The Abuja International Film Festival (AIFF) has honored the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) and other players in the film industry with special recognition awards.
Its founder, Fidelis Duker, spoke in Abuja on Thursday night at the closing ceremony of AIFF with the theme “Beyond Borders: Globalization and the Film Business.”
Duker said stakeholders were recognized for their support and contributions to the annual festival, making it a landmark event in the country’s film industry.
According to him, the recipients of the awards are the Association of Movie Producers (AMP), Directors Guild of Nigeria (DGN) and prominent filmmakers in the Nigerian film industry, among others.
Others include the United States High Commission, the British Council, the Chinese Embassy, as well as relevant government institutions and officials.
The founder said AIFF’s two decades of continuous celebration was a milestone that should be celebrated along with those who have contributed to its success story.
“I take this opportunity as founder of the Abuja International Film Festival to reflect on the incredible journey of our festival over the past 20 years.
“We must also thank everyone who has been there for us on this incredible journey of building a major film festival in Abuja.
“It is truly extraordinary to see how this event has grown from humble beginnings, when there were no cinemas in Abuja and Nigeria, to becoming a major contributor to the exhibition ecosystem in the country.”
Duker recalled that in the early days of the festival, screening films was a challenge due to the lack of dedicated film spaces, but he overcame the obstacle by taking advantage of outdoor screenings and makeshift theaters in hotels.
“Through our continued dedication to promoting cinema culture, we are instrumental in fostering the development of cinemas and creating demand for quality cinema experiences.
“This led to the establishment of numerous cinemas which now serve as vibrant centers for film enthusiasts in the city,” he said.
According to him, this year’s edition of the festival explores the intersection between the rapidly evolving global film industry and the diverse cultures that shape it.
“We believe that cinema has the power to transcend borders and bring people together, providing a platform for intercultural understanding and exchange.”
In his goodwill message, the National President of the AGN, Emeka Rollas (MON), expressed delight at the honour, describing the AIFF as a mentoring platform for budding talents in Nigeria.
“On behalf of the AGN, I want to thank and celebrate the Abuja International Film Festival for being part of the mentoring process for actors and aspiring actors.”
Salihu Ladan, former Director General of the Federal Radio Corporation (FRCN), who also received the Special Recognition Awards, praised the AIFF founder for remaining committed to its objectives over the years.
“They have put the Nigerian film industry on the world map,” Mr Ladan said. (YAYA)