By BENJAMIN NJOKU
Legendary actor and producer, Pete Edochie, who turned 73 few months back has added another feather to his cap as he was honoured with the African Film Legend award at the just concluded African Film Festival,TAFF, which held in the beautiful city of Dallas, the United States.
The festival ran from June 2, through June 6, and was screened live online. It was the first ever virtual award, and a trailblazing effort by the founder of TAFF, Kelechi Eke. However, due to ravaging Coronavirus pandemic , Pete was unable to attend the four day f estival. But he did not miss anything as back home, the veteran actor was presented with TAFF 2020 Living Legends Award Certificate by actress, Patience Ozokwor popularly called Mama G, in his residence in Enugu amid celebration.
Also, the festival founder and film maker, Kelechi Eke has put plans in place to personally deliver the trophy to the veteran actor after the COVID-19 pandemic. This honouring was coming six years after the actor was also honoured with the Industry Merit Award at the 2014 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Award, AMVCAs for his contribution towards the growth of the film sector in Africa, and Africa Film Academy Lifetime Achievement which he bagged last year at AMAA.
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Explaining why TAFF decided to honour Pete Edochie popularly known as Ebube Dike this year, Eke said the veteran actor has contributed immensely towards the development of the African film sector and therefore, deserves the honour accorded to him.
According to him, Pete Edochie came into prominence in the 1980s after he played the lead role of Okonkwo in an NTA adaptation of Chinua Achebe’s all-time bestselling novel, “Things Fall Apart”, and since then, the bearded actor has not looked back. At 73, he’s still active and ever busy more than the young actors. Meanwhile, South African veteran actor and director, Dr. Jerry Mofokeng, winner of the 2006 Oscars Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, introduced Edochie as the Living Legend awardee at the four day event, which featured film screenings, online workshops, training sessions, and TAFF closing awards ceremony.
TAFF showcased this year, one of a kind African independent films that either promote African culture; address issues affecting Africa; or explore African landmarks and historic leaders.
The festival has always achieved its set goal of “Bridging cultures through films” by inviting a diverse audience to celebrate some of the best films from and about the African continent. And this year’s edition was no exception despite hosting it online. Attendees enjoyed the privilege of watching the festival selections in the comfort of their own homes as well as on demand. The film portal ROOTFLIX, showcased the selected films and the awards ceremony.