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AFRIFF 2023: Celebrating the Vibrancy of African Cinema and Empowering Filmmakers



The excitement is building up for the AFRIFF 2023 (Africa International Film Festival) in November 2023 as filmmakers, industry professionals, and movie enthusiasts eagerly anticipate this prestigious event. Known for celebrating African cinema and promoting original storytelling, AFRIFF continues to be a beacon for emerging and established filmmakers across the continent.

This year, AFRIFF has announced a groundbreaking initiative, the Script to Screen Project, aimed at empowering filmmakers and enhancing creative capacity, particularly in screenwriting. Led by the visionary founder, Ms Chioma Ude, AFRIFF is set to transform the landscape of African cinema with this program.

Before we delve into the upcoming AFRIFF 2023 event, let's take a moment to celebrate the incredible talent that shone in the previous edition. The 2022 AFRIFF presented an impressive lineup of films, and the following are some of the notable award winners:

  • Best Student Short: "Tales of the Browbeaten" directed by Sebastian Ukwa from Nigeria.

  • Best Animation: "The Song Maiden" directed by Nkem Stanley Nwaturuocha from Nigeria.

  • Best Short: "Agogo" directed by Chloe Coko from Nigeria.

  • Best Documentary Africa: "No U-Turn" directed by Ike Nnaebue from Nigeria.

  • Audience Choice Award: "Choke" directed by Mr. Orimz from Nigeria.

  • Special Jury Prize: "Mapping Survival" directed by Nacho Corbella from the US.

  • Best Female Performance: Niimo Loveline in "Planters' Plantation."

  • Best Male Performance: Daniel Etim Effiong in "Kofa."

  • Oronto Douglas Award for Best Nigerian Film: "Beckma" directed by Best Okoduwa from Nigeria.

  • Best Screenplay: "Kofa" written by Jude Idada from Nigeria.

  • Best Director: Bahador Zamani for "Requinto."

  • Best Feature Film: "Kofa" directed by Jude Idada from Nigeria.

  • Best International Animation: "Afro Algorithms" directed by Anatola Araba from the US.

  • Best International Short Film: "Contraband" directed by Chelsea Hicks from the US.

  • Best International Film: "Requinto" directed by Bahador Zamani from Iran, Islamic Republic of.

A distinguished panel of industry experts and creative minds served as the jury for AFRIFF 2022; including notable individuals such as;

Danna Stern: A producer and global content executive with a passion for delivering premium content to international platforms.

Femi Odugbemi: A filmmaker, TV producer, and voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, bringing a wealth of experience to the judging panel.

Steve Gukas: A multi-platform producer and director known for creating compelling content that resonates with audiences worldwide.

Michel Zgarka: An experienced executive in the production, communications, marketing, and business development fields, with a keen eye for strategic planning.

Wafa'a Halawi: An actress, writer, and filmmaker with international experience in diverse projects that celebrate cultural storytelling.

Nicolas Weinstock: Founder and president of Invention Studios, a dynamic production company that nurtures groundbreaking projects and bold storytelling, and

Kunle Afolayan: A multi-award-winning Nigerian filmmaker who has left an indelible mark on the African film industry.

The upcoming AFRIFF 2023 promises to be an unforgettable celebration of African cinema, embracing diverse storytelling, and providing a platform for emerging and established filmmakers alike. From heartwarming dramas to thought-provoking narratives and captivating animations, the festival will showcase the creative genius of filmmakers from across Africa and the diaspora.

AFRIFF has garnered a reputation as the most vibrant festival experience in Africa. Over the years, hundreds of films showcased at the festival have received critical acclaim and reached global audiences. Last year's 10th-anniversary celebration saw over 500,000 film enthusiasts from around the world participate physically and virtually. The theme, "Africans for Africa," emphasized the power of storytelling in building global bridges and fostering understanding.

Empowering African Filmmakers:

AFRIFF partners with the African Export Import Bank (Afreximbank) through its Creative Africa Nexus (CANEX) program to empower African filmmakers and writers. The "Script to Screen" intervention is a year-long incubator, capacity development, and content creation acceleration program. It aims to enhance the abilities of African creatives to produce high-quality screen content and facilitates valuable networking opportunities with international studios and streamers.

As November 2023 approaches, the anticipation for AFRIFF continues to grow. The festival promises to showcase the very best of African cinema, celebrate the creativity of African filmmakers, and foster meaningful connections within the industry. Let us eagerly await this grand cinematic celebration and embrace the power of storytelling to unite us across continents and cultures.

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