The 6th Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) opened Sunday night at the newly commissioned FilmHouse-IMAX theatres in Lekki, Lagos with the attendance of filmmakers, guests, the media as well as dignitaries from all walks of life.
Hollywood film, Birth of a Nation, written, directed by and starring Nate Parker, a previous AFRIFF participant was the opening film of the night.
The screening was preceded by a red carpet and open night party. AFRIFF ambassador Rita Dominic, Kate Henshaw, Richard Mofe-Damijo, OC Ukeje, Hilda Dokubo, Mary Remy Njoku, Jason Njoku, Oni Asika and Adebola Williams were some of those spotted on the red carpet.
Showtime began with a welcome message from AFRIFF patron Herbert Wigwe. The Access Bank CEO pledged a continuous support for the film industry through the bank’s different interventions in the creative sector. He noted the importance of preserving Africa’s legacies via film and urged everyone to get involved in their own different ways.
CEO of Filmhouse Cinemas/Film One Distribution, Kene Mkparu, introduced the opening film, Birth of a Nation, as an African story which every African should see because of its timeliness and relevance. He gave a brief account of Birth of a Nation’s journey from Las Vegas to Lagos and introduced Chike Okonkwo, a Nigerian actor who had an onscreen role in the film. Okonkwo gave a brief welcome message from director, Nate Parker, who expressed his excitement and gratitude for all the support the film has received so far from Africa.
See photos below.