‘Face To Face’, a star-studded Nollywood thriller, emerged as Best Film while Kenneth Okolie won the Best Actor in the film at the grand finale of the 2023 edition of the Zuma Film Festival (ZUFF).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the ZUFF 2023 Jury made the announcement on Friday night at the closing ceremony and award night of the festival in Abuja.
Ace actor, Okolie, won the Best Actor for his lead role in the film directed by Robert Peters, featuring Freddie George, Gbenro Ajibade, Tamara Eteimo, Jeff Innocent, Dustin Wilkes and Danelle Korsak, among other cast.
Set in the city of Lagos, ‘Face To Face’ tells the story of everyday challenges average Nigerians face in their quest for survival.
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According to the festival Jury, a total of 3,340 films were received from all over the world, from which 20 short films, 19 feature-length films and eight student films were shortlisted.
Others shortlisted included six documentary films, 10 animations and four indigenous language films.
A special recognition award tagged “Lifetime Achievements Awards was given to veteran industry players and other stakeholders including Peter Fatomilola, Sambo Sanusi and the legendary singer Onyeka Onwenu.
Other recipients include veteran Kannywood actress Saratu Gidado, a.k.a ‘Daso’, Clarence Peters and Dauda Kahuta, popularly known as ‘Rarara’ and the Minister of State for FCT, Dr Mariya Mahmoud, among others.
Earlier, Dr Chidia Maduekwe, Managing Director, Nigerian Film Corporation and Chairman Organising Committee of ZUFF, congratulated the awardees for their commitment to excellence.
“For award winners and other recipients, including our lifetime achievers, Zuma Film Festival commends you for your contributions to the growth of the film industry.
“Let the recognition and subsequent award spur you further, just as ZUFF will continue to provide the platform to connect and live the African film experience as captured through the lenses of our national values and cultures.
“Kudos to the Jury for making tonight’s event possible, given the enormous and painstaking work of selecting winners from huge film entries received from around the world, including Nigeria.
“With tonight’s event signalling the end of ZUFF 2023, l urge all of us to internalise all the values and experiences garnered.
“Let the experiences of this year’s Zuma Film Festival shape our professional and creative instincts as a people with distinctive but unique national and African culture,” he said.
NAN reports that the 2023 ZUFF, which was held from December 1 to 8, with the theme “Cultural Convergence”, was organised by the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC) in collaboration with the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA).
It featured the annual Zuma film lectures, master classes, panel discussions, investment sessions and film screenings. (NAN)