Wednesday 26 June 2019

Lekki Film Festival awards for Ogidan, Imasuen others

Fashion designer Austen Aimankhur; a guest and Lekki Int'l Film Festival director, Dapo Adeniyi, 

At its inaugural edition, Lekki International Film Festival, Lagos honored Nigerian cinematographers Tade Ogidan, Lancelo Imasuen and three other film makers. Also honored during the Gala/Award ceremony of the festival are Cameroon’s Jude Fokwang, a professor in Denver, U.S; Balaraba Ramat Yakubu of Kano, who is a younger sister of the late Nigerian Head of State Murtala Mohammed; and Okhomina Joseph, a film school student.

A statement from Lekki International Film Festival listed Imasuen’s "yet to be released" work 'Family First' as recipient of the Best Film Award while Ogidan’s 'Good Statue' (currently running in cinemas) won the Best Feature Film Award. The Best Indigenous Language Film Award went to 'Palace Coup', a Hausa drama set in the early Nineteenth Century Kano and produced by Ramat Mohammed. The Best Documentary Film Award went to 'Something New In Old Town', by Fokwang which is set in contemporary Cameroon.

The Best Short Film, which went to Joseph’s ten minutes short feature titled 'Depression', according to the festival organisers, "may have beaten some of the very intense short films on the final shortlist because of the issue of great currency that is its theme."  Fokwang's 'Something New In Old Town', is set in a notorious suburb of the Cameroon capital city of Yaounde known as Old Town, which is the normal hub for prostitution and urban violence. It is also adopted as home by peasants and artisans because of their low pay and pecuniary existence. The documentary depicts Old Town peasants, former prostitutes and noble people of the poor and neglected district building a new life for themselves by forming voluntary societies with inbuilt self-support mechanisms, also with very strong social bonding. 

Ogidan’s 'Gold Statue' is a resounding social message about the aspirations of the young in society whose quest to get marvelously rich -- even in the face of grave danger to itself and at the risk of the desecration of sacred monuments and assets -- strikes at another theme of social resonance. For Imasuen’s 'Family First', bonding and the preservation of the family tie at a time of social insecurity, upheavals and economic turbulence is the focus.

The chairman of the award jury, Segun Oyekunle was until his appointment the Managing Director and CEO of Abuja Film Village. He is a consultant on African film in Los Angeles, U.S who spent nearly 30 years working in Hollywood. Other jury members are Augusta Okon, Tajudeen Agboola and Jahman Anikulapo.

Okon is a lawyer who has given her career wholly to the film industry, while in senior management at Filmhouse Cinemas. Agboola is a seasoned production and post-production expert and former editor of the African Videomaker magazine. Anikulapo is a former editor at The Guardian on Sunday and a seasoned Arts editor.

Kene Mkparu, founder Filmhouse Cinemas and Lola Onigbogi of African Movie Channel during the award night.

The winners emerged from a keen contest involving shortlist of fifteen films; two films that nearly breasted the last tape were produced by London based cinematographers. The Lekkki Film Festival which ran for four days have been attended by eminent persons, some featuring as speakers at the festival forum that ran on the second and third days. There was a Cocktail event on Day-one with insightful sharing that involved festival bigwigs like Kene Mkparu, the managing director at Komworld and founder of the Filmhouse Cinemas chain; Lola Onigbogi founder of the Africa Movie Channel; Ijeoma Ekeugo of Zenith Bank Headquarters; Tosin Bakare, president of Alliance Francaise, Lagos; Tokunboh Odebunmi founder of Obalende Suya restaurant chain and daughter of deceased Lagos industrialist Molade Okoya-Thomas; Ifeoma Anthony of Guinness; and Deji Irawo, CEO of the X2D Channel.

Other participants included numerous Nollywood stars such as Kenneth Okoli, Wole Ojo and Mercy Iyamu. Festival forum/seminar participants included Kingsley Uranta of Channels Television, Duro Oni a former Director-General of the Centre for Black and African Civilization,CBAAC and Deputy Vice-Chancellor University of Lagos; Jonathan Haynes, a professor from New York and the leading authority in African film; andTony Adah a professor at the University of Minnesota, USA, among others.

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