Abdullah Al-Eyaf CEO Saudi Film Commission at the Cannes Film Festival 2023  

Saudi Arabia has seen a “spike” in production and requests to scout locations since launching its 40% cash rebate at Cannes last year, according to Abduljalil Alnasser, general manager of sector development and investment attraction at Saudi Film Commission.

He was speaking on a Cannes market panel on Wednesday (May 17,2023) with senior figures from the Saudi film industry, titled “A Saudi Ecosystem, a Conversation with Saudi Film Sector Partners”. Alnasser noted that three feature films had shot in Jeddah in the past three months.

Charlene Deleon-Jones, executive director of Film Alula, said two brand new studios at the production hub — which are due to open in August — are already booked up until the end of 2024.

Wayne Borg, managing director of media industries, entertainment and culture at Neom, said the production hub has four stages up and running out of a planned 50. He added Neom has serviced 30 productions, and now has a crew depth that enables it to handle three major productions simultaneously.

When the rebate launched last year, Saudi had only had three international films ever shoot in the Kingdom, according to Alnasser.

Alnasser pitched Saudi Arabia as a rapidly growing film market and as a location for film production in the Middle East. He cited a strong economy, a large population of young people keen to watch content and a commitment to putting in place film-friendly regulation and building a strong film industry ecosystem.

“As an example, in 2018 we had no cinema theatres and today we are the number-one box office in the Middle East — and we have done that in five years,” said Alnasser.( Saudi Arabia has a total of 262 theatres and galleries for theatrical performances in the Kingdom)

(Above From Left) Panellists Rasha Al-Masoud, Ministry Of Investment; Wayne Borg, Neom; Abduljalil Alnasser, Saudi Film Commission; Charlene Deleon–Jones, Film Alula; Najla Alnomair, Cultural Development Fund

Also taking part in the panel discussion was Najla AlNomair, chief strategy and business development officer of the Saudi Cultural Development Fund (CDF), which in March launched a $234m (sar879m) Film Sector Financing Programme, which is open to local and international companies working in the country’s film industry.

As part of this programme, CDF announced at Cannes this week the launch of a $100m fund specifically to invest in local and international productions and infrastructure projects in Saudi Arabia.

Also speaking on the panel was Rasha Al-Masoud, investment development director for culture at the Ministry of Investment, who said the ministry “acts as a catalyst to facilitate investments throughout the Kingdom, including within the creative and cultural industries”.


Irreplaceable American Rock Singer Tina Turner

Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll died peacefully on Wednesday at her home in Switzerland. She was 83.

Bee & Tee

Beyoncé Mourns Tina Turner’s Death and Thanks Her For Paving the Way

“My beloved queen. I love you endlessly. I’m so grateful for your inspiration, and all the ways you have paved the way,” Beyoncé wrote in her tribute. “You are strength and resilience. You are the epitome of power and passion. We are all so fortunate to have witnessed your kindness and beautiful spirit that will forever remain. Thank you for all you have done.”


Oprah and Tina

Oprah calls Tina Turner ‘forever goddess’



KAMSI  by Uzo Okpechi


KAMSI  by Uzo Okpechi


JIMMY SHOW ‘NIGERIA’ – Ayo Atom Adewunmi




APACHE GIRL (USA) – by Richard A. Pines


NA MAN YOU BE – by AA Presley, Jeffrey “Holmes” Umulor










KING OF THE THIEVES (NIGERIA) – by Tope Adebayo & Adebayo Tijani


ECHO (GREECE) – by Sergio Kotsovoulos


Anon-governmental organization under the aegis United Abia Artistes and Patriotic(UAAP)Forum has expressed dissatisfaction on the delay of payment of pensioners and civil servants in Abia state while also claiming that the state have received March 2023 federal allocation and made steady collection of internally generated revenue in the state (IGR), leaving the workforce and retires in the state to suffer.

In a statement titled:”Open Letter To Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu PhD And PDP Abia State Chapter” signed by the convener, Amb. Dr. Osita Offor -De Ultimate Commander, made available to, on Wednesday, UAAP also accused the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of “nonchalant attitude to the welfare of civil servants and retirees in the state”.

The group also questioned why the present administration of PDP in Abia State “refused to utilize a good portion of the federal allocation in offsetting wages of workers and retirees”.

UAAP also appealed to “all progressive Abians and concerned stakeholders in the political process to be cautious of their actions and take home the reality that the people will resist any attempt to rob off our chosen governor in the person of Dr. Alex” , while also stating that the ruling PDP led by governor Okezie Ikpeazu “should realize that the peoples’ mandate for His Excellency, Dr. Alex Otti OFR is absolute and cannot be subverted by any move or financial inducements deployed to grab power through the back door”.

