Today seemed to a bit surreal for me, as I not only woke up with a nagging headache after the pool party, I was cranky from a stomach upset I had probably been nursing since LAGOS but was too excited to notice, so I decided to take it easy and go on a fact finding mission to determine what the participants of this year’s AFRIFF thought about it.
We left our hotel at 10:30am to the Tinapa Lake Resort and while there, I basically listened to various participants and there thought on being at the festival. For one, it felt like same ol’ same ol, my colleagues are here and it’s a good opportunity to get out of the house. For another, the parties here are pretty wild, by the time we finish, it’s time for breakfast, I eat and sleep once I’m up, the seminars are over and for some others, the AFRIFF is a good opportunity to learn direction styles, industry secrets and generally perfect my art which most people take for granted.
It was an eye-opener for me to learn these various experiences, and as such, I dove deeper. At noon, we headed to the Marina. I wasn’t particularly interested in seeing any film short or feature as I wasn’t sure if we would be moved again. So I sunk my energy into the lesson session aimed at preparing participants for “The Restless Pitch.”
The Restless Pitch is AFRIFF way of giving creative people the opportunity to pitch their ideas to a panel made up of Television executives, film producers and directors and hope they find it worthy enough to take it up and place them on their platforms. During the lessons, the facilitators took them through the process of making a good pitch and delivering ones story/idea in the shortest time possible. Once done, the facilitators took on the various ideas participants had and tackled them teaching them how to make them better. We broke for an hour, to get ready at 3pm for the panel session itself.
During the break, I had a struck up a couple of conversations with Kiki Omeili star of Lekki Wives, Tope Tedela of A Mile from home, Keppy Ekpeyong Bassy, Tunde Kelani and most importantly Kene the CEO FilmHouse Cinemas.
I return to the venue of the panel not even sure what to expect. As I looked up, the place was packed with movie directors and producers, actors, participants and then the panel made up of CEO Ebony LifeTV, Mo Abudu, CEO Film House Cinemas, Kene, Managing Director MNET, Wanga and a host of other industry greats. Each participant was given 3minutes to tell their story and after that, the panel gave their views and recommendations to them.
At the end of the panel session, Eric director of “A Mile from Home” won the session, not sure if it was a function of him being bankable or probably cause he has an upcoming career already, but hey, he won. For his prize, I understand he gets consultancy from the Panel on his project. What a relief bah?
As evening slowly dawned, we took off from Film House at the Marina to the Tinapa Lake Resort Hotel. Talk about been rowdy and noisy, on our arrival. The Live Band had kicked off arrived and as we ate, the music blared from the speakers. Dinner reminded me of my secondary school days, little meals and horrible service. The staff at Tinapa probably felt inundated as Friday’s in Calabar are usually very busy for the hotel as well. At the lobby, it seemed some guess where still arriving, probably for the closing ceremony, which just screamed of no co-ordination for me. I later found out, that we had been moved to the hotel for the rest of our stay, talk about a exhausting trip.
We stayed at the hotel for another couple of hours before heading to get our luggage. It was a mixture of sorts for me today, and to some extent, I give kudos to people who attend film festivals, cause believe, it can be a tad bit exhausting.
See pictures below;