Following an eventful one week of film activities, the 2015 edition of the prestigious Africa International Film Festival, AFRIFF, ended on Saturday with a star-studded awards ceremony which took place at the Eko Atlantic City, Victoria Island, Lagos.
The film event which heightened activities at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Silverbird Galleria, Genesis Deluxe, and City Mall, all in Victoria Island had screened 180 movies, staged several industry sessions and provided workshops of all kinds for filmmakers from 35 African countries and 25 non-African countries who converged on Lagos.
The award ceremony started with a presentation to notable Nigerian music video director, Clarence Peters, who whom the Special jury prize for his first short film, Hex. But the Short film award was clinched by Cameroonian filmmaker, Christa Eka Assam, for her latest work entitled Alma.
Assam who said she has been attending the festival in the last three years was full of praise for the jury and organizers of the festival for providing a platform to prove herself.
Clarence too, felt good that the jury recognized his effort as a first-time filmmaker to have earned the Special Recognition award. While thanking his cast and crew, he dedicated the award to his mum, Clarion Chukwura, saying, “I want to dedicate this award to my mum because without her I won’t be here today.”
Following Peters’ Special Recognition Award by the jury was a Nigerian filmmaker, Tolu Ajayi who also got a Special Mention by the jury for his film, The Encounter.
The ovation was loudest when Fevers by Moroccan filmmaker, Hicham Ayouch won the overall Best Film.
Other awards include Silent Tears by Ishaya Bako (Audience Choice Awards), Legacy of Rubies by Ebele Okoye(Best Animation), Joy by Solomon Onita Jr. (Best Student Short Film), E18hteam by Juan Rodriguez-Briso (Best Documentary), Reflections by Desmond Elliot (Oronto Douglas Award for Best Nigerian Film) and The Price of Love (Best Screenplay)
In the individual categories, Raja Amari won Best Director, while South African actors; Charlie Vundla and Fulu Makhovami won Best Actor and Best Actress for their roles in Cuckold Ayanda respectively.
The night was also spiced with music performances by Cobhams Asuquo and Timi Dakolo. While Cobhams performed ‘Cock Crow At Dawn’ originally sang by Bongos Ikwe, Timi Dakolo started off with Cry, in memory of the late patron of AFRIFF and Special Adviser on Research and Documentation to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Oronto Douglas, before performing Wish Me Well to the delight of audience.
The jurors who also got a loud ovation from the crowd include Pedro Pimenta, Soheir Abdel Kader, Prof Hyginus Ekwuazi, Teddy Mattera, Dr Abigail Ogwezzy-Ndisika, Dapo Oshiyemi, Serge-Armand Kouami Noukoue and Asha Lovelace.
AFRIFF’s 5th edition kicked off last Sunday with the premiere of Mediterranea by Jonas Carpignano and closed with Road To Yesterday by Genevieve Nnaji on Friday. There were also industry sessions where practitioners jaw-jawed on the way forward as well as training sessions for student filmmakers.
The weeklong festival was graced by many filmmakers and celebrities including Dakore Egbuson Akande, Genevieve Nnaji, Hilda Dokubo, Ini Edo, Kunle Afolayan, Tope Tedela, Toke Makinwa, Toni Tones, Rita Dominic, Mildred Okwo, Mahmood Ali-Balogun, Grace Oboba Edwin-Okon, O. C. Ukeje, Ramsey Nuoah, and Kemi Lala Akindoju among others.
The first edition of AFRIFF, an initiative of Chioma Ude, took place in 2010, in Port Harcourt. The second edition held in Lagos in 2012, while the last two editions held at Tinapa in Calabar, Cross River State. This year, AFRIFF got over 600 film submissions of which 180 were screened, a significant increase from last year when 90 films were screened out of the 250 submissions received.
AFRIFF Globe Awards : Results At A Glance
1– BEST MALE PERFORMANCE: CHARLIE VUNDLA in CUCKOLD (SA) by Charlie Vundla
2- BEST FEMALE PERFORMANCE: FULU MAKHOVANI in AYANDA (SA) by Sara Blecher
3- BEST FILM SCREEN PLAY: PRICE OF LOVE (Ethiopia) by Hermon Ahiley
4 – BEST DIRECTOR AWARD: RAJA AMARI for TUNISIAN SPRING (Tunisia)
5- BEST NIGERIAN FILM: REFLECTIONS by Desmond Elliot
6 – BEST FEATURE FILM: FEVERS by Hicham Avouch (Morocco)
- Best Student Film – Joy – Solomon Onita Jr. (USA)
- Best Animation– The Legacy of Rubies – Ebele Okoye (Germany)
- Best Short Film – Alma – Christa Eka Assam (Cameroon)
- Best Documentary: Eighteam, directed by Juan Rodriguez-Brisco and Co-Produced by Ngosa Chungu.
- Special Jury Prize – Hex – Clarence A Peters (Nigeria)
- Special Mention – The Encounter- Tolu Ajayi (Nigeria)
- Special Mention (Student Film)- The Good Son – Tomisin Adepeju (UK)