BY ESE DIBEBI
The Nollywood film shortlist for the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) City to City (Lagos) programme was announced yesterday Tuesday, August 16, 2016 and some notable films are absent from that list.
Of the major films released so far in 2016, Kunle Afolayan‘s The CEO, Femi Odugbemi‘s Gidi Blues, Mildred Okwo‘s Suru L’ere, Couple of Days, Remember Me are among the major omissions from the Toronto lineup.
These films miss out to The Arbitration, 93 Days, ’76, Taxi Driver: Oko Ashewo, Just Not Married and surprisingly, three unreleased films – The Wedding Party, Okafor’s Law and Green White Green.
Despite part of the official TIFF statement stating that the festival “shines its spotlight on eight fearless features from the city of Lagos, Nigeria, for the eighth edition of the City to City programme and that the “lineup showcases gutsy new works by contemporary directors living and working in one of the world’s biggest film industries,” industry insiders we spoke to and who demanded anonymity put the omissions down to quality and the inclusion of The Wedding Party and Okafor’s Law, the “influence and hustle mentality” wielded by Mo Abudu and Omoni Oboli.
City to City showcases filmmakers living and working in a selected city, regardless of where their films are set. Cities featured in past programmes include London, Seoul, Athens, Mumbai, Buenos Aires, Istanbul and Tel Aviv.
The program also includes a TIFF Rising Stars spotlight of two up-and-coming actors from Lagos: OC Ukeje and Somkele Iyamah-Idhalama; as well as an “In Conversation With” segment that will feature Nigerian actor, film producer Genevieve Nnaji, and actor, film producer, and director Kunle Afolayan.