…As Nollywood stars storm Dallas for the filmfest
By Benjamin Njoku
As the African film makers, stars and stakeholders are gearing up for another edition of TAFF, the glitzy and high-profile annual black film festival, holding in Dallas, the United States, organizers have announced award-winning Tanzanian actress, Yvonne Monalisa as well as Sierra Leonean actor and Voice of America TV host, David Vandy as the hosts of this year’s festival.
The festival director and founder, Kelechi Eke made the announcement during the week, explaining that the two entertainers are selected based on their outstanding accomplishements as international stars.
The festival was hosted last years by veteran actor, Richard Mofe-Damijo,RMD, who brought his wealth of experience to bear, while the festival lasted.
Shielding more light on this year’s TAFF, Kelechi who was recently honoured with African Community Achievement Award by a North American group, AFRIFAMU, said the festival will open on June 29, at the Dallas City Performance Hall and climaxes on July 3rd, with an awards night.
According to him, RMD will be teaching the Master Acting class again this year, while popular film director, Lancelot Imasuen will teach a class in directing. The classes, he said will be held at Southern Methodist University, one of the most prestigious universities in Texas, which supports TAFF initiative in promoting African Arts and Culture through motion pictures.
While the festival opening night will be a folklore of storytelling sessions by Eclectic Vanessa Danso from Ghana; and Ruth Ndulu Maingi from Kenya, the festival director revealed that the Association of Nigerian Physicians in America,ANPA, will be part of this year’s event, as its members will be holding a convention in Dallas ahead of the opening of the festival. ANPA is said to be partnering TAFF to showcase the power of Medicine and Film, as its founder will be delivering a paper at the convention.
Notable film makers who are expected to grace this year’s TAFF include: Emem Isong, Uche Jombo, Stella Damasus, Charles Billion, Jim Iyke; US- based Nigerian filmmakers. Also, expected at the event are Cameroonian filmmakers Kang Quintus, Ruth Nkweti, Terence Limona, Tiana Bibish. Gambian Alhagie Manka; Sierra Leonian Winstina Taylor; Congolese Soleil Marie; Kenyan Hollywood-Based, Benjamin Onyango; and all the practitioners whose work were among the 40 selected films.
According to the organizers, the three-day event will showcase films made by Africans, as well as a few made by non-Africans about issues important to different regions of the continent.