Read full statement below 👇


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We The United Abia Artistes and Patriots Forum, have observed with dismay the continued delay in the payment of civil servants and pensioners by your government after receiving March 2023 federal allocation in addition to revenue earned from State IGR for the period under review.

UAAP notes that the nonchalant attitude to the welfare of civil servants and retirees by the outgoing administration leaves much to desire, as they were made to celebrate the 2023 Easter on an empty stomach.

We are therefore calling on the Gov. Ikpeazu led administration to be alive to her responsibilities and do the needful to the starving workers and pensioners by paying their due entitlements.

This wake-up call has become imperative so that the incumbent government will not leave behind huge unpaid salary arrears for the incoming administration to battle with in addition to the myriads of problems that will be left behind.

The big question being asked by UAAP is why has the present administration refused to utilize a good portion of the federal allocation in offsetting wages of workers and retirees which is constitutionally her first charge. Does the administration want to tell the public that the collected March federal allocation as well as internally generated revenue are being utilized or channeled for other purposes as a clandestine arrangement to jeopardize the collective mandate of the good people of Abia to Dr. Alex Otti and the Labour Party?

The Okezie Ikpeazu led administration should realize that the peoples’ mandate for His Excellency, Dr. Alex Otti OFR is absolute and cannot be subverted by any move or financial inducements deployed to grab power through the back door.

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We therefore appeal to all progressive Abians and concerned stakeholders in the political process to be cautious of their actions and take home the reality that the people will resist any attempt to rob off our chosen governor in the person of Dr. Alex Otti OFR, or his popular mandate.

The incumbent administration should know that this is 2023 and not 2015 when Abians were forced to accept illegality of victory outside the ballot box. They should allow the existing peace to continue to reign.

The time to reposition Abia as God’s Own State is now.

Yours truly,

Amb. Dr. Osita Offor -De Ultimate Commander – Convener

Dr. Mike Okiro (Igp-rtd)-patron

Chief Umeh Kalu San-patron

Chief Chimezie Okorie SAN

Chief Ejike Asiegbu-veteran Actor

Hope Obioma Opara -Film Festival/Publisher

Chris Akwarandu-ace Actor/director

Chinedu Ikedieze Mfr-nollywood Legend

Emma Ehumadu Labista-nollywood Legend

Emeka Enyiocha-Nollywood Legend

Ralph Nwafor Sec. Gen. NWBC,

Hon. Amaobi Ogah Fed. Reps. Elect

chaka chukwumerije- Stakeholder

Chief Chris Ifesi Ntor-stakeholder

Mrs. Gloria Anozie Young Nollywood Legend

Joyce Kalu- Nollywood Legend

Bright Chimezie- Veteran Musician

Coach John Obuh- Football Legend

Michael Ugochukwu- Ruggedman- Veteran Rapper

Buchi Enyioma Atuonwu- Veteran Singer

Prof Ikechi Uko- Stakeholder,

Alozie Uzoukwu (Alonzo)- Veteran Journalist

Diagha Madu Chikwendu- Nollywood Pioneer

Christian Okpara- Veteran Journalist

Andy Shurman- Veteran Musician

Chuks Akamadu- Md, Afrocultour Ltd

Chief Chris Maduka-stakeholder

Hon. Matthias Umeh

Iroegbu Emenike- Stakeholder

Dr Uduma Nnate -Stakeholder

Chinyere Nwabueze Nollywood Legend


Ojukwu, Gowon and Kaduna Nzeogwu (The key actors of the civil war 1966=1970)

*The crime of that tribe must be so great.*

In 1966: Nearly 1,000,000 of them was massacred in the North as revenge killings for a coup that was plotted by a young man that bears their name but had never been to their land. They escaped back to their homeland and wanted a country of their own, but they were told that they must belong to one indivisible Nigeria

For three years, they resisted and lost another 3,000,000 of their kith and kin were fed to the vultures. Their entire homeland was a killing field, they were killed, and they were starved. Kwashiorkor finished up their starving children. Many of their wives and daughters were raped and some were taken into forced marriages.

(But The International Criminal Court (ICC) and The International Court of Justice never investigated the war crimes. They didn’t take a look at these evil, xenophobic and ethnic cleansing done against the Igbo nation. They were too blind to see and they simply turn their heads and look the other way, that is why those who perpetrated these evil act are walking freely but the blood on their hands will remain a curse to them and their generations to come.)

After three years of annihilation, the genocide ended. The few that were still alive crept out of their holes and remembrance the country that has massacred them without a just cause.

