AFRIFF 2023 is returning in November. It’s the Africa International Film Festival, celebrating over a decade of uniting African filmmakers. The event takes place in Lagos, Nigeria, from November 5 to 10. It closes with the esteemed Globe Awards on November 11. The festival offers film screenings, masterclasses, and workshops. Plus, it will feature a selection of notable Nigerian films.
Some of the selected movies for this prestigious event include:
Áfàméfùnà: A Nwa Boi Story
“Áfàméfùnà: An Nwa Boi Story” is a groundbreaking film by Come On Naija that explores the Igbo apprenticeship system, a practice that boosted the Igbo community’s economy. It’s directed by Kayode Kasum and features a star-studded cast including Kanayo O. Kanayo, Stan Nze, Alexx Ekubo, Atlanta Bridget Johnson, and Segun Arinze, with special appearances by Jide Kene Achufusi and Noble Igwe. The film was produced by Omobayowa Alabi and executive-produced by Lawumi Fajemirokun and Kenechukwu Egbue.
In 2022, “Finding Odera,” directed by Charles Uwagbai, features a cast including Charlot Daysh, Chris Okagbue, Chris Attoh, Kanayo O. Kanayo, Jide Kosoko, and many other talented actors.
Tarella: Princess of the Nile
“Tarella: Princess of the Nile” is an African adaptation of a classic tale set in the mythical Kingdom of Akkaya, West Africa. The story follows Prince Nosa, heir to the throne, and Tarella, an orphaned maiden, as they navigate challenges in their pursuit of true love and a happy ending. Directed by Lolo Eremie and Kayode Kasum, the film stars Kawa Shaznay as Tarella, Timini Egbuson as Prince Nosa, Richard Mofe-Damijo as King Ohen, Nengi Rebecca Hampson as Ebikella, Elvina Baby Ibru as Señora, Ummi Baba-Ahmed as Queen Omonigho, and Onyinye Ezekwe as Ebinimi.
“Kanaani,” directed by Tola Olatunji and produced by Jennifer Mairo, tells a love story revolving around Obehi and Gbovo, portrayed by Gabriel Afolayan and Ivie Okujaye. Their love is put to the test by unexpected events and hardships, forcing them into unforeseen and challenging situations. Set in a quaint fishing village in Edo state, Nigeria, the film also features Robb Hudspeth, Ayo Kosh, and Joseph Benjamin.
All the Colours of the World Are Between Black and White
“All the Colours of the World Are Between Black and White” is a Nigerian romantic drama directed by Babatunde Apalowo. It explores the love story between two men, Bambino, a delivery driver, and Bawa, a photographer, as they navigate societal taboos surrounding same-sex relationships. Starring Tope Tedela, Riyo David, Martha Ehinome Orhiere, and Uche Elumelu.
“Black Harvest,” directed by James Amuta, is a Nigerian thriller featuring a group of hostages and their captors. The cast includes Nollywood actors Kelechi Udegbe, Elvina Baby Ibru, Greg ‘Teddy Bear’ Ojefua, Michael Pankyes John, Lavinna Verma, and Tope Olowoniyan.
This is Lagos
“This Is Lagos” is a Nigerian film directed by Kenneth Gyang, starring Gabriel Afolayan as Stevo, a young man seeking fame and success in the challenging world of Lagos. The star-studded cast includes Ikechukwu Onunaku, Rahama Sadau, Kate Henshaw, Enyinna Nwigwe, and many more. It’s adapted from a short story by Crispin Oduobuk-MfonAbasi and produced by Kenneth Gyang, Tom Rowlands-Rees, and Jide Makinde.
“Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti” is a biographical film directed by Bolanle Austen-Peters, focusing on the life of the renowned activist. Special appearances by her grandchildren and great-grandson, featuring a cast with Kehinde Bankole, Joke Silva, Omawunmi Dada, Ibrahim Suleiman, and Patrick Diabuah.
A Green Fever
“A Green Fever,” directed by Taiwo Egunjobi, follows Kunmi and his daughter Ireti. They experience a medical emergency while traveling in 80s-era Ibadan. Seeking shelter in a mysterious mansion, they encounter Matilda, a nervous host. Things turn sinister when Colonel Bashiru arrives. Kunmi and Ireti are trapped in a nightmarish scenario with people harboring dark secrets. The film stars William Benson, Temi Fosudo, Deyemi Okanlawon, Darasimi Nadi, Ruby Precious Okezie, and Toyin Oshinaike.
I Do Not Come to You by Chance
Directed by Ishaya Bako, known for “The Royal Hibiscus Hotel” and “Road To Yesterday,” “I Do Not Come to You by Chance” adapts Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani’s 2009 novel. It stars Paul Nnadiekwe, Blossom Chukwujekwu, Jennifer Eliogu, Sambasa Nberibe, and Beverly Osu. The story follows a struggling Nigerian graduate caught in his uncle’s dishonest email scam.
Out of Competition Films
Out of Competition films are shown for various purposes, such as special showcases, retrospectives, or when directors don’t compete for awards. They enhance the movie-watching experience without pursuing festival prizes. The movies in those category includes:
In the film “Onyeegwu,” Alex, a retiring footballer, embarks on a spiritual journey to reclaim his place in the sport. He crosses paths with a talented young footballer aspiring to play abroad. Directed by Jerome Weber and Uche Jombo, the star-studded cast includes Kayode Ojuolape, Nancy Isime, Broda Shaggy, Lateef Adedimeji, Chioma Chukwuka Akpotha, Toyin Abraham, Ini Edo, Williams Uchemba, and more.
Directed by Eneng Chris, the film features Mary Njoku, Uzee Usman, Anthony Woode, and others in its cast.
The Rising Sun
“The Rising Sun” is a Nigerian film set in a late 1700s Bight of Biafra slave camp, where a slave woman leads a rebellion against British captors. Directed and produced by Bakia T Thomas, the film stars renowned actors like Pete Edochie, Chiwetalu Agu, Charles Anwurum, Ebelle Okaro, and Uzor Imeh. It also features a talented ensemble including Farielysian, Adaeze Onuigbo, Smith Nnebe, Maximus John, Chioma Okafor, and Snow Whiteey.
Over the Bridge
“Over the Bridge” is a fantasy drama directed by Tolu Ajayi. The film centers on Folarin, an investment banker played by Ozzy Agu. His life unravels when a government project he managed goes wrong, leading to a crisis of belief. It’s written and produced by Tosin Otudeko and features Segilola Ogidan, Joke Silva, Deyemi Okalanwon, Chimezie Imo, and Paul Adam.
The 2023 AFRIFF is going to be one for the books!
What do you think, will you be attending?