By Joshua Olomu
The 2018 annual Zuma Film Festival (ZUFF) held in Abuja witnessed filmmakers and stakeholders from the US, Germany, Spain, the Caribbean and African countries as major participants the Naija Politico (Naija Politico) reports.
The 9th edition of ZUFF which is Nigeria’s foremost film fiesta had its theme as “ Archiving for Creativity”.
The festival ended on Friday night at the International Conference Centre with the red carpet graced by Major Nigerian and Foreign actors and actresses.
It was a night of glitz and glamour, in colourful and festive ambience with gala nights, and series of electrifying performances by different artistes that hit the stage.
The high point of the ceremony was the presentation of competitive and non-competitive categories of awards, a feat every filmmaker and star look forward to in film festivals.
Mr Afolabi Adesanya, Chairman of the six-member jury for the ZUFF 2018 said, during the presentation of the Jury Report, that the festival received a total of 3,069 submissions from thirty-five countries.
He explained that film entries were subsequently internally screened and pre-selected, and at the end of the exercise, 92 films in diverse categories were recommended to the Jury for adjudication.
“One unique feature of our work is that the films were available online and we were able to preview the shortlisted selections weeks ahead of the Festival opening from the comfort of our homes and or offices.
“As a Jury, we were also sensitive to the yearnings, aspirations and sensibilities of every society, here represented by our dear country.
“We are aware that we are not just to adjudge the films, but also to advise the organisers and the festival on moral and ethical values which films are expected to strengthen, rather than denigrate.
“The Jury was able to screen the entries, assess the storyline and cinematic elements of each film, rank all entries and recommend some for the awards,”he said.
Some of the competitive trophies during the night include; Best Short Film, won by ‘Talatu’, Best Student Film, won by ‘Huzuni’ and the Best Indigenous Language Film was clinched by ‘Mariya’,an Hausa film.
Others included: Best Picture, Best Cinematography and Best Director/Director, which were clinched by ‘Kasala’, directed by Ema Edosio.
Fast-rising Nollywood actress, Omotu Bissong went home with the highly coveted Best Actress award.
Dr Chidia Maduekwe, Chairman of the Festival Organising Committee, said that the festival with the theme “Archiving for Creativity”, was to “redefine the need and potentials of audio visual archiving in Nigeria.”
Maduekwe, who is the Managing Director of Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC),organiser of ZUFF, noted that that foreign participation in ZUFF 2018 surpassed that of 2017, describing it as an indication of international acceptance.
“Arising from the overall theme, 70 per cent of activities of the entire film festival centred on the theme “Archiving for Creativity.”
“The Objective was to ensure that discussions were focused -based and the outcomes, strictly also in focus.
“We have demonstrated the will and commitment to mounting a film festival that will continue to provide the platform for robust engagement between Nigeria filmmakers and those from other nations, “he said.