The Lagos State Government has congratulated nine Lagos-based film directors whose latest films will be screened to global audiences at the world-acclaimed Toronto International Film Festival holding in Toronto, Canada between September 8th and 18th 2016.
The 41st edition of the festival this year is focusing on Lagos State in its City to City, the first African city to be so honored.
In a press statement signed on Tuesday by the Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, the Toronto International Film Festival will be celebrating the talents and creativity that abound in Lagos with the unprecedented selection of eight new films by Lagos-based filmmakers in the City to City segment and one other film for Industry Special Screening.
In addition, two outstanding actor/filmmakers, Kunle Afolayan and Genevieve Nnaji were selected to ‘In Conversation With’ (ICW) which will have the two celebrities discuss their works on the world stage.
“The Lagos State government is happy to confirm the selection of eight Lagos-made feature films at the Toronto International Film Festival coming up in September as well as Mr. Kunle Afolayan’s The CEO, which will enjoy a Special Industry Screening on the 12th of September.
“We are happy that as the birthplace of Nollywood and the state that is regarded as one of the world’s most productive film locations in the world, Lagos State will be the centre of attraction in Toronto, Canada this year.”
Ayorinde said as the first African city to be so honoured at the festival, the focus on Lagos in Toronto this year confirms “the arrival of Lagos State on the world stage” and how the global creative community acknowledges the potential that is associated with professionals in the motion picture industry of Lagos State.
The Commissioner listed the selected films as follows: 76 (directed by Izu Ojukwu), 93 Days (Steve Gukas), The Wedding Party (Kemi Adetiba), The Arbitration ( Niyi Akinmolayan), Taxi Driver ( Daniel T. Oriahi), Okafor’s Law (Omoni Oboli), Just Not Married (Uduak-Obong Patrick), and Green White Green (directed by Abbah T. Makama).
The statement added that in addition to the selected films, TIFF has also invited two young actors for participation at the newly created Rising Stars Programme at this edition. “OC Ukeje, for his role in The Arbitration and Somkele Iyama for her roles in the three of the films selected – 93 Days, The Arbitration and The Wedding Party.
The Commissioner said the Lagos State government was pleased that two of the selected films enjoyed the support of the state government during production and that the thrust of all the films will highlight different aspects of lives and historical developments in Lagos and in Nigeria in general.
“While 76 revisits the political upheaval of 1976 that led to the assassination of the Head of State, General Murtala Muhammed, 93 Days examined the bravery of the late Doctor Stella Adadevoh and the Lagos State Government in combating the dreaded Ebola virus in 2014.
“We are pleased that filmmakers are exploring themes that are strong enough to attract global attention. The focus on Lagos State this year, therefore, signals the beginning of a rewarding global attention to our creative artists and the inherent potentials in the state as destination of choice for international filmmakers, visitors and investors.
Ayorinde added that to properly take advantage of the opportunities that featuring at the Toronto film festival brings, the State Government will have a pavilion at the festival, co-host a befitting reception for the Nigerian filmmakers and offer support to the industry delegation. He said that “this falls within the Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s vision to support the arts and creative industry in Lagos State” adding that the time is ripe for the Lagos State brand to engage with the world.