ZUFF 2022:  Accolades as week-long film Festival closes on a high 

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The 12th Edition of the week-long Zuma Film Festival held in the capital City of Abuja has been rated high by both local and international participants. The festival which commenced on May 1st was marked with a variety of Action packed activities and came to a close on Saturday.

The closing event which was characterised by glitz and glamour is jointly organised by the Federal Capital Territory Administration and the Nigerian Film Corporation with Abuja designated as the official host city. 

The international conference centre, Abuja which was the venue for the closing ceremony of the event tagged “show the money”drew the attendance of dignitaries from the Government, entertainment, foreign diplomats and business sectors.

Amongst the notable dignitaries were; Honourable Minister of Information & Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; Hon Minister for state, FCT, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu; Permanent Secretary FCT, Olusade Adesola; Managing Director/Chief Executive Nigerian Film Corporation, Dr. Chidia Maduekwe  ; Honourable Minister Federal Capital Territory, Mohammed Musa amongst others.

Guests were treated to arrays of spell bound activities ranging from comedy/cultural displays, live band , musical performances by the Nigerian Air force band, film trailer screening, Movie Awards and Refreshments at the lavishly decorated hall.

In his opening remarks, MD of NFC, Dr. Chidia Maduekwe said that 350 creative/film students were simultaneously trained during the film festival, with the key objective of strengthening the connection between veteran filmmakers and upcoming and digital creative minds. Disclosing additional successes recorded during the 12th edition of the film festival, Chidia said the week-long event provided a platform for film entrepreneurs to harvest returns on investment opportunities available in film production. He said this year’s edition, like past ones, provided impetus to drive some particular and peculiar aspect of the film production chain. 

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He said; “There is no doubt that the creative economy of our nation can only grow further if programmes like the Zuma Film festival are robustly supported. With its designation as the official host city of Nigeria’s official and foremost film festival, in line with best global practices, we have once more demonstrated our collective will to sustain the needed efforts, and actions. “The search for and consumption of Nigerian movie content has increased tremendously. Its capacity to create jobs and wealth, promote peace, unity and progress for our nation is significantly visible. The availability of modern and ultimately less expensive digital platforms and windows have aided the growth of the film industry in Nigeria as well, and we are grateful to all who have made the Zuma Film Festival successful. 

Chidia appreciated the resource persons, and members of the jury, who he said had adjudicated over 3045 Film entries from across countries of the world.

Rendering ovation over the success of the festival, Minister of Information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed lauded the steady progress of the last four editions of the Zuma Film Festival organised under the auspices of the Nigerian Film Corporation. Lai stated that the 2022 edition witnessed another watershed with Abuja is now designated the official host city of the Zuma Film Festival which he said is in line with other global major international film festivals.

The Minister further lauded the focus of the film festival, which according to him will avail practitioners in the film production industry opportunities to reap financial benefits of their works.

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“I am delighted that practitioners are now focusing on how those who have contributed to the Nollywood brand will benefit from their creative works. The theme of this year’s festival, Show the Money, has hopefully shown filmmakers how they can exploit new platforms to not only see the money but to touch and keep it through the increased profitability and global reach of their films”, Lai said.

Mohammed however lamented on the issue of privacy saying that it has remained an obstacle to the growth of the Nigerian Film sector. Offering solutions, the Minister said that online streaming in a digital environment enabled by the policies of the Federal Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy should be considered as an avenue to enhance revenue streams.  He added that there  is also the need to work closely with the Nigerian Copyright Commission and other law enforcement agencies to fight the scourge of intellectual property theft so that the industry can maximally exploit the potentials of the sector for national development.

The climax of Saturday’s event was the bestowing of Life Achievement Awards to veterans as well as notable personalities in the Nigerian film industry they are ; Hilda Dokubo; Chief Adebayo Salami; Prof. Bankole Sodipo; Dr. Ifeoma Adaora; Chief Justice Esiri; Ashley Chijioke Nwosu; Prof. Kalu Uka ; Mal. Sule Umar; Hon. Segue Odebunmi; Mr. Adesola Olusade and Dr. Ramatu Tijjani. 

Other categories awarded were Best Student Film which was won by FISH as directed by Kaige Zeng , while “Hell RIDE” directed by Uche Odoh carted the Best Picture Film category. Best Foreign Film was awarded to ” A Question” directed by Fariha Jannat and the Best Actor was given to Frankincense Echebem for the role he played in the movie “The pain your storm” as directed by Okechukwu Oku.

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Other prominent activities that were held during the 7 days event were;Screening of Opening Films, film making virtual workshop (master class),  Berlin-Lagos Archive Film Festival, film making with drone cinematography, emerging talents workshop, Zuma film festival Sallah Tour of Abuja city, NFC Annual Film Lecture/ workshop and a host of others.

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