The Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) has announced the 2023 programme for the 12th edition.
This year’s festival, with the theme ‘Indigenous 2.0 Global’, will be held between November 5 and 11 at the Landmark Centre in Lagos.
AFRIFF is expanding its focus on indigenous content and the need for authenticity as the most important ingredient to connect to a global audience.
The 2023 programme was announced at a media event hosted by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu at the State House in Marina on Thursday.
He was joined by U.S. Consul General, Mr. Will Stevens, as well as industry veterans, movie producers, and Nollywood stars.
Founder of AFRIFF, Chioma Ude, said the festival has assumed even more importance as creatives now have the potential to earn more.
But they need to upskill to become global players, she noted.
Ms. Ude said so far, AFRIFF has received over a thousand great film submissions since it opened entries.
She said: “If you don’t think global, you won’t go global. This edition of the festival stands out due to the heavy emphasis on our films leaving a mark on the global stage.
“In line with AFRIFF’s ethos of capacity building, creatives would be exposed to a series of trainings cutting across filmmaking, makeup, art designing and more.
“We need to understand international policies and laws to be able to sell our indigenous contents globally.
“Whether you’re a make-up artiste, filmmaker or designer, you’re going to be earning in dollars, and invariably such earnings will boost our economy too.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu announced the $100 million African Film City project in Epe, Lagos State, which groundbreaking he said would begin in coming weeks.
The goal, he said, is to further empower Nigeria’s creative talents, 5000 of whom he said had already been trained.
“We are doubling our financial and training support.
“This means more opportunities for skill development in modern filmmaking and increased grants for short stories. Elevating the creative industry is our goal,” the governor said.
He pledged his support to AFRIFF, adding: “We commit resources to anything that will boost creative minds.
“This 12th edition of AFRIFF will be one of the biggest and boldest.
“There is no better moment than now to work together to put forward our narratives that Africa is ready, Nigeria is ready, Lagos is ready.
“The creative industry knows no boundary and we’re happy to be part of this.”
Consul General Stevens also pledged the American Consulate’s continued support.
“It’s been amazing supporting AFRIFF for nine years in a row,” he said.
The diplomat underscored the powerful role movies can play in shaping narratives and how Nigeria’s entertainment is fast gaining global acceptance.
“The American brand was built on what is seen in movies, and viewers wanted to live the dream.
“Now it’s Nigeria’s time,” he said.
Aisha Umar-Mumuni, the Chief Digital Officer of MTN, AFRIFF’s partner and sponsor, said her company has “vested” interest in the Festival.
Umar-Mumuni added: “Digital entertainment has become an integral part of our day to day lives.
“The growth in the use of smartphones and digital services has compelled the need to provide digital solutions and partner with organisations like AFRIFF to distribute indigenous African content, making them accessible regardless of geographical locations.
“We are well-positioned to lead the charge as the biggest ICT operator in Africa, committed to using technology to promote the continent on the global stage.”
AFRIFF is a rich gathering of original storytellers and audiences seeking new voices in Cinema and fresh filmmaking perspectives.