I came to see films and I saw films

Peace Anyiam-Osigwe sitting in the audience at the 2nd Eko International Film Festival.

“I came to see films and I saw films ; that is what film festivals are all about, not talk shops,” said Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, the CEO of the African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) on the fourth day of the 2nd Eko International Film Festival when Joseph Ugochukwu Ubaka’s Lilies of the Ghetto and Abba Makama’s Direc-Toh were screened at the Silverbird Galleria in Lagos, Nigeria.

Bic Leu and Faruk Lasaki
Bic Leu of Finding Nollywood and Faruk Lasaki, Director of the Changing Faces at the 2nd Eko International Film Festival.

Peace Anyiam-Osigwe and Deborah from the United States of America


Other photos show Peace Anyiam-Osigwe and Deborah, a guest from the United States.
Hope Obioma Opara, President Eko International Film Festival and Joseph Ugochukwu Ubaka, Director of Lilies of the Ghetto..

Click here for the Photo Gallery of the 2nd Eko International Film Festival.

The Invocation and Eternal close the 2nd Eko International Film Festival

Eternal-poster (1)
The international award winning film Eternal closed the second Eko International Film Festival in Lagos on Thursday July 14, 2011.

Thursday July 14, 2011.


The Invocation and Eternal close the 2nd Eko International Film Festival

Emmanuel Itier’s dialectical spiritual documentary The Invocation and Chike Ibekwe’s melodramatic metaphysical drama Eternal closed the second edition of the annual Eko International Film Festival (EKOIFF) Thursday morning at the Silverbird Cinemas of the Silverbird Galleria on Victoria Island, Lagos.

International award winning documentaries, features and short films from Nigeria, Europe and the U.S. were screened from the opening last Saturday July 9 to the closing day on Thursday July 14. The free event attracted leading stakeholders in Nollywood, including top filmmakers, journalists, film critics and the public who had to come to the venue even in the downpour and flood of a very wet season in the coastal mega city of Nigeria, the hub of Africa’s first film industry rated as the second largest in the world by UNESCO.

The President of Eko International Film Festival, Mr. Hope Obioma Opara thanked the Silverbird Group for providing a very conducive venue at the Silverbird Galleria and promoting the event on Silverbird TV, Rhythm FM 93.7 and supporting his company Supple Communications Limited to organize a successful film festival. He also appreciated the morale support of the Nigerian press for the highly commendable news coverage of the event and promises that the third edition next year will be better with the cooperation and support of more participants and sponsors.

“Hopefully, we are going to have corporate sponsors for the third edition in 2012. In fact the preparation for the next one has already begun,” said Mr. Opara. He reemphasized that the mission of Eko International Film Festival is to promote the best interests of Nollywood and use the film festival to make Lagos State a major tourist destination in the world as the famous Cannes Film Festival is doing for France.

The Founder/Festival Director Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima appreciated the outstanding quality of the submitted films from both local and international filmmakers; notably Faruk Lasaki’s romantic thriller Changing Faces, Iara Lee’s socio-political documentary Cultures of Resistance, Emmanuel Itier’s intellectual and spiritual documentary The Invocation, Chike Ibekwe’s metaphysical drama Eternal, Joseph Ugochukwu Ubaka’s engaging urban crime thriller Lilies of the Ghetto and Kayode Ibisankale’s well researched documentary on the Yoruba’s Talking Drum Dundun.

“The enthusiasm of filmmakers to participate in Eko International Film Festival is our greatest encouragement, because what makes a successful film festival is the quality of the films. But, with corporate sponsors we would be able to screen more international award winning films next year and host the filmmakers,” said Michael Chima.

AMAA CEO Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, others at 2nd Eko International Film Festival

Johnnie from Lilies of the Ghetto
Johnnie the hero of Lilies of the Ghetto

The CEO of African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) Peace Anyiam-Osigwe was one of the notable guests at the Wednesday screening of Joseph Ugochukwu Ubaka’s Lilies of the Ghetto on the fifth day of the 2nd Eko International Film Festival at the Silverbird Galleria in Lagos. She was introduced to the organizers by top journalist and film critic Shaibu Husseini who is also the Chairman of the AMAA Selection Committee. They met with special guests from the United States of America and discussed the challenges and achievements in Nollywood.

Ms. Peace Anyiam-Osigwe

The film festival wraps on Thursday July 14, with the screening of two features, Emmanuel Itier’s multiple award winning film The Invocation narrated by the famous Hollywood actress Sharon Stone and Chike Ibekwe’s award winning movie Eternal.

