After four days of consecutive showcase of creativity and capacity building, the maiden edition of the Edo State International Films Festival came to a befitting close last Sunday September 4.
With the theme ‘Edo to The World’, the festival sought to promote creativity in the arts, provide an avenue for skills development, and enhance capacity building for young Nigerians.
The event featured masterclasses with industry experts, panel discussions, movie premieres, virtual sessions, and networking opportunities with local and international industry participants.
Some of the masterclasses were also facilitated by celebrity actors including Desmond Eliott, Charles Inojie, Mercy Aigbe and Etinosa Idemudia as they shared their approaches and experiences in various areas of acting and production.
Over 1500 movies were submitted from 90 countries, with about 150 movies carefully curated from the entries for screenings which held at Kada cinemas and Victor Uwaifo’s creative hub and sound stage throughout the festival.
Winners also emerged for various movie categories announced by a selection Jury. Major wins include Best Actor male: Ben Oyaye; Best Female Actor – Victory Idahosa; Best Director – Joseph Okwoli; Best Short Film -Tare; Best Documentary – Palm for crude produced by Directors Guild of Nigeria;
Best Use of Tech in film – Battle of the West; Best self-owned film – Zara and Best Student Film – The funeral.
Others are Best Film Costume – Osasyi Blessing; Best Cinematography – After a while (from Egypt); Best Indigenous Film – On This Mountain, which got a $5,000 prize.
Heartbeats of our time awards: Awards for Legends and Trailblazers; The Legends – Alex Usifo, Victor Okhai, Lancelot Imasuen, Charles Inojie. The award for Best Film shot in Edo Film also went with a $5,000 cash prize. The Governor’s Award went to Omoatama while the Governor’s Award for Best Overall film was won by Onaiwu.
The Edo State International Films Festival was sponsored by the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Speakers at the Industry panel session included Governor Godwin Obaseki himself, Tobias Wolfgarten, Head of Department, Skills Development for Youth Employment, Victor Aghahowa; Movie Producer/Director; Mary Njoku, Chief Executive Officer, Rok Studios, and Lancelot Imaseun, renowned Filmmaker and Producer.
The session was moderated by the Covener and Co-Chairman of the festival, Ukinebo Dare.
Other sessions included various master classes that were held on different facets of movie creation. They included Acting for the Screen and Theatre facilitated by Isreal Meriomame Wekpe, Actor- Trainer, Director, and Academic Media Practitioner; Building a career in content creation, facilitated by Onye Ubanatu, Award-winning Content strategist and Smart Phone movie making, facilitated by Ike Nnaebue, Cinematographer and Filmmaker.