Sylvia Nduka wins 2011 Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria

supple MBGN 2011
Sylvia Nduka, the winner of the 2011 Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria (MBGN) Beauty Pageant

Black beauty Miss Taraba , Sylvia Nduka is the new Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria (MBGN). She was the choice of the judges and by the popular votes of the public who had a challenging task of selecting from the bevy of 34 final contestants from different states in Nigeria.

The new beauty queen was crowned Saturday night at the Eko Expo Centre on Victoria Island, Lagos. She also got a brand new Hyundai car and N3 million cash prize and will also represent Nigeria at the 2011 Miss World Beauty Pageant in London, UK.

The other respective winners in other categories of the beauty pageant are the following.

MBGN Tourism 2011 – Obioma Isiwu (Miss Enugu)
MBGN ECOWAS 2011 – Grace Ndam (Miss Lagos)
MBGN 2011/BellaNaija Miss Photogenic – Tobi Banjoko (Miss Ondo)
MBGN 2011 Miss Amity – Delphine Okobah (Miss Ebonyi)
MBGN 2011 Miss La Casera – Nwando Ebeledike (Miss Adamawa)
MBGN 2011 Model – Oluchi Okafor (Miss Kogi)
MBGN 2011 Face of Select Pro – Gabriella Ndu (Miss Abia)

Faruk Lasaki’s Nigerian premiere of Changing Faces at 2011 EKOIFF


Faruk Lasaki’s Nigerian premiere of Changing Faces at 2011 EKOIFF

The Nigerian premiere of Faruk Lasaki’s spiritual thriller “Changing Faces” will definitely thrill the audience at the second Eko International Film Festival at the Silverbird Galleria from July 9-14, 2011.

Faruk Lasaki is one of the ambitious filmmakers who are making Nigeria proud in the international arena by making movies that are quite different from the common Nollywood flicks. He is also an accomplished producer of award winning commercials and documentaries who got his first break with his 15 minutes short documentary “Scars” (CICATRIZES) that won him $20,000 at the É Tudo Verdade – Festival Internacional de Documentários in Brazil in 1998.

“Changing Faces” is a 92 minutes metaphysical romantic thriller on the transference of spirits through sex as ‘Two unlikely bedfellows share a night of passion’ and their lives were never the same again. The film parades an international cast of professional British and notable Nigerian actors and actresses Alex Lopez, Keppy Ekpeyong Bassey and Ayo Mogaji.

“Changing Faces” was premiered at the Pavillion les Cinema Du Sud of the 61st Cannes Film Festival., featured in competition at the Panafrican Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO) in 2009, Cairo International Film Festival in 2009. Black Diaspora International Film Festival of New York in 2008.

“Changing Faces” was the first Nigerian film to be dubbed into French and screened at FESPACO and Ecrans Noirs in 2009. And on the 3rd and 6th of August 2009, Canal France International (CFI) presented it as the first Nigerian feature film on it’s network and interviewed the director Faruk Lasaki.

Chike Ibekwe heads the Jury at 15th Ecrans Noirs Film Festival

Chike Ibekwe
Chike Ibekwe

International award winning Nigerian filmmaker Chike Ibekwe is one of the Presidents of the Jury at the 15th Ecrans Noirs Film Festival from June 18-25, 2011, in Yaoundé, Cameroun.

Ibekwe’s first feature “Eternal” was co-winner of the Golden Screen best film award with “An Unusual Woman” by Burkinabe director Abdoulaye Dao at the 2010 edition of the festival.

The Festival Director Cameroon film maker Bassek Ba Kobhio said Ecrans Noirs was started as a meeting place for African filmmakers with the public and each other and to create a significant awareness for the cinema in Central Africa.

The film festival has become a competitive event since three years ago, where all types and genres of African films are shown, along with films about Africa or African communities made by filmmakers outside Africa.

Bank of America Presents 19th HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival

HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival

20 Jun 2011 16:33 Africa/Lagos

The HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival Presented by Bank of America Celebrates Its 19th Year

Director, Milos Foreman, will attend on opening night to introduce “One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest”

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, June 20, 2011

NEW YORK, June 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Once again, Bryant Park will be a destination for film buffs on summer nights in New York City, with an all-star legendary film line up for the 19th year of the HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival presented by Bank of America and in association with The Bryant Park Corporation.