Chief Awolowo the then Finance Minister

To return to the country, they were economically stripped of their remaining dignity and offered only *£20 (then ₦40)* each in exchange for their money…millionaires before the war restarted life with *£20 (then ₦40)*. They did not complain, they accepted their fate and reintegrated with all.

Within a short while, the country embarked on an indigenization policy which enabled many of their South Western, South-South and Northern brothers to buy up major multi-nationals at a giveaway price…with *£20(then ₦40)* in their pockets, they could only watch…. those that owned houses in the big cities lost their homes to the criminal policy of ‘Abandoned property’ as enacted by some states aimed at committing official stealing.

In the civil service, the policy of the quota system made it impossible for many of them to be accepted back into their former jobs…In trying to get a quality education for their children; the policy of giving admission to children from educationally disadvantaged states, saw their children score so high at entrance exams but locked out from most of the Federal Government Colleges and universities; even though they were coming from war, they were still categorized as educationally advantaged. 53 years after the war, the educationally disadvantaged states are still educationally disadvantaged and the Igbos are still blamed for everything and denied major government presence and projects.

Locked out of schools and locked out of public service, they embraced trading and other menial jobs that a man could do with his hands to feed his family. To survive, they spread out again to the big cities with memories of their dead ones and rundown homeland.

Everywhere they went, they lived frugally, sometimes, and a master lived in his shop with his 5 boys until they made enough money to rent a one-room apartment.

Of all their brothers, the Yorubas were the most accommodating after the war and this made many of them quickly forget the pains of the war and settled down to play major roles in the development of the communities, in which they found themselves.

In their host communities, they never looked back in donating towards the building of schools, churches and whatever was required…Some even married the daughters of their hosts and some took titles. At drinking bars, you find Jide and Emeka drinking and laughing. At school, you find Ebube and Bisola reading and playing together as best of friends.

Soon, at the turn of the 90s, many of their town unions encouraged them to completely trust their hosts and join hands in opening up areas that were hitherto, uninhabited, especially the swamps and the mangroves….they bought swamps and the term ‘sand filling’ became popular, they bought thick mangrove forests and in mowing them down, they became Osuofia and the money coming from them, made their hosts happy because most of the places they bought and transformed had laid waste for years.

With vigour, they negotiated for lands to build markets, cleared the lands and built the markets and were happy to welcome state and local government tax and rate officials. If you slap them on one cheek, they gladly turned the other with a smile. When they build houses, they trust everything to their Yoruba builders and even in their homeland, all their building projects were done by the Yoruba boys they have come to love and trust.

Then…1999 came….all celebrated the re-emergence of democracy…but gradually, a new anti-Igbo message started, but they ignored it because they have completely fallen in love with their host…

In 2014…..The divisive politicians showed up in their numbers and made them; the Igbos the sacrificial lamb all over again…

Someone wrote somewhere and I agree with him completely that:

In 1993, the Igbos voted Abiola against Tofa who had an Igbo as Vice-President…

In 1999, the Igbos voted for Obasanjo en-block,  Obasanjo is Yoruba. Obasanjo lost Yorubaland but scored 85%+ in Igbo land

In 2003, the Igbos voted for Obasanjo Obasanjo scored 95% in some Igbo states, Obasanjo defeated Ojukwu in Igbo land.

In 2007, the Igbos voted for Yaradua, Yaradua was Hausa-Fulani. Yaradua scored his highest percentage of votes in Igbo land

In 2011, the Igbos voted for Jonathan, Jonathan is Ijaw. Jonathan scored 95%+ in Igbo land

In 2015, the Igbos voted for Jonathan. Jonathan scored a higher percentage in Igbo land that in the South-South Region

In 2019, the Igbos voted for Atiku, Atiku is Fulani. Atiku scored a higher percentage in Anambra than Adamawa

In 2023, the Igbos voted for Obi, Obi is Igbo. Once the Igbos voted Obi they became ethnic-bigots

Once the Igbo gave Obi what they had given to Shagari, Abiola, Obasanjo, . Ya’ Ardua, Jonathan and Atiku, Igbos became criminals.

My heart is very heavy as I pen down these few lines because I smell another pogrom aimed at  Igbos loading and I can’t see anyone stopping the genocidal messages spreading on many South-West and other platforms… People are speaking of the coming Governorship election in Lagos on Saturday 11th March 2023 as if it is a day that has been marked as D-Day for something very cold and un-Lagos.

And I ask again, what is the crime of the Igbos?

Some said Igbos claim to own Lagos and I laugh, someone who owns a place is buying land and paying tax and rents in the same place?

I am that ‘Kwashiorkored’ Igbo child (now 54) born in the war that you are trying to retrigger. We will continue to tell our children our story so that they will also tell our grand , great grandchildren  and generation to come.


