A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Girls’ Voices Initiative, has said women in the Nigerian movie industry struggle to strive despite telling better stories than their male counterparts.
The group’s chief executive officer (CEO), Carolyn Seaman, said this during a briefing held on Friday ahead of its Premier Women’s International Film Festival Nigeria (WIFFEN) on March 4, 2022.
Ms Seaman said women are often disadvantaged and unable to thrive seamlessly in the industry.
She said the film festival organised by the NGO is part of efforts to recognise and celebrate the immense contributions of women to the industry.
The festival, which is the first of its kind, is in partnership with the French Embassy’s PISCCA Programme and TSTV Africa, the Congo Embassy, Zenith Bank Plc, Aero Contractors, and a host of other partners.
Some individuals and professionals in the film-making industry in Nigeria and other parts of the world will be honored at the festival.
Ms Seaman said the award’s goal is to globally celebrate outstanding women in film, raise awareness, and inspire film standards for female filmmakers.
She said the award ceremony is also part of activities to mark International Women’s Day and Women’s Month.
She explained that the premier edition comprises five Jury members from France, South Africa, Canada, and Nigeria.
“The Jury has reviewed the films – features, animations, shorts, and documentaries – that compete and announced the winners of the WIFFEN award together with the festival Committee,” she said.
“This year’s will present award trophies to the winners in 16 award categories including ‘Best Picture, ‘Best Director,’ ‘Best Short,’ ‘Best Animation Short,’ ‘Best Student Film,’ ‘Best Child Actress’ and much more.”
She noted that the programme will include discussions, masterclasses, and screening of short, student, animation, and documentary films from the collection of films selected from over 3000 film submissions from over 130 countries worldwide.
She said the screenings of the films and other festival activities would be accessible to the public.
“On the second day of the festival, we will host a few festival activities and present the WIFFEN Awards Ceremony at the Executive Hall at the Abuja International Conference Centre.”
She added that interested parties could find the film festival programme and get tickets for the awards ceremony by visiting www.wiffen.global.
She reiterated that the general public is invited to this global celebration of women in film.
The Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation Sector under which the film industry falls contributed about 2.3 per cent to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), according to the Speaker of House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.
Mr Gbajabiamila had at a masterclass training for Nollywood Actors in 2021, said it was sensible to acknowledge and celebrate Nollywood actors and actresses and others who made up the entertainment industry.
He added that” with talent, grit, and extraordinary resilience, Nigerian filmmakers built a globally competitive entertainment industry despite the challenges and constraints in the nation’s environment.”
“With adequate investment, a supportive regulatory environment, better training, and capacity development, Nollywood will grow beyond our present dream and surpass our highest ambitions.
“It falls on all of us in government, the private sector, and across the society to identify ways we can help the industry reach the heights and we all know is possible,” he said.
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