Continuing the popular tradition of presenting “stars under the stars,” the free outdoor festival returns Monday evenings at sunset, beginning June 20 and running through August 22. The season kicks off on the first day of summer with ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST, starring Jack Nicholson as a patient who leads a revolt at a mental facility in this 1975 favorite.

The film’s Oscar winning director Milos Foreman, will attend the opening night festivities in Bryant Park on June 20th to introduce the film.

In the heat of the night

The festival’s closing night film, DIRTY HARRY, stars Clint Eastwood who made movie history when he took the role of Harry Callahan. Other highlights of this year’s festival include Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell in GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES, Paul Newman in COOL HAND LUKE, and Oscar winning film IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT.

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes classic
A scene from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

“Support for the film festival reflects our belief that the arts, in all its forms, should be shared with the widest possible audience,” said Jeff Barker, Bank of America New York City president. “Only in New York can you spend a summer evening outdoors with legends of the screen and people from all walks of life amid the city’s skyscrapers.”

“It is with great pride that HBO enters its 19th year of showing classic films on the big screen in Bryant Park. The festival has turned into a favorite summertime tradition for many New Yorkers. As neighbors of Bryant Park, it is a great way for HBO and Bank of America to give back to the city,” said Bill Nelson, Chairman and CEO, HBO.

The films will be projected in 35mm onto a screen 20 feet high by 40 feet wide. Bryant Park is located at 42nd Street and the Avenue of the Americas. Snacks, meals and refreshments are available at Bryant Park food kiosks and restaurants. Each presentation will show on Monday evenings starting at sunset. The lawn opens at 5pm. Classic animation provided courtesy of Warner Bros.

For more information, call the HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival hotline at (212) 512-5700. For film series information, visit the festival’s website at (will be live by June 1st).



JUNE 20 ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST (Saul Zaentz Co.)-Rebellious Jack Nicholson leads a patient revolt at a mental facility. He urges the inmates to rebel against the nasty Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher). Based on the Ken Kesey novel, it has been directed with force, humanity and a sly smile by Milos Forman. It is the second film (after “It Happened One Night”) to score an Oscar Grand Slam, winning the five top prizes. Kirk Douglas owned the screen rights for years, but was too senior to play the lead when son Michael finally co-produced. The American Film Institute ranked “Cuckoo” as #33 Greatest Movie of All Time. (1975) 133 Min.

JUNE 27 THE 39 STEPS (MGM)-An innocent man goes on the run to prove he is not a murderer and that a spy ring exists in Scotland. The exuberant thriller is one of Alfred Hitchcock’s early British masterpieces. Robert Donat is the “everyman” in trouble and Madeleine Carroll is the classy blonde who lends a helping hand. It has been remade several times for big screen, small screen, even radio, but never as successfully. It even turned up recently as a cleverly conceived show on Broadway and in London’s West End. Watch out for a villain with a missing finger and a music hall performer named Mr. Memory. You won’t forget him. Special thanks to the British Academy of Film and Television Arts New York (BAFTA New York) (1935) 86 Min.

JULY 4 EASY RIDER (Sony/Col) Stoners Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper (he also directed) hit the road on their customized motorcycles to find the “real” America. 1960’s peace and love soon turn to fear and hate. The script was Oscar-nominated, though reportedly much was improvised between L.A. and New Orleans, as the low budget movie was being shot by Laszlo Kovacs. Rumor also has it that plenty of marijuana was smoked on this road trip, giving new meaning to the term “high”way. Steppenwolf, The Byrds, The Band, Jimi Hendrix and Little Eva are heard on the soundtrack. And yes, that is legendary record producer Phil Spector making a cameo appearance as a drug dealer. (1969) 94 Min.

JULY 11 GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES (TCF)-They may be just “two little girls from Little Rock,” but Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell are on the trail of bigger stones. As we all know, “diamonds are a girl’s best friend.” Two gold digging showgirls head for Paris in this brightly colored musical comedy based on the Anita Loos story and a Broadway hit starring Carol Channing. Fox intended it as a movie showcase for their biggest star Betty Grable, but Marilyn came cheaper. The musical number “Anyone Here For Love?” featuring the statuesque Russell and a gaggle of disinterested chorus boys (as the U.S. Olympic team!) is a genuine camp classic. (1953) 91 Min.

