Bagudu Calls for Youth Opportunities in the Creative Sector

Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, Hon. Minister Budget and Economic Planning

The Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, has urged the Managing Director/Chief Executives of the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC), Dr. Ali Nuhu, to create valuable opportunities for young people in the creative industry.

Dr. Ali Nuhu, Managing Director of the Nigerian Film Corporation

The NFC, a parastatal within the Federal Ministry of Culture and Creative Economy, aims to promote a thriving film industry and cinema culture in Nigeria.

Bagudu also recommended that the corporation collaborate with KOICA of South Korea, Japan, and the French Embassy to advance the creative sector in the country. Dr. Ali Nuhu, described as a disruptor brought into government to use his creative ability to convey positive messages of Renewed Hope and project resilient Nigerians who strive for meaningful lives. Bagudu further called for support from international organisations and stakeholders to help the Nigerian Film Corporation enhance the country’s economic growth.

 The minister’s comments were made during a courtesy visit by Dr. Ali Nuhu and senior members of the corporation at the ministry, as stated by the ministry spokeswoman Julie Osaige-Jacobs. Abubakar Bagudu highlighted President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s deliberate establishment of the Ministry of Culture and Creative Economy, recognizing the economic contributions of certain organisations or fields to a nation’s growth.

The minister emphasised that the creative industry is our primary asset, not a liability, and is the largest employer of labour. In response, the NFC boss expressed the need for increased budget allocation to fulfil the corporation’s objectives. He highlighted that the budget increase would support maintaining liaison offices, developing the NFC permanent site, enhancing staff capacity, and recruiting new personnel. 

During her welcome speech, the Director of Economic Growth, Elizabeth Egharevba  said “Our entertainment Industry is contributing to our economic  growth and with your appointment by the President, we are positive you will achieve more”.

The Nollywood Week Film Festival Commences in Paris

The 11th edition of the Nollywood Week Film Festival commenced in Paris, the French capital, on Thursday. 

While the festival primarily celebrates Nigerian cinema, it also showcases films from a diverse array of countries, including Tanzania, Kenya, Morocco, and even the United States. With a duration of four days, the festival offers attendees the opportunity to experience a wide range of cinematic productions.

In its entirety, over twelve short and feature-length films are being screened, much to the joy of enthusiasts of African cinema.

Aissata Seck, the director of the Fondation pour la Mémoire de l’esclavage (Foundation for the Memory of Slavery), is a passionate supporter of African cinema. She expresses no remorse about her journey to attend the festival.

“I adore it because it presents a multitude of narratives. Occasionally, you experience the sensation of seeing aspects of your journey reflected in these stories,” she explains.

Particularly because, despite my birth in France, I embrace a dual cultural identity, encompassing both French and African heritage. It’s significant for me to watch these films, especially alongside my daughters,” she emphasizes.

According to Olivier Kissita, who is both an actor and director, events like this festival are essential for the promotion of African cultures. “Unity is key. To gain recognition, we must unite in large numbers. The concept is to move forward collectively, showcasing the diversity and richness of our continent’s cultures, and even those beyond,” he asserts.

Moreover, culture possesses the ability to transcend differences and dismantle barriers, as Serge Noukoue, co-founder of the festival, elucidates. These barriers are frequently constructs of our perceptions, he notes.

“In the portrayed realities depicted in the films, whether featured at Nollywood Week or elsewhere, there frequently lie more similarities than differences,” he emphasizes.

“Hence, it’s imperative to recognize our reflections in others and foster a spirit of curiosity.” Sustaining this curiosity allows us to engage with the narratives unfolding in Nigeria and across Africa.”

He perceives this as a crucial foundation that forms the essence of Nollywood Week’s inception.

The festival commenced with the screening of “Atiko,” directed by Nigerian filmmaker Biodun Stephen. The film narrates a poignant journey of determination and strength, resonating universally. “It’s an African narrative.

 Individuals with similar skin tones grasp its essence, irrespective of their language—be it Yoruba, French, or any other. If you’re of African descent, you connect with this story,” remarks Stephen, present at the opening.

The current edition of Nollywood Week places special emphasis on animated films and integrated virtual reality, showcasing an industry projected to surpass $100 million in Nigeria alone. 

The festival continues until Sunday, May 5th.

New Cast, New Theme as Zimbabwean “Neria” Remake Premieres.

The recreation of the Zimbabwean beloved “Neria”, a movie from years past, “Neria 21” premiered some days back on YouTube, according to the film’s makers. The premiere, which was being hosted by Rawsoot Studio, falls on International Women’s Day, a day late.

The remake of Neria, which debuted thirty years ago and brought attention to the widespread problem of women being abused, follows the same idea and premise but has fresh performers.

Innocent Kufakunesu ‘Sarungano’ portrays Jethro, Cordelia Masalethulini plays Jane, Jo-Anne Chidochangu Tenga plays Connie, Oswald Mahwende plays Patrick, and Nesu Madakiwe plays Phineas in Neria 21. Kudzai Chengedza, also known as Mbuya VaPiyasoni, plays the major role of Neria.

Neria 21 executive producer Vimbai Sinchuke stated in an interview with The Herald Arts that the movie was about gender-based violence and the necessity of women’s emancipation.

“Neria was completed by observing the treatment of women. We chose to demonstrate how the pattern still applies to them because it hasn’t altered in terms of social, cultural, or professional contexts,” she stated.

“Though there’s still a lot of ground to cover, things become more similar the more they change. We believe that this remake will alter the course as it is regarded around the world because we have only just begun to scrape the surface.”

Since copyright violations are currently a popular trend, Rawsoot Studios contacted other content creators before filming and followed the correct procedures.

