Film Festival


The African International Film Festival (AFRIFF) is set to return from November 5th to 11th, 2023, with a theme that promises to mark a significant shift in the world of African cinema. Founded by Chioma Ude, AFRIFF has become a vital platform for showcasing and celebrating African films, particularly Nollywood productions. The theme for this year’s twelfth edition, “Indigenous 2.0,” represents a bold step towards redefining the role of African cinema on the global stage. During yesterday’s media parley, Chioma Ude and key AFRIFF figures shared their insights and aspirations for this edition and the future of African cinema.

The choice of the theme “Indigenous 2.0” reflects the desire to evolve and rejuvenate the indigenous storytelling that is at the heart of African cinema. Chioma Ude revealed that she had considered this theme for last year’s edition but felt that they needed more time to prepare. This year, the twelfth edition is fully prepared to embrace the theme, which symbolizes a modern interpretation of the rich cultural and storytelling traditions that underpin African cinema.

At the heart of AFRIFF is the mission to create a platform for showcasing Nollywood’s movies. Nollywood has grown immensely over the years, gaining international recognition and becoming one of the world’s largest film industries. Chioma Ude emphasized that AFRIFF plays a pivotal role in bringing Nollywood productions to a global audience, allowing these films to be appreciated and celebrated on an international scale.

An exciting aspect of this year’s AFRIFF is the focus on fostering partnerships with industries from other countries. Chioma Ude envisions AFRIFF as a conduit for Nollywood to collaborate with foreign counterparts, exploring opportunities for co-productions, talent exchanges, and the sharing of expertise. This initiative seeks to enhance Nollywood’s global reach and influence.

Renowned award-winning producer, Dr. Stephen “Dr” Love, expressed his excitement for AFRIFF 2023. As a prominent figure in the Nigerian film industry, his endorsement of the festival underscores its importance to the African film community. Dr. Love’s involvement in AFRIFF reflects his belief in the festival’s capacity to propel Nollywood and African cinema to new heights.

Latasha Ngube, the head of media and PR at AFRIFF, emphasized the rapid growth of Nollywood and other African movie industries. She highlighted the industry’s evolution, not only in terms of production quality but also in its ability to tell diverse and compelling stories that resonate with global audiences. This growth has paved the way for AFRIFF to expand its horizons and seek collaborations with foreign industries.

AFRIFF’s theme, “Indigenous 2.0,” sets the stage for a new era in African cinema. It represents a shift from merely celebrating traditional storytelling to reimagining it in a contemporary context. African cinema has always been rooted in indigenous stories, cultural traditions, and unique perspectives. “Indigenous 2.0” is about harnessing the power of these roots and infusing them with innovation, creativity, and global appeal.

It is essential for African filmmakers to strike a balance between preserving their cultural heritage and embracing modern filmmaking techniques and global storytelling trends. “Indigenous 2.0” acknowledges the importance of indigenous stories as the foundation of African cinema while challenging filmmakers to tell these stories in fresh and innovative ways.

As AFRIFF founder Chioma Ude expressed during the media parley, this festival is a crucial platform for achieving these goals. By focusing on Nollywood and showcasing its movies, AFRIFF contributes to the continued growth and development of the Nigerian film industry. This growth not only benefits Nollywood but also has a positive ripple effect on African cinema as a whole.

Nollywood, often referred to as the heart of African cinema, has made significant strides in recent years. The industry’s films are not only entertaining but also address important social, cultural, and political issues. They reflect the diversity and complexity of African societies. However, to fully unlock the potential of these films and reach global audiences, partnerships and collaborations with foreign industries are essential.

AFRIFF’s vision to facilitate partnerships with foreign industries aligns perfectly with the “Indigenous 2.0” theme. Collaboration with international counterparts can lead to innovative storytelling, advanced production techniques, and broader distribution opportunities. These partnerships have the potential to reshape the narrative of African cinema on a global scale.

The African International Film Festival (AFRIFF) 2023, with its theme “Indigenous 2.0,” represents a turning point in the history of African cinema. It is a celebration of indigenous storytelling and culture while embracing innovation, global collaboration, and a vision for the future. The festival’s founder, Chioma Ude, and industry figures like Dr. Stephen “Dr” Love and Latasha Ngube, have shared their perspectives on the significance of AFRIFF in shaping the trajectory of African cinema.

As AFRIFF continues to evolve, it serves as a beacon of hope for African filmmakers, a platform for sharing their stories with the world, and a hub for forging international partnerships. “Indigenous 2.0” encapsulates the spirit of this festival, driving it forward to create a cinematic landscape that is both authentic and universally appealing. The future of African cinema is bright, and AFRIFF is playing a pivotal role in illuminating that path.

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