JULY 18 IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT (MGM)-This taut murder mystery was the surprise Oscar winner for Best Picture over “Bonnie and Clyde” and “The Graduate.” Ironically, that very award ceremony was postponed due to the assassination of Martin Luther King. Rod Steiger plays a bigoted Mississippi sheriff who is reluctant to accept help from a black, big city detective Sidney (“Call me Mister Tibbs”) Poitier. Due to racial unrest in the South, filming necessarily took place in Illinois. The moody Quincy Jones score was Grammy nominated and Ray Charles made the title song an instant standard. (1967) 109 Min.

JULY 25 THE LADY EVE (Universal)-This sparkling romantic comedy is the work of a master, Preston Sturges. Barbara Stanwyck (at her most tempting) is a con artist/card shark out to dupe the clueless heir to a brewery fortune (Henry Fonda). He is an ophiologist by trade and knows more about snakes than girls. Just back from a year up the Amazon on a serpent hunt, he is an apple ripe for the plucking. The script is brimming with sophisticated banter (earning an Oscar nomination for Best Writing, Original Story), but Sturges is not above some well-placed slapstick and physical pratfalls. In 2002, the AFI placed it #26 on a list of Top 100 Greatest Love Stories in American cinema. (1941) 94 Min.

AUG. 1 COOL HAND LUKE (Warner Bros.)-“What we’ve got here is…failure to communicate.” So says a sadistic guard (Strother Martin) to Luke (Paul Newman) who is serving time on a Dixie chain gang. Luke has trouble with authority figures and will find countless ways to rebel against the system during his incarceration. You may never be able to face an egg again after the justifiably famous (and excruciating) eating scene in which Luke puts away over four dozen of the hard-boiled variety. Newman received his fourth Oscar nomination, but it was supporting actor George Kennedy, as a fellow inmate, who took home an acting prize. (1967) 126 Min. (Panavision)

AUG 8 AIRPLANE! (Paramount)-“You ever been in a cockpit before?” No? Well, now’s your chance. The gags just keep coming and coming in this raucous spoof of Hollywood’s all-star disaster epics. A Zucker/Abrahams/Zucker collaboration, it was nominated for a Golden Globe as Best Comedy and won a WGA award for Best Comedy Script. These are the same wild and crazy guys responsible for the popular “Naked Gun” series. Star turns by Robert Stack, Lloyd Bridges, Peter Graves and the late, great Leslie (“Don’t call me Shirley”) Nielsen. Cameos are by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Maureen McGovern and an autopilot inflatable doll! (1980) 86 min.

AUG. 15 HIGH SIERRA (Warner Bros.)-The landmark crime drama by Raoul Walsh took Humphrey Bogart off the “B” list and propelled him into superstardom. His big hit “The Maltese Falcon” came out later the same year. Here he is Roy “Mad Dog” Earle, a hardened ex-con on the lam from the cops, who, way deep down, has a heart of gold. The part was intended for Paul Muni (contract dispute) or George Raft. Bogie himself convinced Raft to turn down the role. Good move. “Sierra” was co-scripted by his old friend and drinking buddy, John Huston. Top-billed Ida Lupino co-stars as the devoted moll and Bogart’s own pooch, Zero, appears as the cute mongrel Pard. (1941) 100 Min.

AUG. 22 DIRTY HARRY (Warner Bros.)-Clint Eastwood made movie history when he took the role of Harry Callahan. He went on to play the iconic cop four more times. Originally considered for the part were Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando, Steve McQueen and Paul Newman, but the “Gods of Hollywood Casting’ were smiling down on Clint. No more Italian westerns. Don Siegel’s direction packs quite a punch, as Harry goes about ridding the San Francisco streets of a serial sniper. His unique take on law enforcement involves carrying a very large .44 Magnum. Are ya feeling lucky, punk? Come on, make Harry’s day. (1971) 102 min. (Panavision)


Home Box Office, Inc. is the premium television programming subsidiary of Time Warner Inc., providing two pay television services – HBO® and Cinemax® – to approximately 85 million subscribers worldwide . The services offer the most popular subscription video-on-demand products, HBO On Demand® and Cinemax On Demand® as well as HBO GO® and MAX GO®, HD feeds and multiplex channels. Internationally, HBO branded television networks, along with the subscription video-on-demand products HBO On Demand and HBO GO, bring HBO services to over 60 countries. HBO programming is sold into over 150 countries worldwide.