“Firstly MFDI (Media for Development International) granted us rights to do the remake,” stated Vimbai.

“We got music rights from Sheer Sound CC through the family of the late Dr. Oliver Mtukudzi and Albert Nyathi who performed ‘Senzenina’ for the film.”

Brimming with talent from her homeland, Vimbai asserted that only Africans could tell an African story from an African point of view.

“We realized Africans are capable of telling their own stories with a capacity to distribute them,” she continued. “It is time to tell this generation’s version of the classic Neria film.”

According to a few of the main actors in Neria 21, having a role in the movie was a fantastic chance.

Regarding his role as Patrick, Mahwende stated: “I see this movie as a platform to stand up against gender-based violence since I am a man who believes in gender equality.

“It is good for us to keep the legacy that Tsitsi Dangarembga, Dr Oliver Mtukudzi, and the late Patrick left.”

The brother of Neria, Sarungano, said: “It is a great opportunity to start conversations about improving Zimbabwean cinema, offering us a chance to narrow and bridge the gap between our old society and the current generation.”

One of the actors, the late Blessing Nyamukapa, who portrayed Maria, is honored in the film.

 

Nigeria: Netflix Africa Slate Includes Mo Abudu-Produced Series ‘Baby Farm’, Features ‘House of Ga’a.

In honor of International Women’s Day, Netflix has released a slate of works from female filmmakers in Nigeria and other regions of Africa, including two new original series and a movie.

In terms of television shows, Mo Abudu is executive producing Baby Farm for Netflix. The show centers on Adanna, a young pregnant lady who unintentionally gives her unborn twins to a well-known NGO only to find out later that she has been imprisoned in a terrifying baby farm. Starring are Rita Dominic and Joseph Benjamin.

This is in addition to Abudu’s previously revealed film Òlòtūré: The Journey, starring Sharon Ooja who was a young journalist operating in disguise as a sex worker in Nigeria.

Director and producer Hamisha Daryani Ahuja’s Postcards, which follows four troubled Nigerians in India as they face their fears and wants through a journey of love and self-discovery, is the other new series title that was unveiled today.

The movie House of Ga’a, which is based on the real-life events surrounding Bashorun Ga’a and is set in the Oyo Empire in the eighteenth century, was also revealed today. Bolanle Austen-Peters produces and directs with Joseph Umoibom and Femi Brach stars.

The third season of the reality series Young, Famous and African, the fourth season of Blood and Water, and Kemi Adetiba’s drama series To Kill A Monkey will all be joining the current schedule of programming.

Angolan Short Film, ‘O Poder’ Listed at ‘Latin America Film’ Festival.

Angolan Director Antonio Guimaraes and producer TP Films’ short film titled “O Poder” (The Power) has been registered in the most prestigious short film festival in Latin America known as “Latin America Film Festival in Native Languages”. The event is scheduled to be held from April 8th to 12th in Peru.

The latest action short film, “O Poder” features actors from Cuba, Portugal, and Angola and is directed by the Directors of the film “Where is God?”. The cast is made up of Frank Rizo, Emignio, Humberto, Antonio Guardado, Nelson Nhanga, Carina Carvalheda, and Joao Sapalo “73D”.

Director Antonio Guimaraes, in an interview with ANGOP, revealed that a premiere will be held on March 15th at Cefejor-Huambo following the Latin American Festival slated for April.

According to him, the film is a short, action genre that reflects a social critique about a small fraction of drug sales that involved international trafficking brothels.

The character Nhoa is a drug dealer in Cuba who was wronged by his pimp and got possessed by the unavoidable desire to control drug trafficking in the region, leading him to kill his boss. As a result of this, he had to face the wrath of his best friend.

Antonio Guimaraes and his producer Tp Films cinematographic career started in 2015, with their first project titled “Fantasma de Abena”. Following the 2015 project were “Nos Diabolicos” in 2017 and “Nascido na escuridao” in 2019.

“Onde esta Deus” (where is God) is one of his major works released in 2023. Although, the film’s official date of release was extended by Netflix to this year. With an emphasis on a television series, Antonio Guimaraes and Tp Films have other film projects lined up for 2024 as well.

The “Latin American Film Festival in Native Languages” focuses on strengthening and revitalizing the original languages of Peru and Latin America, through the display of audiovisual works. The organization understands that audiovisual language is a great ally in preserving the languages, memory, identity, and cultural heritage of Latin American peoples. 

 

Nigeria: Sequel of Kunle’s Aníkúlápó to Hit Cinema on March 1, 2024.

 

 

Aníkúlápó: Rise of the Spectre’ is the follow-up to Kunle Afolayan’s 2022 Netflix movie, ‘Aníkúlápó.

 

The initial scenes in ‘Aníkúlápó: Rise of the Spectre’ transport viewers back to bustling pre-colonial Yoruba towns, showcasing flourishing trade, friendly travelers, and hospitable communities.

 

In this installment, a continuation of Kunle Afolayan’s 2022 Netflix movie ‘Aníkúlápó,’ the character Saro (played by Kunle Remi), a charming but superficial, uncouth, and not-so-bright protagonist, takes center stage.



After seemingly meeting his demise in ‘Aníkúlápó,’ Saro finds himself brought back to the living by a light-skinned gatekeeper with flowing hair. Is it mere coincidence or a hint that divinity takes diverse forms? The prequel reveals Saro’s past transgressions, having stolen Akala’s gourd to play God in deciding life and death. Now, he’s compelled to settle his debt by returning as a spirit to collect the souls he disrupted. Striking a pact with one of them, Saro transforms into an Akudaya, a Yoruba mythical ghost, tasked with restarting life in a new family, far removed from their place of burial.

