(MENAFN) In a resounding celebration of African cinematic talent, the Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) took center stage in Lagos, Nigeria, from November 5 to 11. Among the standout successes was the film "Man and Masquerades," directed by the promising Nigerian filmmaker Adekunle Blue, which clinched victory in the highly competitive 'Students Shorts' category. In an exclusive interview with RT, Blue shared insights into her filmmaking journey and the evolving landscape of African cinema.
Acknowledging AFRIFF as one of the largest film festivals on the continent, Blue emphasized the fierce competition that filmmakers face in securing a spot in the prestigious event. "It's not easy to get into AFRIFF, and it's definitely not even easy to win," she remarked, underlining the festival's rigorous selection process.
Reflecting on the transformation of the African film industry, Blue highlighted the remarkable growth since 2010. She noted the entry of international streaming platforms into the industry, attributing this development to an improvement in the overall quality of African cinematic works. This transformative period has allowed African filmmakers to showcase their narratives on a global stage, contributing to the industry's burgeoning reputation.
A noteworthy aspect of Blue's commentary was her observation that 95 percent of Nigerian films are produced in English, a legacy of the country's colonial history with Britain. However, she emphasized the importance of creating films in native languages, such as Yoruba, spoken in West Africa. Making films in indigenous languages, according to Blue, signifies a form of cultural liberation and an opportunity to authentically express and explore African heritage.
Founded in 2010 by Nigerian entertainment executive Chioma Ude, AFRIFF has evolved into an annual cinematic extravaganza that goes beyond mere film screenings. The festival prides itself on delivering a rich program fostering the exchange of ideas, production connections, and business relationships. With its main objective being to elevate the African film industry to a global standard, AFRIFF plays a pivotal role in nurturing and showcasing the diverse talents emerging from the continent.
As Adekunle Blue's triumph exemplifies, AFRIFF stands as a vital platform for recognizing and promoting African filmmakers, contributing significantly to the industry's growth and global recognition. The festival serves as a testament to the rich tapestry of narratives originating from the continent and underscores the continued strides toward establishing African cinema as a formidable force on the world stage.
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