Iara Lee’s Cultures of Resistance thrills film festival’s audience in Lagos

Cultures of Resistance

Many people came for the Nigerian premiere of Iara Lee’s Cultures of Resistance at the 2nd Eko International Film Festival Tuesday morning at the Silverbird Galleria on Victoria Island, Lagos. The audience twitched and swore as bloody scenes of oppression were shown on the silver screen. They were moved by the gripping imagery of political tyranny and how the human spirit can overcome fear in a hostile world.

Many people said Lee’s political documentary is the best film they have seen at any film festival in Nigeria. The impact of the scenes showing the legendary Pan African musician and protest artiste Fela Anikulapo Kuti and Niger Delta activist Ken Saro-Wiwa was felt by the audience who could not deny the testimonies of the victims of injustice in Africa’s most populous country. They were enraptured by the flashbacks on the martyrs and heroes of political justice in Nigeria.

Lee is expected in Nigeria before Christmas.

~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima

Eko International Film Festival presents World Premiere of “Direc-Toh”

Eko International Film Festival presents World Premiere of “Direc-Toh”

The world premiere of Abba Makama’s “Direc-Toh” the fastest Nigerian movie shot in one day comes up on Tuesday July 12, the third day of the 2nd Eko International Film Festival (EKOIFF) at the Silverbird Galleria on Victoria Island, Lagos. The film will be screened at 10.30 am. The young Nigerian director is a graduate of New York University film school.

A Nigerian Film maker sets out to make a record as the fastest filmmaker on the Planet. Big Ben a.k.a the light speed champion tries shooting a feature film in one day and all hell breaks loose..

Written, Directed, Shot and Edited by Abba Makama.
Co Writer-Gabriel Ofor Okafor
Producers-Lani Makama, Benedict Aromeh, Abba Makama
Starring Benedict Aromeh, Dabis Christopher
Genre- Nolly Woody Allen, Comedy Satire, Afro Psycho Pseudo Hipster babble, Mockumentary
Format- HDV
Budget-All in the magic baby..
Release date. mid 2010.

2nd Eko International Film Festival opens in Lagos


The 2nd Eko International Film Festival (EKOIFF) opened Saturday morning in Lagos with the Nigerian premiere of Faruk Lasaki‘s romantic thriller Changing Faces at the Silverbird Galleria on Victoria Island. The feature of 92 minutes is on the psychological trauma of an illicit affair caused by the transference of spirits through sex.

Many people came for the opening day graced by top Nigerian entertainment journalists including Shaibu Husseini of The Guardian who was later joined by his boss Jahman Anikulapo, the Editor of The Guardian on Sunday, Victor Akande of The Nation, Wale Idowu Shadrach, the Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of Movietainment, the leading magazine on Nollywood and other sectors of the Nigerian entertainment industry; and notable stakeholders present were Femi Odugbemi, the multiple award winning Nigerian filmmaker and head of DVWORX, who is also the Founder/Festival director the iRepresent International Documentary Film Festival, Mrs. Duro Oni representing the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC), famous Nollywood director Fidelis Duker who is the Founder/Festival Director of Abuja International Film Festival, Alex Onyogho, President of the Association of Nollywood Core Producers (ANCOP), Mrs. Busola Solanke, Chikezie Nkemdirim Donatus of Independent Field Advertisers Limited, Chris Nwankpa, the CEO of Fintel and an executive producer of the action movie Dangerous Men accompanied by the leading actress Onyekachi Anyajike with Kiki Deo, international award winning filmmaker Chike Ibekwe, and Bic Leu, a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Lagos, author of Finding Nollywood, who is in Nigeria to analyze Nollywood’s social impact through the Social Return on Investment (SROI). She has been liaising with Professor Duro Oni, Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Lagos, who has agreed to support and supervise her project and having access to Professor Oni’s ongoing project with the Open University in the United Kingdom to build a multimedia archive of all Nollywood films and related literary materials.

Faruk Lasaki spoke on the making of Changing Faces after the screening. The film critics praised the exceptional quality of his movie which they rated above the other movies in Nollywood. They wanted the movie to be shown at the various cinemas in Nigeria.

Hope Obioma Opara, President of the film festival and the Founder/Festival Director Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima were happy with the impressive turn out and agreed that with more sponsors the EKOIFF will attract more international filmmakers and tourists to Lagos for the benefit of the Nigerian film industry and boost tourism.

The five days film festival continues tomorrow Sunday with the African premiere of Emmanuel Itier‘s multiple award winning spiritual documenatary “The Invocation” narrated by Sharon Stone, the famous Hollywood actress of the Basic Instinct fame.