 

Despite being granted a second chance, Saro fails to lead a purposeful life and quickly reverts to his old ways. Discovering a friendly town, aided by spectral allies, he promptly establishes a palm wine bar and initiates a pursuit of the village Belle, portrayed by Oyindamola Sanni.

 

In ‘Aníkúlápó: Rise of the Spectre,’ Afolayan explores the historical sexual freedom Yoruba women once enjoyed, contrasting it with present challenges. This narrative thread echoes the shift from a time of freedom to contemporary struggles against harassment in Lagos. Sola Sobowale’s Awarun embarks on a new romantic journey with Basorun, embodying the evolving dynamics within the community.

 

Meanwhile, the film introduces a subplot where a young maiden undergoes her sexual awakening with Saro. Afolayan skillfully navigates the cultural landscape, highlighting a historical lack of emphasis on consent. The storyline raises questions about love and the potential predatory nature of Saro, blurring the lines between willing partners and exploitative relationships.

 

Afolayan handles the “sexual” scenes with nuance, presenting them as a poignant case study in a time when consent has become a prominent societal conversation. The director captures the ambiguity surrounding love and exploitation, portraying Saro as both a potential partner and a force to be reckoned with. This approach invites viewers to contemplate the complexities of consent within a changing cultural context, where traditional norms intersect with contemporary values. The portrayal leaves room for interpretation, emphasizing that the woman involved has experienced more than she bargained for in her interactions with Saro.

 

From the outskirts, where kind travelers and hospitable communities once thrived, a reflective pause prompts contemplation on the path taken over two centuries. The contrast is stark in modern Nigeria, where the hospitality once bestowed upon Saro has dwindled. Attempting to find a house as an Igbo person in Lagos reveals fragments of that generosity, but it’s far from the flagrant warmth of the past. The emergence of apartment ads bearing discriminatory notes like “No Igbos” or “Yoruba preferably” underscores this transformation.

 

Yet, amidst these societal shifts, Afolayan’s adherence to the conventions of old Yoruba language Nollywood production presents a distinct challenge for the series and his directorial journey. The dialogue, at times, feels monotonous, and the themes appear didactic, akin to a sermon on ancient Yoruba morality. This refusal to break free from established norms becomes a stumbling block, potentially impeding the series and hindering Afolayan’s growth as a director.

 

Aníkúlápó: Rise of the Spectre offers reasons for celebration. Afolayan, a master of crafting authentic period sets and sourcing vintage objects, excels in bringing films to life. The opulent halls where the Kabiyesis hold court radiate the essence of the era, and the portrayal of interiors in the tiny huts provides a fascinating glimpse into the world of epic Nollywood movies. While the towns succeed in conveying a sense of grandeur for the time, they may not be Apartment Therapy-ready.

 

As the series begins streaming on March 1, 2024, fans will undoubtedly gravitate towards it, considering its position at the forefront of a new wave of Nollywood production emphasizing excellence. The challenges within Aníkúlápó: Rise of the Spectre are not solely about the series itself or Afolayan’s approach but reflect broader issues within Nollywood. It underscores the considerable strides made by the Nigerian film industry.

Nigerian Cinema Yields ₦7.2 Billion in 2023, With Akindele’s Film Contributing 14%.

 

 


In 2023, Nigerian cinemas generated over 7.2 billion naira in revenue from 2.6 million admissions, with Nollywood maintaining a 39% market share, as stated in a recent report.

 

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the reported earnings in 2023 exceeded those in 2022 by over 416 million naira, reflecting a 7% year-on-year increase in market share. Notably, the 2022 gross was derived from 64 locations, while the total locations increased to 70 in 2023.

 

Data insights from The Industry, a film insights publication, revealed that within Nollywood, Funke Akindele’s ‘A Tribe Called Judah’ accounted for over 14% of the total gross, marking the first Nollywood film to surpass one billion naira in cinema earnings. The success of this film contributed to the overall revenue growth, primarily attributed to higher ticket prices.

 

Despite the milestone, the journal highlighted that the increase in revenue is not keeping pace with admissions growth, which remains notably low. It’s worth noting that Akindele’s previous film, ‘Omo Ghetto: The Saga’ (2020), still holds the record for the highest number of admissions for a Nollywood film, standing at 449,901. The dynamics of both increased ticket prices and diverse film performances underscore the evolving landscape of the Nigerian cinema industry.

 

The project played a pivotal role in reinvigorating Nigerian cinemas post-lockdown and attracting new audiences. The impact is evident in the audience’s return and the successful conversion of new viewers.

 

Comparing the hypothetical scenario of releasing the project alongside ‘A Tribe Called Judah,’ using an average ticket price of ₦3,700, it suggests potential earnings exceeding ₦1.6 billion. This raises concerns about the relationship between ticket prices and actual cinema habit growth, especially considering the current ₦7,000 ticket prices in most city center cinemas. Despite annual increases in gross revenues, there’s a need to scrutinize whether this growth aligns with audience habits and accessibility.

 

Drawing parallels, the journal highlighted the case of the first Black Panther movie in 2018, which had over 200,000 more admissions than its sequel, ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.’ The latter, however, set a West African record as the first film to gross one billion naira, benefitting from increased ticket prices and expanded screening locations.

 

It’s noteworthy that the first Black Panther, with over 800 million naira in earnings, was released when there were 48 locations in 2018. By 2022, this number had grown to 64. This growth in screening locations underscores the industry’s expansion, reflecting both increased accessibility for audiences and the potential for films to achieve higher earnings.

 

The juxtaposition of ticket prices, audience habits, and location expansion demonstrates the multifaceted dynamics shaping the success of films in Nigerian cinemas, indicating a need for a balanced approach to ensure sustained growth and audience engagement.

