With 20 something odd years of movie making, our film industry is largely driven by commercial objectives (after all, we need to eat), entertainment values, and a handful of producers who truly want to tell a story and bring some sort of change in the dynamics of our systems. No doubt, it is tough in our industry for an existing filmmaker, much less an emerging one, but that is why film festivals have been created.
Film festivals around the world are an amazing opportunity for new and existing filmmakers to show their talent and get exposure for their independent film. They are important not only in providing a platform for independent filmmakers and auteurs to exhibit their films, but also in providing an audience for art and auteur cinema, especially in this clime where cinema owners dictate what should or shouldn’t show. Film festivals give avant-garde producers the opportunity to show stories that might not be allowed in everyday cinemas.
Check out these film festivals, and their possible dates for 2018, that can help any emerging filmmaker get ahead.
EKO International Film Festival
This was founded and established by Supple Communications Limited in 2009 with a mission to promote the appreciation of arts and culture through the motion picture arts and sciences, and boost tourism in the global village. The festival takes place annually in Lagos. It’s 2017 edition held in March and is open to new and existing local and international filmmakers
Real-Time Film Festival
The Real-time International Film Festival is a festival for filmmakers by filmmakers. Having officially kicked off in 2016, the festival accepts entries from filmmakers across the world without discrimination. With its 2018 theme called ‘Stories that Touch,’ the festival celebrates and exposes current technologies that affect the art of filmmaking. The festival takes place June 24 – June 28, 2018, in Lagos.
Lights, Camera, Africa Film Festival
The Lights, Camera, AFRICA! Film Festival was created in 2011 to stimulate discourse on issues and experiences rooted in the African experience. The festival, which holds annually in the last quarter of the year, shares a diverse range of African and independent cinema, including documentary, feature and animation.
The Zuma Film Festival
Zuma Film Festival (ZUFF), organized by the Nigerian Film Corporation, is in its 9th edition and scheduled to take place from December 1 to 7 in Abuja. The film festival hopes to avail Nigerian film practitioners the opportunity to network with their counterparts from other parts of the world, stimulate co-production opportunities, and promote and ensure sustained productivity and availability of qualitative audiovisual services. With its 2018 theme ‘Archiving for Creativity’ the festival aims to protect and preserve several thousands of films that have been produced in Nigeria in the past few decades, with several collections of audio-visual and film materials lost due to non-preservation
iREPRESENT (iREP) International Documentary Film Festival
Currently in its 8th edition, the film festival already took place in March 2018 with a theme Archiving Africa II: Frontiers and New Narratives. The festival is the premier documentary-only film festival on the coast of West Africa and it is conceptualized to create a platform of awareness and expression for aspiring and practising filmmakers who are creating socially relevant documentary films to positively impact our world.
Abuja International Film Festival
The oldest film festival of the lot runs annually and was founded by veteran Nollywood director, Fidelis Duker. Now in its 15th edition, the festival offers participants a contemporary and liberal platform to show their expertise and excellence in film. It also accommodates participants from across Nigeria and beyond. The festival aims to contribute to the understanding and appreciation of cultures of different nations, and takes place in Abuja during the last quarter of the year.
Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF)
AFRIFF, the most vibrant and energetic film festival, can be likened to The Cannes Film Festival. It offers filmmakers, amateurs, investors, film critics, visual artists, equipment manufacturers, film students, distributors and fans the platform to improve and develop the film industry in Nigeria and Africa. Started in 2010 by Chioma Ude, the festival is now in its 8th edition and is an annual one that provides a lot of prospects for the film industry in terms of growth and establishment for investors and technical acquisition. The festival holds in Lagos and takes place in the last quarter of the year.
Have you ever attended these festivals? Tell us what you think about them and how they were organized?