HBO’s philanthropic efforts are defined by a mission to cultivate and develop new talent through support of innovative educational organizations. We are committed to ensuring the stories we present reflect the diverse world in which we live and the voices from all communities are provided the access and resources to share their experiences with audiences around the world.


As one of the world’s largest financial institutions and a major supporter of arts and culture, Bank of America has a vested interest and plays a meaningful role in the international dialogue on cultural understanding. As a global company, Bank of America demonstrates its commitment to the arts by supporting such efforts as after-school arts programs, grants to help expand libraries, programs to conserve artistic heritage as well as a campaign to encourage museum attendance. Bank of America offers customers free access to more than 150 of the nation’s finest cultural institutions through its acclaimed Museums on Us® program, while Art in our Communities® shares exhibits from the company’s corporate collection with communities across the globe through local museum partners. The Bank of America Charitable Foundation also provides philanthropic support to museums, theaters and other arts-related nonprofits to expand their services and offerings to schools and communities. Bank of America partners with more than six thousand arts institutions worldwide.


Bryant Park Corporation (BPC), a private not-for-profit company, was founded in 1980 to renovate, finance, and operate Bryant Park in New York City. BPC is funded by income from events, concessions, and corporate sponsors, as well as an assessment on neighboring properties, and does not accept government or philanthropic monies. In addition to providing security and sanitation services, and tending the park’s lush lawn and seasonal garden displays, BPC provides public amenities and activities, including movable chairs and tables, café umbrellas, restaurants, food kiosks, world-class restrooms, and a wide range of free events throughout the year. The Midtown park, conveniently located at 6th Avenue between 40th and 42nd Streets, is visited by over 5 million people each year and is one of the busiest public spaces in the world. BPC’s website,, provides more detailed information and a schedule of upcoming events.


CONTACT: Suzanne Pinto, HBO, +1-212-512-1904; T.J. Crawford, Bank of America, +1-646-855-3301

Web Site:

Egyptian feature wins best film award at 8th Tarifa

Microphone – Official Trailer from Ahmad on Vimeo.

Egyptian Ahmad Abdalla’s “Microphone” has won the 15 000 € best feature-length movie award at the 8th African Film Festival of Tarifa (FCAT) held from June 11th to the 19th, 2011, in Tarifa, Spain.

148 African movies from 23 African countries competed for 8 awards with a total 46 500 € cash prizes.

The jury said “Microphone” won “for its energy and shedding of light on the potential of the new Egypt and also because it reflects the role of art in political and social change.”

Ahmad Abdalla
Ahmad Abdalla

“Microphone” was the winner of the coveted “Golden Tanit” Award of the official competition of feature films at the 23rd edition of Carthage Film Festival which was held in Tunis from October 23 to 31, 2010 and the movie was in the Official selection of the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival (Vanguard Program), Official selection of the 2010 Vancouver International Film Festival and Official Competition of the Dubai International Film Festival in 2010.

Synopsis: A bold example of new north African cinema, “Microphone” mixes and remixes fiction and cinema verité as it follows an Egyptian expatriate’s return to Alexandria, where he dives into a thriving underground music and arts scene. [Synopsis courtesy Toronto International Film Festival]

The details of the 8th African Film Festival of Tarifa (FCAT) are in the following press release.

The Awards of 8th African Film Festival Of Tarifa

June 19th, Tarifa, Spain – 8th African Film Festival of Tarifa (FCAT) awarded eight new African movies with awards endowed with 46 500 euros. The festival jury selected winners from more than 140 movies from 23 African countries.

1. The award for the best feature-length movie (15 000 €) goes to “MICROPHONE” (Ahmad Abdalla, Egypt)for its energy and shedding of light on the potential of the new Egypt and also because it reflects the role of art in political and social change.

2. The award for the best direction (10 000 €) goes to “A JAMA” (Daoud Aoulad-Syad, Morocco/France) for its naturalistic use of non-professional actors. Furthermore, the film found a way to speak about the taboo topic of religion with sensitivity and humour.