 

The journal pointed out that cinemas have been staying afloat by significantly increasing prices, prompting audiences to carefully consider their choices. According to NAN, in 2023, nine additional films, including Malaika, Ada Omo Daddy, Orisa, Merry Men 3, Kesari, Something Like Gold, The Kujus Again, Afamefuna, and A Weekend To Forget, each grossed over 50 million naira in cinemas. 

 

This diverse range of successful films underscores the industry’s ability to attract audiences and achieve substantial earnings despite the challenges posed by escalating ticket prices.

Nollywood 100 Celebrates Nollywood Actors with Legacy Awards.

The ‘Nollywood 100’ honored the legacy of veteran actors who have set the pace to become trailblazers.

At ‘The Nollywood 100’, award-winning actors, the likes of Richard Mofe-Damijo, Chidi Mokeme, and Funke Akindele were among those who were honored with the Legacy Award.

The Nollywood 100 honors the industry’s ingenuity, inventiveness, and tenacity. It carries on YNaija’s ten-year legacy of highlighting and highlighting the achievements of Nigerians in all significant industries through qualitative lists that honor individual accomplishments from the previous year.

In light of the ongoing changes in Nigeria’s film industry, “The Nollywood 100″ honors individuals who have set the path for upcoming generations of directors. It also gives newcomers to the industry and rising stars a platform to showcase their voices and abilities.

The event held on Thursday night was organized by Ynaija and saw to the celebration and honoring of a total of 100 actors who made an indelible mark in the industry in the past year.

The event was an inspiring evening honoring the diverse range of narratives that make up Nollywood. It celebrated the trailblazers, visionaries, and trendsetters who have shaped and continue to shape the ever-changing Nigerian film industry. It was a salute to Nollywood’s history, present, and future.

According to Ynaija, the prestigious award was bestowed on those who have contributed to the growth of the industry, acknowledging renowned actors and those working behind the scenes.

Some actors who were honored with the award include; Nse Ikpe-Etim, Daniel Effiong, Bimbo Ademoye, Timni Egbuson, and Ini Edo. Other included, Ruth Kadiri, Olarotimi Fakunle, Bolaji Ogunmola, Femi Adebayo, Eku Edewor, and Lateef Adedimeji, amongst others. 

Africa Movie Academy Awards Returns for its 20th Edition.

This edition will commemorate the legacy of the AMAA’s founder and its 20th anniversary.

The 20th edition of the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) call for entries has been released by the Africa Film Academy (AFA). The yearly award ceremony’s planners have also made their ideas and schedule for the 2024 edition public.

 

Shaibu Husseni, the director-general of the Nigeria Film and Video Censor Board, will lead AMAA’s college of screeners once again for the 20th edition. The AFA board’s chosen CEO, Raymond Anyiam-Osigwe, said that it was intentional to reveal the activities in advance of AMAA 2024 to include all African and diasporan filmmakers.

 

Mr. Raymond said this year’s edition would celebrate the late founder Peace Anyiam-Osigwe and also the contributions the academy has made to the African film industry since its inception.

 

“This is an avenue to officially end the 19th edition of the AMAAs under the supervision of the Africa Film Academy and begin the journey to AMAA 2024. The 20th Edition of the AMAA will serve as a testimony to African Creativity as we celebrate and toast not just the founder, Peace Anyiam-Osigwe of blessed memory and her contribution in placing African film and filmmakers on the Global stage [and] also 20 years of AMAA which showcases the finest in African Film and Cinematography,” he said.

 

The 20th edition of the AMAAs will be hosted by Lagos state governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, whose entry period for all award categories ends in April. For consideration in over thirty film categories of the awards, the Africa Film Academy welcomes filmmakers to submit their feature, film shorts, animation, and documentary work. The Africa Movie Academy Awards’ 20th edition is now accepting submissions.

 

African filmmakers and practitioners will be able to connect and network with the African Film Academy (AFA) and receive recognition for their originality, professionalism, authenticity, and inventiveness. The AMAA organizers emphasized that the competition is a professional one that honors professionalism throughout Africa and the Diaspora based on merit and best practices, not popularity.

 

Great films from African filmmakers are anticipated by the jury and the college of screeners. They made it clear that they support no films that are directed by or feature no Africans. You can upload movies to the Film Freeway.

 

In addition to honoring Founder Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, the 20th edition of the AMAA is expected to serve as a testament to African creativity as it marks 20 years of the organization, showcasing the best of African cinematography and film, and introducing the world to the art of African cinema and filmmakers.

 

Celebrating Omotola Jalade Ekeinde: Unveiling Her Top 5 Movies.

 

Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, born on February 7, 1978, is a Nigerian actress, singer, philanthropist, and former model. Widely regarded as one of Africa’s leading actresses, she began her acting career in the mid-1990s and quickly gained prominence for her exceptional talent. Omotola has featured in numerous Nollywood and international films, earning accolades and awards for her outstanding performances.

 

Beyond her acting prowess, she is an influential figure in Nigeria, advocating for social issues and women’s rights. Omotola is actively involved in humanitarian work, focusing on health and empowerment initiatives. In 2013, she was honored by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

 

Omotola Jalade Ekeinde continues to inspire and contribute significantly to the entertainment industry and societal progress, leaving an indelible mark on the cultural landscape of Nigeria and beyond.

 

Today marks the celebration of the birthday of Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, one of Nollywood’s most iconic figures.

