Zuma 2008: Film in search of voice, relevance

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By SOLA BALOGUN

It was gratifying that the just concluded Zuma Film Festival (ZFF) Abuja touched on the relevance of motion picture to the socio-political and economic development of the nation. Right from the opening ceremony where Mr. Afolabi Adesanya, Chairman of the Festival Organising Committee, hinted that the festival was an inspirational push for the development of films. The array of events that followed lived up to the billing of the festival theme: Film Without Borders.

In the same vein, Mr. John Odey, Minister of Information and Communications, said that ZFF coincided with time Nigeria is taking stock of her development strategies with a view to become one of the 20 most industrialized nations by the year 2020.

Both Adesanya and Odey thus affirmed that the convergence of fim makers from all over the world for ZUMA would further boost the image of the country as well as draw further attention to the Nollywood.
On the opening day, the festival took off on a scholarly note, with Professor Sola Akinrinade, Vice Chancellor of the Osun State University, presenting a keynote address tagged: Democracy and African Renaissance; Films as a Catalyst.

Akinrinade who graduated from the University of Ife (Now Obafemi Awolowo University) with a first class degree in 1981 scored Nigerian films high on several fronts. But he expressed dissatisfaction with the way the films treat political issues. He went on to blame producers for mostly recycling stories about love, money, rituals, seduction and adultery.

But for popular filmmaker, Mahmoud Ali-Balogun, the assertion that Nigerian filmmakers underplay politics is false. He explained that Nigerian films have been largely topical as well as addressed political issues. Ali-Balogun noted that the handling of the issues may have been problematic, but that is not to say that the filmmakers have shunned topical issues. His words, “ most of our films are very current with topical issues and have done quite well…the handling of the issues may be problematic.”

Other major events at the 2008 ZFF include: FEPACI Forum, Master class workshop which centred on the ABC of Film Markets and Film Festivals, Women Film Forum, the NFVCB workshop on Distribution and Marketing Framework as well as film screening session.
Notable filmmakers, artistes and personalities like Olu and Joke Jacobs, Justus Esiri, Amaka Igwe, Mrs. Moji Sonoiki (USA) Eve Rantsell, Prof. Irene Agunloye, Dr. Mabel Envwirhoma, Ms. Sanda Obiago and Biodun Remi-Ibitola graced the festival.

Zuma 2008: Film in search of voice, relevance
 
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