Nigerians have again dominated the 18th edition of the Abuja International Film Festival which started 18 years ago.
The annual award received a total of 1,771 films from 65 countries, while only 31 films and filmmakers as nominees made it to the grand finale.
The organizers said during the award which held on Thursday at Silverbird Cinemas that only 115 films were shortlisted and screened from which the fifteen winners emerged.
The theme for the 18th edition was; “See Beyound: Film Industry Under New Normal.”
The event played host to top movie actors and producers like Segun Arinze, and Fidelis Duker, among others.
During the 2020 award which held virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Nigerian actors and producers received the greater share of the award.
In the 2020 edition, only 600 entries were received with 92 selected for screening and 42 nominated for possible awards. Nigerians won 9 out of the 15 categories.
Speaking at the 18 edition, AIFF founder Mr. fidelis Duker, noted that the he is excited that the festival is back as a physical one after the 2020 edition that was a pure hybrid and virtual in its entirety.
Duker noted that they had a total number of 1,771 films in 2021 from 65 countries, from which the number was pulled down to 115 for over 5 days.
He said that the last 15 movies selected for the award were carefully chosen, adding that the films played a major role in the creative sector.
“As the world unite together to fight the global pandemic that prevented physical gathering last year, it is important we begin to see films as a tool to air our own opinions; make judgments and become part of the story-telling traditions passed down to us through generations now enhanced and embellished with the aid of ever-captivating and improving technology,” said Duker.
A first time director who won an award under the outstanding film directing, Olamide Wale Akimolayan, believes the award will spur him to contribute more in the in dustry.
He said, “It an honour , I’m very happy to be a recipient of an award like this as a first time director of an outstanding film, it’s a previlage for me. This is my first movie, and the title is Balokun.
“Nollywood is growing, we have our movie showing all over the world and it’s gaining outside recognition, it’s a win for us.”
During the event, award winners were announced, and some of them who won include:
- Efere Ozako Outstanding Experimental Film
Winner ‘Selftheraphy’ Belgium
- Outstanding short film (Nigeria)
Winner Peter Fada ‘Soja’
- Outstanding feature film (Foreign)
Winner Mucho Wang, Fangmin Wang _China ‘Love Laboratory’
- Outstanding feature film (Nigeria)
Winner Papel Paul Papel ‘Eagles Wings’
- Outstanding short film (Foreign)
Ralph Isenberg-United States ‘Four Motherless Children’
- Outstanding male actor
Winner Ifa Iwara-Nigeria ‘Lockdown Heat’
- Outstanding female actor
Winner Nse Ikpe Etim-Nigeria ‘The Wait”
- Outstanding films music score
Winner ‘Tara’s Diary’ Nigeria
- Outstanding film directing
Winner ‘Balokun’ Olamide Wale Akimolayan-Nigeria