Today being the official close of the 2014 AFRIFF, was generally a sluggish day. We skipped breakfast to get some much needed sleep. Once we got up, we just roamed the grounds networking and speaking to more of the industry participants on ground.
One of the biggest activities for the day asides the Closing Ceremony and Awards, was the meeting with all the participants of this year’s AFRIFF that had screened films (short or feature) and documentaries. One after the other, directors, producers, acts and writers expressed their gratitude to the festival organizers for the opportunity to present their works to other artistic talents and the people of Calabar. Video clips coming soon…
Once we were done, we had our quick brunch and went back to our rooms to relax and prepare for big night
As time flew by quickly, we started getting ready for the night as stylists, hair dressers and make-up artists walked quickly in the lobby to the various rooms to start preparations for the Closing Ceremony and Awards, I took the liberty to visit town and get my hair and nails done.
At 8.30pm, the stars walked the lobby in their various designer outfits to get to the venue. My favorite for the night for the ladies were: Rita Dominic, Genevieve Nnaji, Uru Eke, Osas Ighodalo and Kemi ‘Lala’ Akinduloju. For the males, Ramsey Nouah, Gideon Okeke, Gbenro Ajibade and Deyemi Okanlanwon.
The red carpet was abuzz with activities when we arrived at the Calabar Cultural Center and I must add, the stars shun bright in their various outfits. We got into the theatre style sitting hall, which wasn’t draped or anything fancy. Nothing major stood out, as the attention of the night wasn’t the hall décor, but the awards. Now don’t get me wrong, the hall might have been simple, but there was a good play of technology which I feel other Nollywood Awards can borrow a leaf from.
The First Lady of Cross Rivers State arrived at 12.30pm and by 12.45pm the event kicked off with the national anthem by Adeyemi Aderopo. Once done, the opening performance from an electrifying team that glowed while they danced, took over. The host of the night Ramsey and Vixen where introduced and the first set of speeches followed, starting with that of the First Lady’s and then that of the CEO of AFRIFF Chioma Ude. The CEO’s speech was short and straight to the point, calling on the good will ambassadors of the festival in the persons of Rita Dominic and Xolile Tshabalala to also say something.
We were introduced to the jury of the festival by the Artistic Director AFRIFF Keith Shiri and they announced the various categories for the fact that there will be 2 awards for the documentary category rather than one.
Before the awards started proper, there was another electrifying performance, it was pretty sad as I didn’t know who the performer was, but he gave a good rendition of Katy Perry’s ‘Black Horse’ and felt goose bumps as he performed with only an electric guitar, a cello and a drum. Once that was over, the first sets of awards were called. Presenters where sharp and on point and delivered to their task. For full list of winners, see below. Asides the announcement of the awards, there was also the announcement of 10 lucky students who would be heading the United States to further horn their skills in the art of film making, scripting, cinematography, directing and much more. This was another moment of the night that I was particular proud of the festival and their goal to move the industry forward. We had another performance by the magical act and I just have to gloat that every aspect of this show was well rehearsed and properly presented.
October 1 went away with 3awards, Best Feature, Screenplay and Actor which for me was well deserved and CJ Obasi went away with ‘Best Nigerian Feature’. From the AFRIFF website, the award winners get a monetary award, if this is so, I truly dove my hat to the AFRIFF. The event came to a close at 1.45pm as the after party kicked off immediately.
Full List of Winners:
BEST FEATURE FILM – October 1
BEST NIGERIAN FEATURE – Ojuju by CJ Obasi
BEST ACTOR– Sadiq Daba, October 1
BEST ACTRESS – Thishiwe Ziqubu
BEST DIRECTOR – Andrew Dosunmu
BEST SCREENPLAY– Tunde Babalola for October 1
BEST DOCUMENTARY – The Supreme Price
BEST SHORT– Stiff
BEST STUDENT SHORT – Iquo Essien’s Aissa’s Story
AUDIENCE CHOICE – $1000 – Gone Too Far
See Pictures below;