With a career spanning two decades, Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, also known as “Omosexy,” has left an indelible mark on both Nigerian and global audiences. Beyond winning hearts worldwide, she has been instrumental in shaping Nollywood. On her birthday, Pulse Nigeria spotlights her top 5 movies, acknowledging her immense contributions to the film industry. Omotola’s versatility and talent have made her a celebrated icon, and her impact continues to resonate, cementing her status as one of Nollywood’s enduring and influential figures.

 

Moral Intelligence (1998)

Highlighted as one of the films that paved the way for Omotola’s success, “Mortal Inheritance” portrays her as a young woman facing sickle cell disease, determined to overcome challenges and find love and happiness. Her groundbreaking performance in this movie garnered critical acclaim, establishing her as a formidable presence in Nollywood and solidifying her influential role in the industry.

 

The Prostitute (1998)

In “The Prostitute,” Omotola embraced a demanding role that defied conventional expectations of Nigerian women in cinema. Portraying a character who opts for a life as a prostitute in response to life’s hardships, Omotola delivered a compelling performance, delving into themes of survival, love, and redemption.

 

Ije: The Journey (2010)

“Ije: The Journey” holds a pivotal place in Omotola’s career, signifying her shift towards intricate roles in the evolving landscape of Nollywood cinema. Teaming up with Genevieve Nnaji, Omotola portrayed a Nigerian woman journeying to the United States to aid her sister in legal struggles and establish her innocence. The film garnered immense success, resonating both domestically and internationally, underscoring the richness of Nigerian storytelling.

 

Last Flight to Abuja (2012)

Drawn from a real-life incident, “Last Flight to Abuja” emerges as an enthralling masterpiece, featuring Omotola as a passenger on a Nigerian flight confronted with a life-threatening situation. Her performance, both gripping and emotionally evocative, underscores her skill in forging a deep connection with the audience.

 

Alter Ego (2017)

In “Alter Ego,” Omotola made a powerful return to the silver screen, breaking her hiatus with a portrayal of a successful lawyer by day and a vigilante by night. This role underscored her versatility as an actress, navigating a character with a nuanced dual life. The film achieved both critical acclaim and commercial success, earning Omotola numerous accolades for her outstanding performance.

 

Omotola Jalade Ekeinde’s career speaks volumes about her talent, resilience, and unwavering dedication to her craft. On this celebratory occasion of her birthday, we acknowledge her substantial contributions to the film industry, both domestically and internationally. Happy Birthday, Omotola, and cheers to many more years of enthralling performances!



“Do not miss events” in Egypt this Week.

Ahram Online recently highlighted a selection of do-not-miss events this week (7-13 February 2024) in Cairo, Alexandria, Mansoura, Ismailia and Luxor​. These events are listed as follows;

Last days of Japanese Film Week 2024
This will be held from 3rd-8th February at the Artistic Creativity Center, Cairo Opera House Grounds, Zamalek, Cairo. The Japanese Film Week will present a selection of Japanese films spanning animation, comedy, drama, history, autobiography, mystery, and thriller. A few films are being screened daily, and the full program can be found on the Japan Foundation Facebook 

Last days of Hakawy International Arts Festival for Children

The festival already kicked off in Port Said, then moved to Cairo where it will continue until 9 February, with performances, masterclasses, and workshops presented in Falaki Theater, Hanager Theatre, the Italian Institute, and the Goethe Institut-Kairo. The activities will then move to Ismailia on 8 and 9 February where the performances will take place in Misr Public Library. Check the festival’s program for more details.

Last days of Alexandria Photo Week

The inaugural edition of Alexandria Photo Week presents eight group and individual exhibitions and 40 lectures between 1-10 February. Events are held in seven major cultural centers around Alexandria: Jesuit Cultural Center, Bsarya for Arts, Graeco-Roman Museum, Amideast, 6 Bab Sharq, French Institute, and Greek Cultural Center. The event is being organized by Photopia in cooperation with numerous entities. It is Photopia’s extension to the already highly popular annual Photo Week in Cairo.

El-System – film
This will be held on Wednesday 7 February across cinemas. A man suffers from failure in romantic relationships and his inability to deal with women. He asks his friend for help whose advice is based on his previous emotional experiences. The film stars Tarek Lotfy, Nesreen Tafesh, and Ahmed El-Fishawy.

Folklorita – concert
Will be held on Wednesday 7th February at 7 pm at Mansoura, Um Kalthoum Sq, in front of the Governorate Building. The newly established group Folklorita will perform during the celebrations of Dakahlia governorate’s National Day, which falls on 8 February. The troupe consists of 14 artists: singers and percussionists using duff, darbouka, dohola, accompanied by a few instrumentalists on kawala, keyboard, etc.  

Anf Wa Thalath Oyoon (A Nose and Three Eyes) – film
Will be held on Thursday, 8th February across cinemas.

Dr. Hashem, a renowned plastic surgeon in his mid-40s is single despite having been in two long-term relationships before. When he meets Ruba, 25 years his junior, he cannot resist her charms despite the age gap. The film stars Amina Khalil, Saba Mubarak, and Dhafer L’Abidine.

Abu Shaar Brothers – concert
Will be held on Thursday, 8th February, at 7:30 pm at El-Sawy Culturewheel, Wisdom Hall, 26th of July Street, Zamalek, Cairo. Formed in the 1980s with new generations subsequently entering the ensemble, Abu Shaar Bro (El Ekhwa Abu Shaar), are internationally renowned Syrian performers whose music and lyrics focus on a religious repertoire including songs praising Prophet Muhammad. The Abu Shaar brothers currently reside in Egypt, where they hold many concerts.

Luxor African Film Festival

Focusing on the cinematic gems from the African continent, the festival kicks off on 9th February and runs through 15 February in the historic Egyptian city of Luxor. The festival is the brainchild of Egyptian screenwriter and actor Sayed Fouad – currently serving as its president – and Egyptian actress and film director Azza El Hosseiny.

