By Juliet Ebirim
At the recently held Zuma Film Festival in Abuja, the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC) under the auspices of the Nigeria Film Society, honoured renowned filmmaker Femi Odugbemi with the Movie Rock of Fame Award.
According to the Managing Director of the body, Dr. Chidia Maduekwe in his nomination letter to Odugbemi, the Lifetime Achievement award is “to recognize and reward excellence and immeasurable contributions towards the growth of the Film industry.”
Organised by NFC as an annual part of the film festival which is now in its ninth year, other Rock of Fame honourees include the late first Prime Minister of Nigeria, Alhaji Tafawa Balewa; veteran TV actor Chief Chika Okpala; former Managing Director of NFC – Professor Hyginius Ekwuazi; Mallam Ali Nuhu and Mallam Yakub Ibn Mohammed.
2018 has certainly been a good year for the prolific filmmaker. From being inducted in June as a Voting Member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Organisers of the annual OSCAR awards) in the United States, to being appointed as the MultiChoice Talent Factory Academy Director for West Africa.
Perhaps where Odugbemi really displayed his ingenuity has been in the television space where he was a founding producer of one of the longest running TV series in Africa, Tinsel. His current production ‘Battleground’ is one of the most watched TV series on Africa Magic channel.What really stands Odugbemi out among his peers is his quest for excellence.
Expressing gratitude for the award, Odugbemi urged young filmmakers to pursue artistic excellence in their work. “It is good to show all the glitz and glamour but if the essence of your story is lost, then you haven’t done a job. We need to find that untold story that reflect our history and the magic of the African culture more, not cloning stories informed only by pecuniary gains.”