3. The award for the best actress (1 500 €) goes to DENISE NEWMAN for “SHIRLEY ADAMS” (Oliver Hermanus, South Africa). The actress is believable in her complex, sober and sombre portrayal of the film character. With her construction of the character she was able to access the most essential core of humanity.

4. The award for the best actor (1 500 €) goes to YOUSSOUF DJAORO for “UN HOMME QUI CRIE” (Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, Chad/France/Belgium). The actor’s portrayal is very charismatic and tender. It truly shows his mastery of the artform.

5. The award for the best documentary feature film (10 000 €) goes to “KOUNDI ET LE JEUDI NATIONAL” (Ariani Astrid Atodji, Cameroon) for his rigorous and tender look at the subject matter, which highlights the great opportunities that traditional cultures offer to Africa’s future.

6. The award for the best short movie (2 000 €) goes to “MWANSA THE GREAT” (Rungano Nyoni, Zambia/UK) for its ability to draw us into a child’s imagination and the world of magic, combining courage and talent.

7. The RTVA award for Audiovisual Creation, the best short film award (1 500 €) goes to “MWANSA THE GREAT” (Rungano Nyoni, Zambia/UK) for having been able to portray the noble nature of characters whose actions are imbued with a sense of social responsibility. The story is a metaphor of a certain social reality in a specific part of the world.

8. The audience award for the best feature length movie (5 000 €) goes to “UN HOMME QUI CRIE” (Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, Chad/France/Belgium).

9. The SIGNIS award for the best fiction feature film goes to “A JAMA” (Daoud Aoulad-Syad, Morocco/France) for its humorous look at injustice and corruption and for showing the courage and determination of a simple man who stands up to all who stand in his way in order to defend his rights and denounce the abuse of power by politicians and false prophets.

The special mentions of the jury go to:

● “HAWI” (fiction, Ibrahim El-Batout, Egypt/Qatar) for its serious research, its tender look at the past and its link with the current problematic political climate in Egypt.
● “ASHLAA” (document, Hakim Belabbes, Morocco) for its ability to reconcile magnificently a personal story and a topic of universal interest. A tribute to all filmmakers.
● “DREXCIYA” (document, Akosua Adoma Owusu, Ghana) for the radical nature of the project, its effective use of limited economic resourcesand its poetic insight.
● “STATE OF VIOLENCE” (fiction, Khalo Matabane, South Africa/France) for showing how peace can only be achieved through forgiveness and reconciliation.
● “MICROPHONE” (fiction, Ahmad Abdalla, Egypt) for reflecting the arrival of the wind of change in Egyptian society, as well as the importance of culture as part of a democratic system which respects freedom above all else.

FCAT, one of the biggest European festival of African cinema, welcomes this year over 200 African filmmakers including legendary African director Moustapha Alassane and focuses among others on African Diaspore in Latin America, the role of cinema in recent revolutions in Tunis and Egypt or restrospective of Congolese cinematography.

Festival was accompanied among others by 3rd Africa Produce Forum, where 10 African filmmakers competed with their projects to get funding from European producers including representatives of Al-Jazeera Docuemntary Channel. The winning projects will be announced soon.

In this year 4th Photoafrica, whose topic was “Urban Space”, competed twenty five photographers from eleven African countries. The winners are:

● 1st place award (€1,500) – Jessica MacLeod (South Africa) with the photograph titled “You see a shack, I see my house”
● 2nd place award (€1,000) – James Muriuki (Kenya) with the photograph titled “44”
● 3rd place award (€500) – Mimi Cherono (Kenya) with the photograph titled “Khusi and the Giraffes”

The exhibiton of altogether 27 large format photographs will be inaugurated and installed outdoors in Tarifa before and through the festival and after its closure will be travelling the whole year through Spanish and African cities.

About FCAT
African film festival of Tarifa (FCAT – Festival de Cine Africano de Tarifa) is an independent and competitive film festival and one of the biggest African film festivals in Europe. The FCAT celebrated its eighth edition from 11th to 19th June in Andalusian town Tarifa – the closest town of continental Europe to the African continent – the two continents are in fact only 14 km apart from one another in this geographical area. More on

Filip Hruby
International Press Officer
African Film Festival of Tarifa (FCAT)
Mobile: +420/775 011 550
Skype: filip.hruby2409

Lilies of the Ghetto selected for Eko International Film Festival

Lilies of the Ghetto 2
A scene from “Lilies of the Ghetto”

The Nigerian Nouvelle Vague Cinema is the Cinema of the moment…says Ubaka Joseph Ugochukwu, whose award winning feature Lilies of the Ghetto is one of the notable Nigerian films expected to draw crowds at the second Eko International Film Festival (EKOIFF) opening on Saturday July 9, at the prestigious Silverbird Galleria on Victoria Island, Lagos.


