|AFRIFF (African International Film Festival) 11th edition in 2022 is shaping up to become the most culturally and strategically significant film gathering of the year in African cinema.
From hosting Disney’s Marvel Black Panther: Wakanda Forever African premiere, in collaboration with Film One Entertainment; to having The Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts & Sciences, organizers of the Oscars, present to handle two workshops on the inner workings of the international film selection process and discuss the work of the Students Academy Awards. Also, the Red Sea Fund and the Red Sea International Film Festival, were on hand from Jeddah (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) to affirm their support for the African film industry.
However, the icing on the cake for the foremost African Film Festival on the content was the announcement of a strategic partnership with Paramount Africa.
Bada Akintunde-Johnson, the Nigeria Country Manager of Paramount Africa stated, “We are excited to be partners of the 11th edition of the Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF). Over the years, it has become synonymous with all things Film on the continent. As we continue to expand our product offerings, especially on the continent, being part of AFRIFF is a step in the right direction as it aligns with our philosophy of leveraging the power of content to reimagine and celebrate the continent’s people, culture, heritage, and arts.”
The multi-layered involvement of Paramount in AFRIFF includes the arrival on the grounds of Ms Syrinthia Struder, Executive Vice President of International Productions at Paramount Pictures, who is also a member of the AFRIFF 2022 jury. An opportunity for her to deepen her exposure to the breadth and depth of African cinema. Paramount will also be facilitating a pitch tank session where creatives and filmmakers attending the festival will be given the chance of a lifetime, 15 minutes to sell a project and convince a prominent African and global entertainment powerhouse of their content project viability or feasibility.
Chioma Ude, AFRIFF founder and her team expressed their extreme delight at seeing these incredible developments at the festival. They all pondered on what it means for young and established Nigerian and African filmmakers who seldom get exposed to this level of excellence or get to meet this unique breed of film professionals.
“What we witness now is what we have been building since the inception of AFRIFF back in 2010. We did not foresee the globalization of filmmaking and the thirst for African content. What we had in mind was to create a safe place for creativity, and innovation in films and an incubator for aspiring filmmakers. It’s a fact that African film has a voice, and the global community has heard it. African films have billions of viewers on the continent and across the globe, and we must address their demands in the most pragmatic yet sustainable approach.
Expanding on the need to capitalize on the African narrative momentum, Chioma stated: “Our next challenge, as African filmmakers, is to align African film business with what happens on the global stage, these discussions start at festivals through partnerships with major studios like Paramount who understand the power of telling indigenous stories for global audiences.”
AFRIFF kicked of on November 6, 2022 and will run till November 12, 2022. More than 5,000 film professionals from across Nigeria, Africa and the globe are expected to attend, and the crop of Nollywood film industry will join the fray and add to the glamour of an event that is slated to become the most sought-after ticket in the city of Lagos.