Hamza Namira – concert
This will be held on Friday 9th February at 8 pm at Zed Park, Sheikh Zayed. Zed entrance Gates open at 2 pm, concert gates open starting at 4 pm. The concert will mark Hamza Namira’s release of his latest album Raye’ (Cool). Namira began releasing the songs from his 13-track album online in July 2023. Some of the compositions include titles such as the title song Raye’’, Ghoroub (Sunset), Iskandareya (Alexandria), and Reyah Al-Haya (Winds of Life).  Namira, born in 1980, is a popular musician in the Arab world whose musical journey started during his teenage years when he began playing guitar, keyboard, and oud. Namira’s unique style that meanders across genres such as light rock, jazz, Latin music, and above all Arab music has made him more accessible to Western audiences, and the subject of a dedicated fan base.

El Dor El Awal – concert
This will be held on Friday 9th February at 8 pm at the El-Sawy Culture Wheel, Wisdom Hall, 26th of July Street, Zamalek, Cairo. Founded in 2003, El Dor El Awal’s line-up, which consists of six musicians, is a melting pot of cultural and musical backgrounds who express their creativity through tunes that carry a strong rock base (bass, drums, electric guitar) topped with instruments such as the violin, the saxophone, or the flute.

Emel Mathlouthi – concert
This will be held on Friday 9th February at 8 pm at Kundalini, a venue located at the feet of the Grand Pyramid and the venue does not allow entry to persons under 18 years. Singer Emel Mathlouthi is a Tunisian-American singer-songwriter, musician, arranger and producer. She rose to fame with her protest song Kelmti Horra, which became an anthem for the Tunisian Revolution and the Arab Spring.  To date she released a few albums including Kelmti Horra (2012), Ensen (2017), Ensenity (Remix Album, 2018), Everywhere We Looked Was Burning (2019), and The Tunis Diaries (2020).

Accordionella and Reem Ezzeldin – concert
This will be held on Monday, 12th February at 9 pm (doors open at 8.30 pm) at Room Art Space – New Cairo. Trio Accordionella and singer Reem Ezzeldin join hands in their first-ever collaboration. Accordionella’s line-up consists of Rafiq Gamal on accordion, guitarist Daniel Joseph, and drummer Ahmed Adel. Since 2020, they have performed in numerous venues across Egypt attracting audiences to their unique and at times highly energetic arrangements of well-known hits. Reem has performed since an early age, including her collaboration with Mohsen Farouk, followed by Ayamna Helwa for over a decade. In 2013, she formed her band with which she gave several concerts in Cairo. She now joins Accordionella in an evening filled with a lot of emotions, and well-known songs. 

Ritmo Band – concert
This will be held on Tuesday, 13th February, at 9 pm (doors open at 8.30 pm) at the Room Art Space – New Cairo. Ritmo’s band consists of girls performing well-known covers. The line-up includes Myrna Shalaby (main vocal), Ghadeer El-Gamal (keyboard), Nour Ahmed (guitar), Hadeer El-Gamal (tabla) and Mimi Ayad (drums).

Two Nigerian Feature Films Selected for Pan African Film Festival 2024.

The 2024 Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) is set to take place in Los Angeles, California, from February 6 to February 19, 2024. It has confirmed that two Nigerian feature films, “Mojisola” and “This Is Lagos,” will be part of its esteemed roster. With an aim to honor black cinema, art, and culture, the festival will present more than 140 films along with a wide array of Q&A sessions and in-depth conversations.

The director of the two chosen Nigerian films, Kenneth Gyang, expressed his excitement about this year’s lineup and emphasized the role PAFF played in kicking off Black History Month festivities. “As it launches the celebrations for Black History Month, the Pan African Film Festival holds immense significance,” said Gyang. “It provides a vital platform for cultural exchange and representation of diverse narratives from the African diaspora.”

“This Is Lagos” tells the story of Stevo, a young guy navigating the fast-paced city of Lagos while pursuing his dream of becoming a superstar. The cast includes Gabriel Afolayan, Kate Henshaw, Ikechukwu Onunaku, Rahama Sadau, and more.

Conversely, “Mojisola” portrays the story of a young girl facing an inexplicable life-threatening sickness while trying to save her love.

Re-entering the festival ten years after his debut feature film was chosen in 2014, Gyang declared his happiness, adding, “I’m glad to be back there once more.” My debut feature film, “Confusion Na Wa,” took home the Jury Prize in 2014. I’m glad to be back with two features after ten years.

The cast is led by Gabriel Afolayan, who plays Stevo. Other actors in the group are Greg Ojefua, Mike Afolarin, Jibrin Homsuk, Laura Pepple, Rahama Sadau, Kate Henshaw, Enyinna Nwigwe, Sani Muazu, and David Jones David.

As a non-profit corporation in the United States, the Pan African Film Festival‘s (PAFF) goal is to promote “cultural understanding among people of African descent” through the display of art and film. Every year in February, the corporation holds a film festival and an arts festival in Los Angeles, and in 2013, the film festival was called “the largest black film festival” in the United States by the Los Angeles Times.

 

South African Actor Honored with Order Of British Empire (OBE).

Born on August 30, 1942, Bonisile John Kani is a South African actor, author, director, and playwright. He is known for his striking role as T’Chaka he played in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films Captain America: Civil War and Black Panther.

John Kani was recently honored with the distinguished Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his outstanding contributions to the world of arts and culture. He earned this prestigious award for his extraordinary career, which has been defined by his extraordinary talent and dedication to advancing diversity in the arts.