Lilies of the Ghetto represents a new tendency among the Nigerian film industry and film directors who apart from Nollywood begun to develop a high quality cinema, accessible to a worldwide audience..

Now film professionals are gradually producing quality movies, despite the the financial challenges that are obstacle to certain projects and its bringing about the long expected change from what has been termed low quality movies to a cinema that will acceptance in the global film market.

The 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.

Ubaka Joseph Ugochukwu
The director Ubaka Joseph Ugochukwu was born Born in Enugu, Nigeria. He studied political science at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. After his graduation he moved to Lagos – the heart of home video production in Nigeria. In 1999 he and another young Pan African filmmaker in Dakar, Senegal, created a legal film association called Filmi Gët, and they started to produce films.

Lara Lee and other top filmmakers set for 2nd Eko International Film Festival

Lara Lee
Korean-Brazilian filmmaker Iara Lee [Photo: Michael (Yeong-ung) Yang, The Korea Central Daily News]

International award winning Korean Brazilian film producer and director Lara Lee is among the leading filmmakers who have already submitted films for the 2nd Eko International Film Festival coming up from Saturday July 9 to Thursday July 14, at the Silverbird Galleria in Lagos, Nigeria. The popular filmmaker who is based in New York City celebrated as the director of the documentaries Synthetic Pleasures and Modulations, as well as for her involvement with the “Gaza Freedom Flotilla”, in which at least nine pro-Palestinian activists were killed by Israeli naval forces.
She is the founder of the Caipirinha Foundation and a member of the Council of Advisors to the National Geographic Society.

Lee was the producer of the São Paulo International Film Festival.
“Synthetic Pleasures”, which deals with the impact of high technology on mass culture was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival, and won the Jury Award for Best Documentary at the Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival.

In 1998, she released the multimedia project “Modulations”, which traces the evolution of electronic music. Her most recent film was “Beneath the Borqa”, a 2000 short documentary film about the lives of women and children under the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.
Her Cultures of Resistance, which celebrates creative acts of political struggle is a special selection of the Eko International Film Festival.

Other notable filmmakers are Gugu Michaels, a Nigerian American director who is an accomplished filmmaker who has worked as a director and producer on a number of commercial and independent projects including the feature films “Thugz”, “Repentance” and “Dangerous County”. He has also helmed a number of campaigns for retailers like Cadillac, Lamborghini and Porche. Prior to co-founding New Era Pictures, Michaels served as president of Dallas based Redrumm Records and worked with such artists as hip hop giants UGK; Alix François Meier from Essen / Germany. An editor for documentaries at SPIEGEL TV, and since 1992, a director for documentaries and commissioned producer for public television and private broadcaster. He has a natural fondness for France and Spain: from the culinary bon-vivant image down to the catacombs in Paris, the half-Frenchman loves anything and everything to do with the two countries. But he particularly likes widening his horizons. This is what has already taken him half way round the world to meet protagonists in unusual situations and get them to tell their story. Meier’s “The King of Palma – Life according to Bruno“ is one of the top documentaries to be screened at the festival; and another notable filmmaker is the international award winning Nigerian director Chike Ibekwe, whose feature “Eternal” shared the Golden Screen best film award with “An Unusual Woman” by Burkinabe director Abdoulaye the 14th annual “Ecrans noirs” Film Festival in Yaounde (Cameroon) in 2010.

Another special selection is the award winning short documentary Dream for Nigeria produced by McNally Temple Associates, Inc. It is based on the challenges and achievements of seven female members of Nigeria’s House of Representatives, and the role they play in their country’s political, social and economic development.

The final list of the selected films will be announced on June 25, 2011.