2nd Eko International Film Festival Programme


2nd Eko International Film Festival Programme

Saturday July 9th – Thursday July 14th, 2011

SATURDAY, July 9th OPENING DAY @ Silverbird Galleria, 133 Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, Lagos

Hosted by __________

9:00am – 10:00am

Arrival of Guests, Participants and Attendants.

10:00am – 10:30am

National Anthem and Opening remarks

10:30am – 12:00 noon

CHANGING FACES/ Nigerian Premiere
By Faruk Lasaki/ Nigeria / 2009 / 92 min


Faruk Lasaki’s Changing Faces suggests personal angels and demons are not simply metaphorical, but wield a tangible influence on mortals which we cannot comprehend.

Marriage means little to Lola, the hedonistic journalist. Unmarried herself, she refuses to let a mere trifle like a wedding ring deter her from a promising sexual encounter. However, the devoutly Christian Dale Svenson takes marriage very seriously. He is even prim and proper with his own wife. Assigned to cover the painfully dull architectural conference he will address, the uptight Svenson catches her eye. Over the course of a week, Lola plays an elaborate game of sexual cat and mouse with her prey. Eventually, it indeed turns out that whatever Lola wants, Lola gets.

However, this time conquest comes with a price, both for Lola and Svenson. Faces posits a world in which sex not only occurs on a physical level, but on a spiritual level, involving the spirits people carry with them. By some fluke, Lola and Svenson swap their moral compasses during their night of passion. Now recklessly lecherous, Svenson recognizes something happened to him that night, which threatens to derail his marriage and career. On the wagon and living with integrity, Lola by contrast welcomes her new square life.

While Svenson resorts to a witch doctor’s services in a moment of desperation, Faces ultimately links salvation and faith. Lasaki’s debut narrative film, written by Yinka Ogun, is surprisingly overt in its Christian orientation. It is a morality tale in which morality matters. It suggests a life of rectitude is preferable to the ostensive pleasure of sin. However, like Christian films produced domestically, the production values are spotty and the acting is sometimes suspect. British actress Rachel Young fares the best as Lola, the former temptress. Unfortunately, as Svenson, her fellow countrymen, Marc Baylis comes across like an actor in a Christian film.

Still, in many ways Faces is an intriguing film. His scenes involving the unseen “angels” are particularly clever in their staging and Emmanuel Fagbure has a real screen presence as Lola’s leering supernatural companion. It also serves as an interesting reflection of contemporary Nigeria, in that the inter-racial relationships never raise eyebrows—at least for that specific reason. Though undercut by a weak lead, Faces suggests Lasaki might have some fascinating films in his future.

SUNDAY, July 10th

9:00am – 10:00am

A short film by Diego Sanchidrian, Spain/ / 2010 / 11 min


Synopsis: It is said that dreams are unreachable for they are far away,hiding beyond the stars. But in order to make them come true you do not have to know where they hide, you just do not have to be bold enough to…

A short film by Jose Gomez Gaugo, Spain / 2009 / 15 min

Synopsis: With my hammer I forge the store of every life, of every person. The most wonderful moments, the most humble, the most fabulous… All of them have been conceived by me.

A short film by David Macian and Eduardo Molinari, Spain / 2010 / 6 min

Synopsis: He’s crazy about food; she’ll do anything to please him. A perfect romance as long as something is in the fridge.

10:00am – 12:00 noon

THE INVOCATION – African Pemiere
By Emmanuel Itier/Narrated by Sharon Stone, U.S.A /2010 / 90 min

THE INVOCATION narrated by Sharon stone

Synopsis: An exploration of the notion of ‘God’ and World Peace through Religion, Spirituality, History, Science, Politics and Arts.

MONDAY, July 11th

9:00am – 10:00am


A short film by ARI, U.S.A/2010/ 26 min

Synopsis: “Dreams for Nigeria” highlights both the challenges and achievements of seven female members of Nigeria’s House of Representatives, and the role they have played in their country’s political, social and economic development. The documentary follows the legislators as they meet with their constituents and discuss their goals for the future of Nigeria. Highlighting education and better access to healthcare as necessary tasks, these women hope to be models to Nigeria’s youth and present a diversely unified Nigeria where everyday dreams are attainable.

The representatives highlighted in the documentary include: Hon. Binta Garba Masi, Adamawa State; Hon. Saudatu Sani, Kaduna State; Hon. Titi Akindahunsi, Ekiti State; Hon. Maimuna Adaji, Kwara State; Hon. Florence Akinwale, Ekiti State; Hon. Nimota Oba Suleiman, Kwara State; Hon. Beni Lar, Plateau State.

