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LIFF is set to be the annual hub for the best in the world of African and international films that privilege themes relating to culture and society.
The inaugural edition of the Lekki International Film Festival which concluded on Saturday night with a gala/award ceremony saw leading Nigerian cinematographers Tade Ogidan and Lancelot Imasuen and three other film makers taking home the award plaques. The other film makers are Cameroon’s Jude Fokwang a professor in Denver, USA, Balaraba Ramat Yakubu of Kano, also a younger sister of the late Nigerian Head of State Murtala Ramat Mohammed and Okhomina Joseph a film school student. Imasuen’s new and yet to be released film FAMILY FIRST received the Best Film Award while Tade Ogidan’s film now running in the cinemas GOLD STATUE won the Best Feature Film Award. The Best Indigenous Language Film Award went to the film PALACE COUP a Hausa language film set in the early Nineteenth Century Kano and produced by Balaraba Ramat Mohammed.
The Best Documentary Film Award went to SOMETHING NEW IN OLD TOWN by Jude Fokwang which is set in contemporary Cameroon. The Best Short Film which went to Okhomina Joseph’s ten minutes short feature DEPRESSION may have beaten some of the very intense short films on the final shortlist because of the issue of great currency that is its theme. SOMETHING NEW IN OLD TOWN is set in a notorious suburb of the Cameroon capital city of Yaounde known as Old Town which is the normal hub for prostitution and urban violence. It is also adopted as home by peasants and artisans because of their low pay and pecuniary existence.
The documentary depicts Old Town peasants, former prostitutes and noble people of the poor and neglected district building a new life for themselves by forming voluntary societies with inbuilt self-support mechanisms, also with very strong social bonding Tade Ogidan’s GOLD STATUE is a resounding social message about the aspirations of the young in society whose quest to get marvelously rich even in the face of grave danger to itself and at the risk of the desecration of sacred monuments and assets strikes at another theme of social resonance. Lancelot Imasuen’s FAMILY FIRST is the story of family bonding and the preservation of the family tie at a time of social insecurity, upheavals and economic turbulence.

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