Movie of the Month: The First Grader

Set in a mountain village in Kenya the film tells the remarkable true and uplifting story of a proud old Mau Mau veteran who is determined to seize his last chance to learn to read and write – and so ends up joining a class alongside six year-olds. Together he and his young teacher face fierce resistance, but ultimately they win through – and also find a new way of overcoming the burdens of the colonial past.
The First Grader

Hollywood icons gather to honour Legendary Actor Morgan Freeman

Morgan Freeman
Legendary Actor Morgan Freeman

6 Jun 2011 21:26 Africa/Lagos

Clint Eastwood, Helen Mirren, Sidney Poitier, Mike Nichols, Matthew Broderick, Rita Moreno and Many More Among Those Honoring Legendary Actor Morgan Freeman at the 39th AFI Life Achievement Award Ceremony
Honor Takes Place At Historic Sony Pictures Studios Thursday, June 9, 2011 At 7:00 p.m.
Show Premieres On TV Land Sunday, June 19, 2011 At 9:00 p.m. ET/PT

PR Newswire

LOS ANGELES, June 6, 2011

LOS ANGELES, June 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — AFI and TV Land announced today that Clint Eastwood, Helen Mirren, Sidney Poitier, Mike Nichols, Matthew Broderick and Rita Moreno are among the luminaries in film who will pay tribute to Morgan Freeman, the 39th AFI Life Achievement Award recipient. AFI will present its highest honor for a career in film to Freeman in Los Angeles on June 9 at Sony Pictures Studios. “TV Land Presents: The AFI Life Achievement Award Honoring Morgan Freeman” will air on TV Land on Sunday, June 19, 2011 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT .

Eastwood, Poitier and Nichols are all past AFI Life Achievement Award recipients.

Clint Eastwood, who received the AFI Life Achievement Award in 1996, has worked with Morgan Freeman many times over the years with extraordinary results, in films such as “Unforgiven,” the Oscar®-winning “Million Dollar Baby” and “Invictus.”

Sidney Poitier is one of Freeman’s biggest inspirations. In 1992, Freeman spoke at Poitier’s AFI Life Achievement Award ceremony, where he said, “Every man has his own heaven and for me, heaven has always been being in the movies, and always in my heaven…I had one bright light…Sidney Poitier.” Freeman will now share this accolade and a little slice of heaven with Poitier. Both actors took on the challenging task of playing former South African president, Nelson Mandela – Poitier in the television movie, “Mandela and de Klerk,” and Freeman on the big screen in “Invictus.”

Mike Nichols, who received the AFI Life Achievement Award last year, directed Freeman on Broadway in “The Country Girl” (2008).

Helen Mirren most recently worked with Freeman in the 2010 film, “Red,” which also co-starred Bruce Willis and Mary-Louise Parker.

Rita Moreno co-starred alongside Freeman in PBS’s “The Electric Company,” which was Freeman’s breakout role in television. The highly regarded children’s educational program won several Emmy® Awards during its broadcast run.

Matthew Broderick worked with Freeman in “Glory,” which was directed by Ed Zwick, produced by Pieter Jan Brugge and edited by Steven Rosenblum – all three are AFI Conservatory alumni. Rosenblum will receive the Franklin J. Schaffner Alumni Medal, awarded annually to an alumnus of AFI who best embodies talent, taste, dedication and commitment to quality filmmaking, as part of the Freeman gala.

The black-tie event will take place on historic Stage 15 at Sony Pictures Studios, where “The Wizard of Oz,” “Grand Hotel,” “Spiderman” and other classic movies were filmed. The stage will be transformed into an elegant ballroom to honor the storied career of Morgan Freeman. Proceeds from the AFI Life Achievement Award Gala directly support the Institute’s national educational programs and the preservation of American film history.

About the American Film Institute

AFI is America’s promise to preserve the history of the motion picture, to honor the artists and their work, and to educate the next generation of storytellers. AFI provides leadership in film, television and digital media and is dedicated to initiatives that engage the past, the present and the future of the moving image arts.

AFI preserves the legacy of America’s film heritage through the AFI Catalog of Feature Films , an authoritative record of American films from 1893 to the present, and the AFI Archive, which contains rare footage from across the history of the moving image.

