The final countdown to the ninth edition of the annual iREPRESENT International Documentary Film Festival holding Thursday March 21 to Sunday March 24 2019, at its traditional home, Freedom Park, by Broad Street, Lagos, and the Nigerian Film Corporation, Ikoyi, Lagos, began this weekend.
Though the festival is conceptually framed around the iREP generic theme of AFRICA IN SELF-CONVERSATION, the theme for this year is STORYLINES, and it will explore the various dynamics of storytelling with a view to tracing the importance of stories to human and social developments, especially as it concerns nation-building in Africa.
Over 50 films collected from 22 countries, and three continents – Africa, Europe and the Americas — are expected to feature in the festival.Also eight presentations and panel discussions on various dimensions of the theme have been designed to elucidate on the theme, while the various filmmakers in attendance will also interface with the audience on the content, form and techniques of realising their work in an educational exchange manner.
Some of the Nigerian filmmakers showcasing in iREP this year are:
- Tam Fiofori, the septuagenarian photographer and filmmaker, who has been very consistent in past few years in the festival list: His film is titled, Ogbu-OjaEze, reflects in the career of an Igbo flutist.
- Tunde Kelani, also another consistent contributors and supporters of the festival, is screening his latest work, Yoruba Beyond Borders, which he directed and produced with long-time sideman and collaborator, Bola Bello.
- Afolabi Adesanya, filmmaker and former Director General of the Nigeria Film Corporation, NFC, is also presenting his bio-pic Gbenga Sonuga: Artist, Activist, Administrator, former director of Lagos State Council for Arts and Culture, and now traditional ruler, Fadeseewa of Simawa Autonomous kingdom, near Sagamu.
- Beverly Naya, the Nollywood actress, explores through identity the meaning of beauty in all the different shades of black.
- James Amuta, showing Nightfall in Lagos, whichexplores the not-so-underground world of transactional sex in a country where prostitution is illegal.
- Aderonke Adeola, showing Awani, which examines the evolution of the role of Nigerian women, starting from pre-colonial Nigeria to the present day.
- Adeola Osunkojo, showing 76: Story Behind the Story on the experiences of the families of the military officers executed in the aftermath of the 1976 coup.
- Tolulope Itegboje, showing Awon Boyz, documenting lives of street boys from three hoods telling stories about coming up, ambition and hope.
- Ronke Macaulay, showing Green Passport at France 98 – The third in the Green Passport series by the filmmaker on experiences of Nigerians when they travel abroad.
- Toyin Ibrahim Adekeye, showing Bigger Than Africa, which follows the journey of hundreds of Africans (slaves) from the point of no returns in West Africa to the final destinations In the slave.
- Gbenga Salu, showing Little Heroes, on street kids and their soccer exploits
The prestigious iREP HONOURS this year will be given to Mrs. Bolanle Austin-Peters, the CEO of Terra Kulture, who has emerged a frontline promoter of arts and culture in the country.
According to the iREP directorate, Mrs. Austin-Peters is being honored this year, on occasion of her 50th birthday anniversary, because “essentially, she represents the spirit of progress and possibilities in our culture producing community; a major inspiration to many young people. More so because, at the inception of the festival, Mrs. Austin-Peters was the first supporter we had. She gave us the Terra Kulture facilities free of charge and even donated lunch to some of our guests. She repeated the feat on the second edition before the festival relocated to Freedom Park. That is an uncommon gesture of philanthropy, especially in our clime. For this kindness of spirit, iREP Directorate has decided to honour the one fondly called “Mama Terra,” a true Amazon of Art Promotion in Nigeria.”
The honour will be presented to her at the Festival opening Cocktail event on Wednesday, March 20 at the amphitheatre of Freedom Park.
The iREPRESENT International Documentary Film Festival was initiated with the objective of promoting independent documentary filmmaking in Nigeria and on the continent of Africa. Based on the Conceptual framework — AFRICA IN SELF-CONVERSATION — iREP is designed to promote awareness about the power of documentary to deepen social and cultural education as well as encouraging participatory democracy in our societies. Though exploring the generic conceptual framework, the theme for every edition varies every year, and embraces issues pertaining to Africa’s social, political, cultural, spiritual and economic realities. It is conceptualized to also create a platform of awareness and expression for filmmakers who are creating socially relevant films to positively impact our world. The festival features hands-on training and skills development workshops facilitated by an array of the most experienced practitioners in the field of documentary film making across Africa.