BY ‘SEGUN ODEJIMI
Today, Monday, November 14 was my first day at AFRIFF 2016. It is the second day of the festival after last night’s screening of The Birth of a Nation which I hear is a very good film.
Several industry sessions held today but the highlight for me was when an argument of some sort broke out at the session facilitated by African Film Consortium, and which had the legendary Opa Williams and happy man, AY Makun. No prizes for guessing why.
A critic had picked the microphone during the Q & A to offer her thoughts on how she thinks “screenplay” is one of the biggest problems of Nollywood and recent record-breaker, A Trip to Jamaica. As I expected, none of the panelists agreed with her. They pointed at the successes of the film (and its ‘prequel’) as why they thought she had no point. After all, people loved it that way, they argued.
And that’s my fear for Nollywood going forward. Both AY films have done extremely well at the box office, but passing them of – or any other film for that matter – as brilliant films based on their record sales alone is not only misleading but also a ridicule to the art of filmmaking. Mba! And it is so that we do not make this grave mistake that critics exist, whether you agree with them or not.
Femi Odugbemi’s Gidi Blues and Kunle Afolayan’s The CEO were two of the main features that screened today. I’d seen both previously and but there’s only one I was prepared to see a second time. Again, no prizes for guessing which one it was I saw again.
The Cursed Ones was today’s last film screening. A good film which told an African story even though I got a feeling that it that could have been told in a shorter and even more powerful form.
The festival continues tomorrow. Details are here – www.afriff.com