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8th Tarifa Film Festival Presents 148 African movies

Tarifa 2011

6 Jun 2011 16:05 Africa/Lagos

8th Tarifa Film Festival Presents 148 African movies

TARIFA, June 6, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ — 8th African Film Festival of Tarifa presents between 11th and 19th of June 148 movies from 23 African countries, which compete for 8 awards endowed with 46 500 euros. One of the biggest European festival of African cinema welcomes this year over 200 African filmmakers including legendary African directors Abderrahmane Sissako and Moustapha Alassane and focuses among others on African Diaspore in Latin America, the role of cinema in recent revolutions in Tunis and Egypt or restrospective of Congolese cinematography.

Festival is accompanied by 3rd Africa Produce Forum, where 10 African filmmakers compete with their projects to get funding from European producers, while 4th Photoafrica competition offers to African photographers 3 000 euros in prize money. Festival, which attracts every year over ten thousands of film fans, takes place on the southernmost tip of Spanish coast only 14 km from Morocco across the Strait of Gibraltar.


Feature-length fiction movies (The African Dream section), documentaries (On the Other Side of the Strait section) and short films (Africa in Short section) compete for 8 awards endowed with 46 500 euros. There are awards for the best feature-length movie (15 000 euros), direction (10 000 euros),actor and actress (1 500 euros each), documentary (10 000 euros), short movie (2 000 euros), short movie audiovisual creation (1 500 euros) and Audience Award for the best feature length movie (5 000 euro).


There are 3 non-competitive sections of the festival – Open Screen (classics of African cinema, film adaptations of African literature…), Africa Rhytm (films dedicated to African music and dance), AnimAfrica (African short-length animation films).


Retrospective brings 4 sections focused on: Cinema and censorship / Cinema and democracy? (the case of Tunis and Egypt), Cinema of RD Congo (retrospective of Congolese cinematography from 60´s till the present), selection of movies regarding African Diaspore in Latin America and Carte Blanche of FIDADOC, selection of the films from Festival of documentary movies in Moroccan Agadir.


Ten African film directors will be pitching their new film projects at the 3rd Africa Produce Co-Production Forum to Spanish film producers and TV commissioning editors including representatives of Al-Jazeera Documentary Channel.

There are 4 selected feature-length projects (Mettou, Abderrahmane Sissako, Mauritania, The Boda Boda Thieves, Donald Mugisha/Jamie Tayler, Uganda/South Africa, And Then The Rains Return, Yemane I. Demissie, Ethiopia, Le Ntih, Narcisse Wandji, Cameroon) and 3 documentaries (Un Día Vi 10.000 Elefantes, Pere Ortín/Ramón Esono, Equatorial Guinea/Spain, Parles a Eux, Maïmuna Ndiaye, Burkina Faso, Cenizas del Perdón, Gilbert Ndunga Nsangata, Congo/Spain)

Apart from that there are 3 guest projects to enrich the forum by their experiences: Asube (feature length project), Richard Jordan, Spain, Citizens Without Borders (feature-length project), Lexy Uyi Osunde, Nigeria/Spain, Jeanne d’Arc Masriya (documentary), Iman Kamel, Egypt.


25 photographers from 11 African countries compete with their works in finale of 4th Photoafrica contest, which offers €3,000 in prize money through 3 awards and the topic of this year is “Urban Space”. The exhibiton of altogether 27 large format photographs will be inaugurated and installed outdoors in Tarifa before and through the festival and after its closure will be travelling the whole year through Spanish and African cities.

25 photographers competing at 4th Photoafrica: Abdelmohcine Nakari (Morroco), Aboubacar Traore (Mali), Adolphus Opara (Nigeria), Djibril Drame (Senegal), Georges Senga (RDC), James Muriuki (Kenya, Hlompho Letsielo, Lesotho, Resta Nyamwanza (Zimbabwe), Mário Macilau (Mozambique), Marwen Trabelsi (Tunis), Mimi Cherono (Kenya) and 13 photographers from South Africa: Noncedo Charmaine Mathibela, Roanne Sutcliffe, Anthony Purnell, Bianca Kerstein Vinay, Cendyl Charlton, Chandre Busschau, Costas Christodoulou, David Kutlwano Moagi, Davina Gokool, Hayden Brawn, Ihsaan Haffejee, Jessica MacLeod, Kristi Bailey.


Filip Hruby

International Press Officer

African Film Festival of Tarifa (FCAT)

Mobile: +420/775 011 550

Skype: filip.hruby2409

Source: 8th African Film Festival of Tarifa