BY BENJAMIN NJOKU
IT was a night of class and panache as this year’s edition of the Africa International Film Festival, (AFRIFF), came to an end last Saturday, in Lagos.
The grand finale of the festival, which kicked off, on November 30, at the Genesis Deluxe Cinema, held at the prestigious Oriental Hotel, Lekki, with top Nollywod stars, producers, and directors in attendance. They dazzled the red carpet with everything they’ve got to showcase.
The list is endless; Genevieve Nnaji, Stephanie Okereke, Monalisa Chinda, Nse Ikpe-Etim, Uche Nnana, Omoni Oboli and Rita Dominic who anchored the event alongside BBA host, IK Dairo.
Also, in attendance were Kunle Afolayan, Hakkem Kae Kassim, Lynn Whitfield, Tichina Arnold, ex-beauty queen, Agbani Darego, chairman Silvervird group, Ben Bruce, amongst others present at what was unarguably the most memorable event of the year as far as the calendar of Nollywood is concerned.
French translation of proceedings at the classy event was done by the elegant Celine Loader. Chioma Ude, the brain behind what is now known as one of the best and biggest film festivals in Africa, set the tone for the night when she presented a passionate welcome address to the audience.
She said the objectives of the festival was somewhat achieved this year as great films were screened, just as young and emerging talents were celebrated and empowered. In her remarks, Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, creative director of the festival, said this year’s festival focused on the Caribbean Islands, an emerging region desirous in terms of telling their own stories as movies like “Get A Life”, “Mama Africa”, “Calypso Rose” and other great films hit the limelight.
This year’s festival ambassador, Hollywood Lynn Whitfield, spotting an enchanting Ankara fabric, said she was in Africa for the first time, and expressed how excited she was to attend this year’s AFRIFF. According to her, her role as AFRIFF Ambassador is one she intends to take very serious by telling people about the Nigerian movie industry.
The award night continued in its impeccable shine as P-Square, Nigeria’s hip hop powerhouse fed the audience with a large dose of music, sending everyone into a frenzy. They rendered tracks from their past and recently-released albums.