10:00am – 12:00 noon

By Kayode Ibisankale, Nigeria/ 2009 / 83 min


Synopsis: Dundun takes the viewer to the city of Oyo in Nigeria where the drum is believed to have originated. This comprehensive documentary shows the cultural and historical context surrounding the drum and an in-depth examination of its construction, from chopping down the correct tree to the finishing design touches. The film also presents many performances and demonstrates who may use the drum, when and for what it is used, and what is communicated.

TUESDAY, July 12th

9:00am – 10:00am

A short film by Carlos A. Sambricio, Spain / 2008 / 18 min

Synopsis: Sara encounters her boyfriend Fran, who died in a car crash six months earlier. A mysterous and breathtaking mood develops as Fran Employes a hypnotyc seduction game in order to convince Sara that he is real and that they can be together again.

A short film by Chino Moya, Spain/UK, 2010/ 8 min

Synopsis: After a dispute, a young woman leaves her older boyfriend’s comfortable apartment.
She has nowhere to go, so she wanders the streets aimlessly, eventually ending up in a café where she has a random encounter.

10:00am – 12:00 noon

By Iara Lee, U.S.A / 2010 / 73min

Cultue of Resistance poste

Synopsis: Does each gesture really make a difference? Can music and dance be weapons of peace? In 2003, on the eve of the Iraq war, director Iara Lee embarked on a journey to better understand a world increasingly embroiled in conflict and, as she saw it, heading for self-destruction. After several years, travelling over five continents, Iara encountered growing numbers of people who committed their lives to promoting change. This is their story. From IRAN, where graffiti and rap became tools in fighting government repression, to BURMA, where monks acting in the tradition of Gandhi take on a dictatorship, moving on to BRAZIL, where musicians reach out to slum kids and transform guns into guitars, and ending in PALESTINIAN refugee camps in LEBANON, where photography, music, and film have given a voice to those rarely heard, CULTURES OF RESISTANCE explores how art and creativity can be ammunition in the battle for peace and justice.

Featuring: Medellín poets for peace, Capoeira masters from Brazil, Niger Delta militants, Iranian graffiti artists, women’s movement leaders in Rwanda, Lebanon’s refugee filmmakers, U.S. political pranksters, indigenous Kayapó activists from the Xingu River, Israeli dissidents, hip-hop artists from Palestine, and many more…

Cultures of Resistance Awards:
ETHIOPIA/ ADDIS ABABA, Audience Award, Addis International Film Festival
USA/ CA, Best Documentary, Tiburon International Film Festival
INDIA/ JAIPUR, Green Rose Award, Jaipur International Film Festival
BENIN/ OUIDAH, Python Audience Prize, Jury Special Mentions, Ouidah International Film Festival
UKRAINE/ KIEV, Best Documentary on Human Rights, Steps International Film Festival

WEDNESDAY, July 13th

9:00am – 10:00am

A short film by Rosa Marquez, Spain/ 2009/ 14 min

Synopsis: Ana wakes up in an old abandoned stable; next to her, there is a mysterious girl who seems to have been there for a long time, but the only thing she can find out about her is her name: Irina. Ana will try desperately to get Irina’s help to escape from their captor.

A short film by Eduardo Casanova, Spain / 2009 / 25 min

Synopsis: Violeta Largertija is a great prima donna with social phobia. Violeta can neither speak nor relate by anybody that knows her, with her lovesick character, she survives feeding on tranquillizers.
Bertlo is crazy in love with Violeta, but he knows her problem and has a plan to know her.
Anxiety is a story about tranquillizers, an eccentric story, egocentric, excessive, melodramatic, dark, but especially anxious

10:00am – 12:00 noon

By Ugochukwu Joseph Ubaka, Nigeria / 2009 / 84 min


Synopsis: IJALOKO an ex-convict and a ghetto monster, abducts five kids from his neighborhood, JOHNNIE, SMALL, KONKOLO, FRYO and BOBO, he brainwash them in view of giving them a good life.

IJALOKO introduces them into using of hard-drugs thereby destroying their human conscience and making them menace to the society in order for him to achieve his selfish desires.

Five of these kids die one after the other at different occasion in a miserable ways except JOHNNIE the luckiest of them all.
Through LILY, Madam JET’S Daughter whom JOHNNIE is dating, JOHNNIE realizes the importance of education and good life.

JOHNNIE makes up his mind to quit gangsterism and return to school, but IJALOKO being the obstacle because of the vow that they’ve taken until death does them part. JOHNNIE had no option but to kill IJALOKO in order for him to get a better life.

