The Nigerian Film Festival Announces Outline of Events for the 2015 Festival

The Nigerian Film Festival Series yesterday announced the dates, speakers and comprehensive outline of the First Annual Nigerian Film Festival Series.
The event will be held in Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan between November 6 and November 14 at the following venues:
  • ST FRANCIS COLLEGE, BROOKLYN November 9th & 10th
Films to be screened:
30 Days in Atlanta (Ayodele Richard Makun)
AY, is the Chief Executive Officer of Corporate World Entertainment. AY, widely known throughout Nigeria, Africa and in some parts of the world as a celebrity of note whose ability and experience as a Comedian, Compere, and Showbiz Promoter is beyond equal. A Theatre Arts graduate of Delta State University, AY is as hysterical and topical as he is a gifted Event Planner, TV Producer, and Show Promoter. He produces, the popular AY Show, organizes the soaring AY Live concerts, and currently owns the position of producing Nollywood’s highest-grossing Movie of all time, 30 Days In Atlanta 30 Days In Atlanta has been honored in Nigeria as the Film of the Year by The Creative Industry Awards, and the Award was presented on the same Weekend the Movie grossed N140million in the Cinemas. On the same night, The AY Show won for the third consecutive year (since 2013) the TV Comedy Show of the Year, while AY as an enterprising individual won The Creative Entrepreneur of the Year Award which is the highest honor of the night.
Flower Girl (Michelle Bello)
Born in 1982 in London, Michelle moved to the United States in 2001 to study Communications (specializing in Visual Media) at the American University in Washington D.C and later earned a Master’s Degree in Communications, specializing in Film Directing, at Regent University. After her graduation in December 2011, she returned home to join the thriving industry known as Nollywood.  Her knowledge, combined with her experiences in the industry both locally and internationally, made her ably equipped to produce and direct her second feature film Flower Girl was released in February 2013 to rave reviews. Michelle is the first female Nigerian director to have a UK theatrical release. Flower Girl subsequently won ‘Best African Film’ in the UK at the Black International Film Festival early November 2013.  The movie crossed the Atlantic once again to be screened at the Toronto Black Film Festival in February 2015. The film also received nominations for ‘Best Lighting’ at the African Movie Academy Awards 2013, and ‘Best Film’ at the Africa International Film Festival Flower Girl was nominated for four AMVCA awards including ‘Best Film’ and ‘Best Supporting Actor’ and went on to win ‘Best Writer in a Comedy’ and ‘Best Supporting Actress’ Awards. At the Nollywood Movies Awards 2014 held in October, Flower Girl was nominated for an outstanding nine awards including ‘Best Film’ and ‘Best Director’. The movie won four awards including ‘Best Sound Design’, ‘Best Set Design’, ‘Best Soundtrack for Efya’ and ‘Best Editing’. Michelle is currently developing her third feature film set for 2016.
October 1 (Adekunle Ayodeji Afolayan)
One of Nigeria’s foremost 2nd generation filmmakers and son of the highly respected Adeyemi Afolayan (Ade-Love), who was a passionate theatre artist who co-pioneered the movement from travelling theatre to the celluloid film format as introduced by Ola Balogun.Afolayan’s works has transcended the boundaries of the ordinary by producing a fresh crop of new Nigerian cinematography that raises the bar with regards to current practice.  
In his commitment to self-improvement and professional excellence, Afolayan enrolled at the New York Film Academy in 2005 and thereafter shot some feature pieces.  His first full-length movie, Irapada gave credence to the unique ability and versatility of the man. Afolayan has shown great tenacity by paying great attention to details and giving creative interpretation to the issues of life. By his strength in bringing his subject to life in films, Kunle Afolayan, though young, has earned the respect and honour that is accorded to ‘elders’ within and beyond the industry.
The works of Kunle Afolayan through his production company Golden Effects have earned international recognition and set box office records to unprecedented proportions.  Most recently, his movies The Figurine, Phoneswap as well as other productions from his stables have been featured and showcased at international film festivals across the globe. Kunle Afolayan’s “October 1” and Mildred Okwo’s “The Meeting,” emerged the biggest winners as the 2015 edition of the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCA) which took place at the Eko Hotel Convention Centre, VI, Lagos.
Champagne (Emem Isong-Misodi)
Emem Isong-Misodi is an exceptional award-winning, frontline screenwriter and producer in Nollywood.  A holder of a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre Arts from the University of Calabar, Emem ventured into film making in Nigeria when it was not fashionable to do so.  She boldly launched her own production company, Theatre Images in 1994, after resigning from a job in the bank.  Since then she has not looked back and but has gone on to produce the following award-winning movies, ‘Breaking Point’(1996) ‘A Minute to Midnight’ (1997)’, ‘Emotional Crack’(2003) winner of the Reel Awards for Best Actress and Best Upcoming Actress of the Year respectively.   ‘Private Sin’, ‘Promise Me Forever’, ‘Critical Decision’ winner of the AMA Best Actress and Best Actor of the Year Award, ‘Games Women Play’, ‘Behind Closed Doors’, ‘Games Men Play’, ‘Ekaette’, ‘Fatal Imagination’, ‘A Piece of Flesh’, ‘Unfinished Business’ , ‘Mfana Ibagha’, ‘The Wrong Woman’, ‘A Time to Love’ and much acclaimed ‘RELOADED’ (2008) a film that was nominated for African Movie Awards (AMA) for Best Scriptwriter, Editing and Best Music and won several awards including City Peoples Award for Best film, Best Producer of the year and Best Screenplay. She has also contributed immensely to the development of film production in Akwa Ibom State when she pioneered the making of films in Ibibio language with productions like ‘Mfana Ibagha’, ‘Ekaette’, ‘Uyai’, ‘Edikan’, ‘Uduakobong’.   She currently owns ROYAL ARTS ACADEMY, a company in Lagos, Nigeria which has a production arm, a film distribution section as well as a school of media that specializes in training people in acting, directing and screenplay writing.
Her latest work Champagne has thrilled audiences all over the world and will premiere in the United States November 2015.
Tango With Me (Mahmood Ali Balogun)
Mahmood is an alumnus of the University of Ife film school. His films include award winning TANGO WITH ME – 2012 (35mm feature), A PLACE CALLED HOME – 1999 (16mm short film) and documentaries DANCE OF THE MAIDENS:  Efik traditional marriage rites (2005) and CHILD & WOMEN TRAFFICKING: The New slavery (2002).
Mahmood is the Chairman of the Audio Visual Rights Society of Nigeria (AVRS) – a collecting society for IP right owners. He was on the Motion Picture Council of Nigeria policy formulating committee and the Nigerian Television Authority Reform Implementation Committee. He was also a member of the review committee for the Nigerian Cultural Policy.
He is on the Advisory Council of the Federation Panafricaine Des Cineates (FEPACI) and the President of the Federation’s 9th Congress in South Africa (2013).
He is on the jury of 2015 International Emmy® Awards; and has been on panels and jury of such festivals as Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF), Abuja Intn’l Film Festival and Zuma International Film Festival.
His awards include the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA), Obafemi Awolowo University Distinguished Alumnus Award, Nigerian Movie Journalists Award and Lifetime achievement Awards by Society of Nigeria Theatre Artistes (SONTA) & a Fellow of the Society.
Jonathan Adewumi – The Nigerian Film Festival Series 646 384 4341, website

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