The 17th Abuja International Film Festival, an annual film festival that went virtual for the first time in 17 years, has come and gone with laurels awarded in 15 categories to deserving filmmakers.

According Temitope Duker, a filmmaker and festival director of the festival this year, who took over the mantle of leadership as festival director two years ago at the virtual closing ceremony that attracted over 100 filmmakers, journalists and film enthusiasts, stated that this year’s festival was remarkable and will go down in history as the year many festivals shifted from physical film festivals to virtual as it has been an interesting experience for them as organizers with its attendant challenges.

Duker also enumerated the opportunities it offered in bringing people together irrespective of the distance, while she also dwell the threat it posses to our physical meetings.

While analyzing the entries receive this year, the festival director informed the audience that over 600 entries were received with 92 selected for screening and 42 nominated for possible awards.

The 92 shortlisted films in different genres were screened virtually over 5 days from 9th to 13th November, 2020.

She went further to highlight some of the films submitted with theme or subtheme on the COVID19 global pandemic that is still ravaging the world till date. Some of the films include; THE INVITATION from TURKEY, CHINA WAR EPIDEMIC from CHINA which centered on how China was able to contain the pandemic.

Nigeria was not left out as they were SOCIAL COMMENTS, LOCKDOWN and ATUNMARILAKA from NIGERIA with ENTER THROUGH THE BALCONY from UKRAINE completing the COVID19 entries.

The year also had an ambitious young female filmmaker, Devine Jim George, who is in her teens at just 16 submitting her film which was selected and nominated. Films shot on phone were not left out as there were a couple but of special mention was submitted by LYT.

Dimbo Atiya’s movie, DRAWING STRENGTH picked five awards for OUTSTANDING NIGERIAN FILM, ACTOR, ACTRESS, DIRECTING and GOLDEN JURY.

Other winners of the night included Utomi Paul’s Dark for Short Film, Segun Olusola’s Outstanding Documentary Film that was jointly won by Mother Nature Manifestation from Kenya and Women Hold Up the Sky Africa from South Africa.

The founder of the festival, Fidelis Duker commended all the filmmakers from 74 countries for submitting their films while also congratulating all nominees and winners.

This year, all nominees will receive a certificates of nomination which will dispatched to them.

Find below the full list of winners.

1. OUTSTANDING EXPERIMENTAL FILM
• SOCIAL COMMENT – NIGERIA
• CALL ME NEGHUIHO – CAPE VERDE

2. OUTSTANDING SHORT FILM (NIGERIA)
• DARK – MOSES IPADEOLA

3. OUTSTANDING SHORT FILM (FOREIGN)
• DEFINE DELPHINE – BRAZIL

4. OUTSTANDING FEATURE FILM (NIGERIA)
1. DRAWING STRENGHT – DIMBO ATIYA
2. MUDDLED – BEST OKODUWA

5. OUTSTANDING FEATURE FILM (FOREIGN)
1. MAD HOUSE – GHANA

7. OUTSTANDING DOCUMENTARY FILM
• WOMEN HOLD UP THE SKY AFRICAN – SOUTH AFRICA
• MOTHER NATURE MANIFESTATION – KENYA

8. OUTSTANDING STUDENT FILM
• THE HONORABLE – NIGERIA

9. OUTSTANDING MALE ACTOR
• CHRIS OKAGBUE – DRAWING STRENGTH – NIGERIA
• GODDIZ FONGWA – SAVING MBANGO – CAMEROON
10. OUTANDING FEMALE ACTRESS
• SOPHIE ALAKIJA – DRAWING STRENGTH – NIGERIA

11. OUTSTANDING FILM IN DIRECTING
• DIMBO ATIYA – DRAWING STRENGHT –NIGERIA

12. OUTSTANDING FILM IN MUSIC SCORE
• THE DEVOTED – HUNGARY

13. VIRTUAL AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARD
• LAST REQUEST – NIGERIA

14. FESTIVAL MENTION PRIZE FOR NARRATIVE
• THE KING WITH NO CULTURE – GHANA

15. AIFF GOLDEN JURY PRIZE
• DRAWING STRENGHT – NIGERIA

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