THURSDAY, July 14th

9.00am – 10:00am


10:00am – 12:00 noon

By Chike Ibekwe, Nigeria/2009/ 94 min


Synopsis: Eternal, the 94 minutes film tells the unforgettable story of Dozie and Chima, two faithful Nigerian friends who were soldiers with the ECOMOG mission in West Africa and after returning from the peacekeeping operation in Sierra Leone, they went to a social event. But on the way back, Chima was struck by a car and died on the spot. Dozie was heartbroken as he mourned the loss of his dearest buddy until one day the ghost of his faithful companion Chima inhabited his body to continue their eternal bond.

Chike got funding support from France to shoot Eternal. The film was selected and screened at Film festival d’armiens in France in 2008 and also at ZUMA Film festival in Nigeria in 2008. He is currently working on his second film Letter to the Professor featuring Prof. Wole Soyinka, the first African Nobel laureate in Literature.

Chike Ibekwe is a hardworking filmmaker/producer and writer. He created, produced and directed OFF CAMPUS a TV Sitcom series.

African Premiere of The Invocation at 2nd Eko International Film Festival

THE INVOCATION narrated by Sharon stone

The African premiere of Emmanuel Itier’s multiple award winning movie THE INVOCATION narrated by the famous Hollywood actress Sharon Stone will be at the 2nd Eko International Film Festival (EKOIFF) on Saturday July 9, 2011, at the prestigious Silverbird Galleria, 133 Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, Lagos.

THE INVOCATION is a thought provoking film about God and World Peace. An exploration of the notion of the Divine around the world and through Religion, Spirituality, Science, History, Politics and Arts.

It is an invitation to elevate our school of thought and to change the code of human interaction in relation to our perceptions of God. The film proposes answers to universal questions in both a religious and non-religious context: Who am I, where do I come from, and where am I going? Is there something beyond the here and now? What is the global idea of ‘God’ which has presented us with countless conflicts throughout human history? How can we live in Peace?

The project was filmed around the world by a team of talented religious and non-religious filmmakers, and challenges us to go beyond our differences in seeking the common goal of world peace. Without agenda, the film presents a message of global understanding, unity, and humanity. Featuring interviews with respected social and political lime lights, spiritual leaders, artists, entertainers and other influential figures, THE INVOCATION is a truly inspiring source of information that compels you to “be the change you want to see in the world.”

Credited cast:

Karen Armstrong …

Michael Beckwith …

Mustapha Cherif …

Deepak Chopra …

Chaim Cohen …

Stewart Copeland …

Brian Cox …

The Dalai Lama …

Rosario Dawson …

Veronica De Laurentiis …

Amit Goswami …

John Hagelin …
Ervin Laszlo …
Malcolm McDowell …
Dean Radin … (as Dean Radin Ph.D.)

Awards and Festivals:
LA International Film Festival 2010 – WINNER, Best Documentary
Bev.Hills Film, TV, & New Media Fest. 2010 – WINNER, Humanitarian Award
The Orlando Global Peace Film Festival
The Spiritual Festival of Mexico City
Tel Aviv Spirit Film Festival
Santa Fe Film Festival
Santa Barbara Film Festival

For Reservations and Tickets, call 08033036171, 07066379246.

Nollywood Star Olu Jacobs wins life achievement award in Cameroun

Olu Jacobs 2
Olu Jacobs receiving his award from the administrator and officials of the Écrans Noirs.

Accomplished Nigerian actor and Nollywood star Olu Jacobs was given a standing ovation at the closing ceremony of the 15th Écrans Noirs Film Festival, Saturday night of June 25, 2011 in Yaoundé, Cameroun. He was greeted with applause by the ecstatic audience as he mounted the stage to receive the Prix Charles Mensah (Ecran d’Honneur) for his outstanding life achievement as an actor of local and international success, especially for the great impact of Nollywood in Africa.

Olu Jacobs
Olu Jacobs thanking the the administrator, officials and the audience at the 15th Écrans Noirs.

“African cinema and its actors” the theme of 15th edition of the Écrans noirs was a noble tribute to those who work in the continent to advance the seventh art according to the administrator Bassek Ba Kobhio. It attracted thousands of people from June 18-25, 2011.

Present at the closing ceremony were Nigerian filmmaker Chike Ibekwe who was a co-winner of the best film prize at the 14th Écrans Noirs and one of the appointed presidents of the jury in 2011 and Mr. Madu Chikwendu, Regional Secretary of the Pan-African Federation of Filmmakers (FEPACI), co-founder and member of the Board of Trustees of Association of Nollywood Core Producers (ANCOP), and the sole Nigerian representative in the International Federation of Film Producers (FIAPF).

Click here for details of the film festival.