With noteworthy performances that have permanently impacted audiences all over the world, Kani has had a decades-long influence in the theatrical and film industries. He has distinguished himself as a forerunner in the field with his dedication to breaking down cultural barriers and using the arts as a platform for social change.

The OBE is proof of his influence on the international scene as well as in his native South Africa.

”When you get the call that on the list presented to you to King Charles III, your name has been confirmed, you think, alright, my God, this is good, this is great, actually, but then you pretend that maybe it’s just another award,” Kani stated.

Kani has won various honors in addition to the OBE, such as the Order of Ikhamanga Silver for his contributions to theater during the fight for a non-racial, non-sexist, and democratic South Africa and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the South African Film and Television Awards.

Kain also placed the character Rafiki in the 2019 remake of The Lion King and Colonel Ulenga in the Netflix film Murder Mystery (2019). The seasoned performer has been one of South Africa’s most well-known performers, writers, directors, and playwrights for nearly 60 years.

‘The After’ Featuring David Oyelowo Wins Best Short Film at AAFC Awards.

‘The After’, produced by Misan Harriman, a British-Nigerian photographer,  and filmmaker, won the 2024 African-American Film Critics Award (AAFCA) for Best Short Film.

 

The winners of the awards and the movies they had chosen for the top ten of the year were revealed by the organizers on Monday, January 15, 2024. Based on their “outstanding achievement” in cinema over the period taken into consideration, they determined the winners. 

 

The winners, who were chosen by the organization’s 100+ members, will be honored during the 15th annual AAFCA event, which will take place at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills on February 21, 2024.

 

The After, penned by Harriman and John Julius Schwabach, centers on David Oyelowo as a ride-sharing driver who finds comfort in an unexpected interaction with a customer. Amelie Dokubo, Ravi Singh, Sule Rimi, and Jessica Plummer are among the other cast members.

 

In a press release, president and co-founder Gil Robertson stated that greater acceptance of the wide presentation of African stories has occurred in the last year.

 

He said, “It’s become a tradition to announce our winners on MLK (Martin Luther King) Day. And what a great year for cinema showcasing the vibrant tapestry of Black storytelling, where diversity is not a trend, but an imperative. This year’s winners have inspired, challenged, and moved us and we are delighted to celebrate them and their cultural impact.”

 

The movie has also been nominated for a 96th Academy Award in the Live Action Short Film category. The After, which debuted on October 25, 2023, is still available for streaming on Netflix right now.

 

Born on April 1, 1976, David Oyetokunbo Oyelowo OBE is a British actor, director, and producer. Among his honors are two NAACP Image Awards and a Critics’ Choice Award. He has also been nominated for two Primetime Emmy Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and a BAFTA Award. For his contributions to drama, he was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2016.

 

Short Film Festival in Angola Pays Tribute to Director Abel Couto.

The 5th Kianda International Short Film Festival (FESC-KIANDA), which takes place in Luanda from April 18 to 26, will recognize filmmaker and director Abel Couto. The government claims that the honor is a result of his career supporting Angolan television and the seventh art.

36 short films depicting diverse aspects of the nation’s reality will be exhibited at the event, according to Vânio de Almeida, the director of FESC-KIANDA, who made this announcement at a press conference.

There will be awards in 25 categories, including best picture, producer, editor, director, actor, actress, costume design, and cinematography which will take place at the Guimarães Rosa Institute.

The festival will promote national production in addition to the marketing and promotion of audiovisual and cinematic works, bringing together representatives of the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries.

Abel Couto was the winner of the National Prize for Culture and Art/2017, in the discipline of audiovisual, and is the author of the films ‘A Shot in the Night’, ‘A Parada dos king bois’, ‘Zeca do Sete’, ‘A Rapariga da Praia’ and ‘Fúria de amor’, produced in the 80s. MGM/OHA/DOJ

The 4th edition of the festival foresaw a tribute to the Angolan Asdrubal Rebelo. It was held under the “Cinema as a source of development”. During the 4th edition of the festival, it also featured 36 films from the countries of the Portuguese Language Community (CPLP) that were shown.

Africans Make Long List of 2024 Berlinale Talents.

Tobi Bakre, Ini-Abasi Jeffery, and Linda Leila Diatta have all been listed as one of the many participants of the 2024 Berlinale Talents. 

Nigerians are indeed making waves and contributing positive impact in their various domains. The entertainment industry is not an exception. Nollywood talented stars, Tobi Bakre, Ini-Abasi Jeffery, and Linda Leila Diatta have all been listed as one of the many participants of the 2024 Berlinale Talents. 

                                 

The Berlinale Talent is a talent programme of the Berlin International Film Festival that is held annually. With 202 filmmakers selected from 68 countries, this year’s edition is slated to be held between 17th and 22nd February 2024 in Berlin. 

 To be held under the theme “Common Tongues: Speaking Out in the Language of Cinema”, the event will connect the talents with the film industry and the Berlinale audience through numerous talks, workshops, and public discussions”.

11 Africans were selected to be part of the talent programme, however, the three Nigerians were the only ones who made it in the long list of qualified candidates. 

The other African talents selected are Slim Baccar (Tunisia), Niza Jay (South Africa), Wangechi Ngugi (Kenya), Maisha Maene (DR Congo), Aline Amike (Rwandan-born selected from Germany), Chloé Ortolé (Senegal), Advik Beni (South Africa), Morad Mostafa (Egypt), and Fatima Wardy (Sudanese born selected from the US).

According to the press release, “All 202 Talents (116 female, 76 male, 10 diverse) work in the disciplines of acting, cinematography, directing, film distribution, film journalism, production, set and digital set design, screenwriting, sound design, score composition, film editing, world sales, and audience design (meaning curators and cinema owners).”

