The Africa International Film Festival will be held from November 13-20 on Victoria Island in Lagos, as the annual event continues to attract international interest.
In its short history the event, which celebrates the film industry in Africa, has showcased work from all corners of the continent and around the globe, with the 2016 edition continuing that trend.
Africa’s cinematic celebration is stocked with a list of movie premieres, film screenings, industry sessions, master classes and other festival programmes.
Here are 12 things you didn’t know about The Africa International Film Festival.
This year’s edition of The Africa International Film Festival is the sixth, after launching in 2010. The event has been hosted in Nigeria each year, with no festival held in 2012. It makes its return this year, to much fanfare.
Nigerian entertainment executive Chioma Ude established the festival back in 2010, intending for it to become a platform for filmmakers and those with a passion for the industry. Ude is widely considered influential on the entertainment scene within the West African country.
One of the highlights of the African International Film Festival will no doubt be the West African premiere of highly acclaimed Nate Parker film, ‘The Birth of a Nation’. The money has been the centre of attention at many top international festivals including the Sundance, Toronto and London Film Festivals.
This year the festival will host filmmakers and actors from around the globe, with 150 films from over 40 countries across Africa and the rest of the world, expected to be screened at the new Filmhouse-IMAX and Genesis Cinema, both located in Lekki, Lagos.
This year’s festival will open with a screening of Nate Parker’s Oscar hopeful, ‘The Birth of a Nation’ while Izu Ojukwu’s critically acclaimed film on the first Nigerian military coup, ’76’ is a popular choice as the closing film.
Among the categories of feature, documentary, shorts, student shorts and animation, there are films and filmmakers from around the globe attending the 2016 festival, with 40 countries represented. In the feature category alone, there are submissions from Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Armenia, Niger, Uganda, Burkina Faso, Namibia, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria.
On of the festival’s main aims is to provide talent development workshops where the African event has been engaging with its partners in expanding opportunities for young people to explore filmmaking and gain exposure through scholarships and internships.
This year the list of sponsors at the event has grown, with Canon Europe Ltd and Diageo Nigeria joining others such as Ford Foundation, British Institute, Lagos State, Africa Magic, MultiChoice Nigeria, Access Bank, Bank of Industry, Peugeot Automobile Nigeria (PAN), Afrinolly, African Film Consortium (AFC), Filmhouse-IMAX, Genesis Cinemas and Silverbird Group, who support the festival.
In addition to the wide range of films that will be screened at the event, the festival will offer industry stakeholders platforms and discussions on skills, financing, pitching, additional revenue streams and piracy as it relates to the film industry
After successful festivals in 2010 and 2011, there was no event held in 2012. The organisers decided to use the time to understand the film industry better, in order to network and find a location that worked well for the event. Since 2013 it has been held annually once again
Since the inaugural edition of the festival, the organisers have received in excess of 500 international entries from professional and amateur filmmakers around the world, which have been considered for screening at the festival.
Five editions of The Africa International Film Festival have taken place, with all of them in Nigeria. The first edition in 2010 was in Port Harcourt, with the 2013 and 2014 editions in Calabar. The 2011 and 2015 festivals were successfully carried out in Lagos, and this year will be held in the same city.