By TEMILADE ENIOLA
As preparation towards this year’s edition of Africa International Film Festival, AFRIFF, moves towards its peak, organizers have announced two feature film highlights for the festival. They include Jonas Carpignano’s Mediterranea, as the opening film for the weeklong festival, while Road To Yesterday, the highly anticipated feature film debut by Nollywood diva, Genevieve Nnaji has been selected as closing film.
AFRIFF returns with a prospective 5th edition in Lagos from October 8 to 15, 2015, with about 180 films screening at three notable cinemas, including Silverbird Galleria, Victoria Island, Genesis Duluxe Cinema, Lekki, and City Mall Cinema, Onikan.
Mediterranea, also a feature film debut by the director, follows Carpignano’s astonishing Short, A Chjana, and was premiered at Cannes International Film Festival earlier this year.
A highly revealing immigrants’ story, Mediterranea tells the story of two men who make the dangerous journey from Africa to Italy in search of greener pasture, but then face hostility and violence in what could be described as a shocking look at the life-and-death struggle of refugees.
Produced by T.E.N (The Entertainment Network), Nnaji’s Road To Yesterday is highly expected by fans who are anxious to see the actress’ first work as a producer. There has been so much buzz around the film ever since promoters released its teasers.
The film features and introduces Nigerian-British actor, Oris Erhuerho who plays ‘Izu’ the burly husband and father, and Genevieve Nnaji as ‘Victoria’ the conflicted wife and mother.
Set in Lagos Nigeria, Road to Yesterday is an epic love story, about a couple desperate to mend its marriage on a road trip to a relative’s funeral. However when memories and secrets from the past are revealed, a lot more is at stake than their relationship.
Oris Erhuerho is better known for his role ‘Honore’ in the Golden Globe nominated HBO Movie, ‘Sometimes In April’. This is Mr. Erhuerho’s first Nigerian production.
Directed by Ishaya Bako, Road to Yesterday also stars Majid Michel, Chioma ‘Chigul’ Omeruah and veteran Ebele Okaro.
“We are pleased that these two films will make the highlights of this year’s festival,” says Chioma Ude, Founder/CEO of AFRIFF. “Mediterranea is a sad story of capital flight. It is a peculiar story about Africa and its most vibrant workforce wasting away in the wilderness. Genevieve Nnaji’s Journey to Yesterday is another exposition of the diverse talents in the Nigerian movie industry. It is the latest offering from Nigeria and indeed Africa, that even I, can’t wait to see.”
Other feature films to expect at the festival include Akin Omotoso’s Tell Me Something Sweet, Yared Zeleke’s Lamb, as well as Desmond Elliot’s Reflections. The incisive Sembene, by Samba Gadjigo is a film about the late Ousmane Sembene, a pioneer and colossus figure of African cinema that features in the documentary competition together with Ireti Bakare’s Buhari and the Burden of Expectations and Toni Ayamode’s Unbroken.
Intended participants have been advised to register at www.afriff.com, as admittance will be for only registered and duly accredited delegates.
AFRIFF 2015 is supported by Bank of Industry, BOI, Africa Magic, OHtv, Access Bank, Afrinolly, Arik, Ford Foundation, Relativity Media Studios, and Pan African Capital among others.