photo Credit: Adeolu Adeniyi photography @adeoluadeniyiphotography www.adeoluadeniyi.com

Check out what went down at the glitzy media launch at British Council, Ikoyi, Lagos in the slides above.

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