After participating in the BBNaija reality TV show, Tobi Bakre has risen to prominence for his captivating acting skills in several Nollywood films. He is known for the bad-boy roles he played in Brotherhood, Gangs Of Lagos, and The Slum King

The movie star, Tobi Bakre recently celebrated his award achievements and recognition he received in the past three years. He took to his social media handle to acknowledge the selection by Berlinale with a post that reads “Awesome God”. He expressed his appreciation to God as his source.

Nigerian-American Actress Snags Best Actress at Golden Globe Awards.

At the 2024 Golden Globe Awards held last night, Nigerian-American actress Ayo Edebiri was among the many stars who went home with an award. She won the category of Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series, Musical or Comedy for her performance as Sydney Adamu in the series, The Bear. 

Edebiri is not just an actress but also a television writer. Since 2020, she has served as a writer and performed a voice role on Big Mouth. She also wrote for the comedy series “What We Do In the Shadows” in 2022. She also voiced roles in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem. She also appeared in the comedy films Theater Camp and Bottoms.

For the award category, Edebiri went head-on with Rachel Brosnahan, Quinta Brunson, Elle Fanning, Selena Gomez, and Natasha Lyonne to win the awards.  

Edebiri was not the only winner at the Awards night, The series in which she starred, The Bear tells the story of a cutthroat Michelin Star-obsessed restaurant also got nominations for five awards and took home three at the Awards night, including Jeremy Allen White for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series, Musical or Comedy and Ali Wong for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Limited Series, Anthology Series or Television Movie. 

Edebiri was born on October 3rd, 1995 in Boston to a Nigerian father and a Barbadian mother. Edebiri had always been interested in comedy since her eighth-grade drama class after which she joined the improv club at Boston Latin School. In her tertiary studies, she switched from Teaching, her intended course of study to Dramatic Writing and proceeded to pursue a comedy career as a junior in college. 

She has also been nominated for several award categories including Gotham Independent Film Awards, Critics’ Choice Awards, and Writers Guild of America Awards, among others. She has also featured in several other television series like Defectives, Bigtop Burger, Dickinson, The Premise, and Pause with Sam Jay, among others. 

 

“A Tribe Called Judah”, First Nollywood Film to Gross 1Bn.

Nigerian Filmmaker Funke Akindele’s blockbuster hit “A Tribe Called Judah” broke  box office records within 21 days of its theatrical release, making it the first Nollywood film to gross one billion naira (1 billion naira).

 

The ace Nollywood actress and movie producer, Funke Akindele, has released a $1 billion flyer on her own Instagram page that describes her feat.

 

She wrote: “Thank you Lord! Thank you Nigeria! Thank you Ghana!”

The Nigeria News Agency said the movie, which was released in theaters on December 15, 2023, continues to be a hit. It was reported that it broke records, grossing over 133 million Naira in its first weekend box office.

 

The film grossed over 613 million Naira in its first 14 days of release, making it the highest grossing Nollywood film of 2023. It also made history on January 2, when it grossed 854 million naira in 18 days in theaters, making it the highest grossing Nollywood film in history.

 

This performance surpasses Akindele’s previous films, The Battle of Buka Street (N668.4 million) and  Omo Ghetto (N636.1 million), which are currently in second and 3rd place at the Nigerian box office.

 

The movie featured seasoned actors and actresses including Nse Ikpe Etim,  Funke Akindele, Timini Egbuson, Ebelle Okaro, Uzor Arukwe, Genoveva  Umeh, and  Nosa Rex, among others.

 

Other actors include  Boma Akpore, Ebele Okaro-Onyiuke, Etinosa Idemudia, Fathia Balogun, Jide Achufusi, Olayode Juliana, Olumide Oworu, Paschaline Alex, Tobi Makinde, Uzor Arukwe and  Yvonne Jegede.

 

According to Akindele, the plot of ‘A Tribe Called Judah,’ revolves around a woman called Jedidah Judah, who has five sons from five different men, all belonging to different tribes.

 

The movie is currently showing in cinemas in Ghana and the United Kingdom, Funke says.

 

Guinea’s Nome to Open Images Film Fest.

The film Nome will be the first showing of this year’s International Images Film Festival (IIFF), which will take place at various locations in Conakry, Guinea’s capital from November 28 to December 2.

The yearly festival serves as an exhibition space for movies with at least one prominent female role, giving African women role models to look up to when they see other women participating in the film industry and having a good influence on their own lives and communities.

The 20th edition of the festival, which is produced by the Institute of Creative Arts for Progress in Africa (ICAPA) Trust and is supervised by seasoned writer and director Tsitsi Dangarembga, will focus on the topic Women of Hope.

There will be movie screenings at Dzivarasekwa Community Center Hall 1, the Alliance Française on Herbert Chitepo Avenue, and Batanai Gardens (B2C) in the heart of Harare.

The festival will feature a jam-packed schedule that includes screenings, workshops, and an award ceremony for the top films on the final day, according to festival manager Tafadzwa Chovuchovu, who spoke with NewsDay Life & Style.

“The opening film at this year’s festival is Nome, directed by Sana Na N’handa. The film was released in May 2023. It follows the story that took place in Guinea-Bissau in 1969, during the war of independence between the Portuguese colonial army and the guerrillas of the African Party for the Independence of Guinea,” she said.

“The protagonist, Nome, leaves his village and joins the ranks of the guerrillas. After years of struggle, he returns to his village as a hero. However, the initial joy soon gives way to bitterness and cynicism. This is the story of Nome.”

Chovuchovu disclosed that ICAPA director Dangarembga selected the opening picture after seeing it at the Cannes Picture Festival.