Courtesy  Austin


Barr Ndidi Anike

We have always known. But because we are a people of values, we are not given to the rabid rancour  you all are used to. Before an Igbo man retaliates, know that you have pushed him beyond his limits. And when he does retaliate, he does so not out of spite but for survival. Throw us to the wolves and we will come back leading the pack. And that is what makes us the envy of every other. There will never be a people more dignified and honorable like the Igbos. Never!

-@Ndidi Anike.


The Universal Movie Awards will return for its 3rd edition in November 18,2023.The film award event is open to filmmakers from around the world and also contributes to the Nigeria being positioned as a creative hub through its focus on high quality Nigeria film.

Universal Movie Awards is accepting entries to the 3rd UNIMA  edition.

December 12, 2022 Opening Date

January 31, 2023 Early bird Deadline

March 31, 2023 Regular Deadline

July 31, 2023 Late Deadline

September 1, 2023 Extended Deadline                                    

Applications for submitting films are being accepted on various film submission platforms.

a. Click to submit your film

b. Click to submit your film

The Unima awards accepts films in five categories which include:

Feature Film,

Short Film,



Short Documentaries

Indigenous film

Feature Animation

Short Animation

More information on the programme will be released in the lead up to the event.



50 years after fellow citizen Ingrid Bergman, Swedish director Ruben Östlund, a two-time winner of the Palme d’or, will preside over the Jury of the 76th edition of the Festival de Cannes to be held from May 16 to 27.

« I am happy, proud, and humbled to be trusted with the honor of Jury president for this year’s Competition at the Festival de Cannes. Nowhere in the film world is the anticipation as strong as when the curtain rises on the films in Competition at the Festival. It is a privilege to be part of it, together with the Cannes audience of connoisseurs. I am sincere when I say that cinema culture is in its most important period ever. The cinema has a unique aspect – there, we watch together, and it demands more on what is shown and increases the intensity of the experience. It makes us reflect in a different way than when we dopamine scroll in front of the individual screens. », declared the futur President Ruben Östlund.

With a track record of only 6 features, the filmmaker was already selected twice at Un Certain Regard, where he was awarded the Jury Prize in 2014, before later entering the Competition. No sooner does he appears there that the Palme d’or is awarded to him twice; first for The Square at the 70th Festival de Cannes, and then for his next film acclaimed last year, Triangle of Sadness.

After studying cinema in Gothenburg, he directed his first feature film, The Guitar Mongoloid, in 2004. On the edge of the documentary genre, the film describes the intersecting destinies of outcasts in a fictional city that closely resembles Gothenburg. Humor as a tool of sociological description is already apparent.

His next short film, Autobiographical Scene Number 6882, gathers all the ingredients of his future work, which are affirmed in Involuntary, a feature film selected at Un Certain Regard in 2008. Östlund positions the camera at a relevant distance to better observe human behavior: small weaknesses and major flaws caused by group dynamics are then dissected to the point of discomfort. Two years later, Incident by a Bank won the Golden Bear for best short film at the 60th Berlinale – it examines the reactions of passers-by to a bank robbery. His third

feature film, Play, which was presented at the Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes in 2011, describes harassment between youth gangs. When it was released in Sweden it gave rise to a major debate across Swedish society.

In Force Majeure, which was screened at Un Certain Regard in 2014, the situation takes on the aspect of an avalanche where a father prefers to take cover rather than save his wife and children: how can he accept the aftermath, in bad faith and in fear of losing face? Such is the issue that the director examines with ferocious acidity.

Ruben Östlund repeatedly explores a provocative dialectic which has become his signature: an initial situation sets the stage for a sociological examination where the baser instincts of our humanity are painstakingly and uncompromisingly examined with corrosive humor.

In 2017, in The Square, he tells the fictional story of an artistic experiment he conducted in his native country. The film addresses brilliantly the boundaries of public space, art and the animal aspects within ourselves.

Finally, in 2022, Triangle of Sadness chronicles a cruise ship caught in a storm that reshuffles the cards of class struggle in Western societies in a nauseating hullabaloo.

By inviting Ruben Östlund to preside over the Jury, the Festival de Cannes wishes to pay a tribute to films that are uncompromising and forthright and which constantly demand that viewers challenge themselves and that art continue to invent itself.

Ruben Östlund has therefore become the third two-time winner of the Palme d’Or to be the President of the Jury, following Francis Ford Coppola and Emir Kusturica, and the very first to take on this role the year after his acclaim in Cannes.

« As president, concludes Ruben Östlund, I will remind my colleagues in the jury about the social function of the cinema. A good movie relates to the collective experience, stimulates us to think and makes us want to discuss what we have seen – So let’s watch together! »