Welcome to the 6th edition of the Africa International Film Festival

A warm welcome to the 6h Africa International Film Festival. Our programme selection in this edition not only continues to celebrate African cinema’s achievements in compelling story telling but also its visibility and remarkable achievement in reaching out and engaging the rest of the world. The theme for AFRIFF 2016 is Embracing the world. The quality of movies coming out of Africa today has been widely celebrated as evident on TIFF 2016 Lagos spotlight and the Beyond Nollywood feature at the BFI London Film festival. It therefore gives us great pleasure to present this year’s programme featuring 150 films from over 40 countries across Africa and the rest of the world.

The selection in this edition celebrates African cinema with a programme bursting with films from all corners of the continent, as more and more African filmmakers embrace and continue to explore digital technology to deliver content that excites, entertains, engages and delights Audiences across the world.

The festival opens with ‘Birth of a Nation’ by Nate Parker, a movie termed to have the final say on slavery and much talked about all over the world, having made it’s way from Sundance, to Toronto International Film festival to the London Film Festival and now having its West African premiere at AFRIFF. The masterpiece love story/political thriller ‘76’ by Izu Ojukwu closes the festival as probably the most ambitious feature made in Nigeria by Nigerians.

The official competition for Best Film which recognizes, distinctive and inspiring filmmaking will feature a diverse range of films; across Africa, we spot Akin Omotoso’s ‘Vaya’ with beautiful scenery telling an authentic story. This exciting feature interweaves three separate plots that intersect and intertwine in a gripping, deeply moving and often funny narrative about struggling for survival and dignity in the city. The Competition in this category features films like ‘Kati Kati’ by Mbithi Masya, ‘The Cursed Ones’ by Nana Obiri Yeboah, as well as the exceptional epic drama ‘The Missing God’ by Ubaka Joseph Ugochukwu.

The film line-up also features the rise of female filmmakers and empowering female characters with films like Wedding Ring, Rahmatou Keita’s latest offering. The incisive ‘Amaka’s Kin’ by Tope Oshin, British Ghanaians: lost in translation by Pamela Sakyi, ‘Yemanjá- Wisdom from the African Heart of Brazil’ by Donna Roberts lead the charge in the documentary competition with riveting and compelling narratives about female achievement, identity crisis in the diaspora and cultural rediscovery.

The Shorts programme also features for the first time worthy efforts from the corners of Africa, the Reunion Islands with titles ‘La Face Cachée Du Père Noël’ by Laurent Pantaleon and ‘Rouleur de Journaux’ by Sebastien Rougemont.and a spell-binding ‘Son du Serpent’ by Tami Ravid from the Netherlands.

There is also extensive cinematic accomplishments amongst the rich selection of the Animation category, which is quite exciting because of the greatly improved content compared to previous editions and about 10% of the films been screened coming from outside Africa.

The student shorts programme is a continuation of AFRIFF’s effort to engage young people right out of school and expose them to international platforms and best practice to help build capacity in the African Industry.

At the core of the festival’s objectives, is the talent development workshops where AFRIFF has been engaging with its partners in expanding opportunities for young people to explore filmmaking and gain exposure through scholarships and internships.

Alongside this extensive array of films, the festival and its development partners will also present key note industry conversations and engagements as well as education and business opportunities. The collaboration across the industry sessions, training workshops and masterclasses have international partnerships from the Africa Film Consortium, South Africa’s Kwazulu Natal Film Commission and National Film and Video Foundation, Canon, British Council, Institut Choiseul, Cinecitta, The Ford Foundation and Montana State University, as well as Fox and FilmHouse Distribution. 

It is always a daunting task to go through all the submitted titles to select titles in a programme that runs for a week but it important to congratulate and thank all the filmmakers for sharing their work with us. We look forward to a busy and exciting few days of doing business and networking, enjoying Africa’s vibrant aesthetic experience, in what is arguably Africa’s most vibrant city; Lagos, Nigeria.