Friday, April 27, 2018

Top 12 International Film Festivals Recommended for Nigerian Filmmakers

Nigerian filmmakers in both Nollywood and Kannywood have not been able to break into top international film festivals to compete with other filmmakers in the world, because majority of them have not been ambitious and serious about making the official selections for the Cannes, Venice and Berlin or qualifications for the Academy Awards, popularly known as the Oscars. Many of them have chosen to settle for less without respect for the art and craft of filmmaking above par.

Let me illustrate what being ambitious and serious can do for a filmmaker, regardless of the nationality and socioeconomic challenges.
Iranian film director, Asghar Farhadi, whose new film, Everybody Knows is the opening film for the 71st Cannes Film Festival beginning on May 8, 2018, made his first feature, Dancing in the Dust in 2003. Within only fifteen years, he has won two Oscars for Best Foreign Language Film for "A Separation" (2012) and "The Salesman" (2017). He has also won the Golden Globe, Golden Bear, Silver Bear for Best Director and Best Picture at the Tribeca Film Festival. His film, "The Past" won the Best Actress Palme d'Or for Bérénice Bejo at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival; "The Salesman" starring Shahab Hosseini and Taraneh Alidoosti, competed and won Best Actor for Shahab Hosseini and Best Screenplay for Farhadi at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. And he has won other highly coveted awards at major international film festivals.
He was already invited to join the highly prestigious Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in June 2012 along with 175 other individuals.

Nigerian filmmakers can learn a lot from Farhadi and several others like him who have used their professional skills and talents to make outstanding films for the global stage.  And if they can make it, Nigerian filmmakers can make it too.
They should compete with the best in the world by making movies that will qualify for competitions at the major international film festivals in the world and the following are the top twelve international film festivals for Nigerian filmmakers.

1. The Cannes Film Festival, France is the most popular and most highly esteemed international film festival in the world, I call the "Queen of Film Festivals".
The highest prize, the Palme d'Or is the second biggest and most coveted prize in the global film industry after the Oscar or Academy Award.
Founded in 1946, held at the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès.
Date: May .

2. Venice International Film Festival, Venice, Italy.
The oldest international film festival founded in 1932.
Takes place at the Palazzo del Cinema di Venezia in Venice Lido as part of the broader context of the Venice Biennale's cultural contemporary art festival.
Date: September.

3. Berlin International Film Festival, Berlin, Germany.
The Berlinale.
Founded in 1951 by the Western Allies in order to create a showcase of the free world,.
Date: February.

4. Toronto International Film Festival
(TIFF), Toronto, Canada.
Founded in 1976.
Date: September.

5. Sundance Film Festival, Park City, Utah
Founded by Robert Redford in 1978.
Date: January.

6. TriBeCa (Triangle Below Canal Street) Film Festival, New York
Founded by Jane Rosenthal, Robert De Niro and Craig Hatkoff.
Founded in 2002.
Date: March.

7. Taormina Film Festival, Sicily
Founded in 1955 under the name Rassegna Cinematografica Internazionale di Messina e Taormina.
Date: June.

8. SXSW Film Festival, Austin, Texas
South by Southwest Film is part of a series of festivals (music, film and interactive media) held in Austin, Texas.
Founded 1987.
Date: March.

9. The Melbourne International Film Festival, Melbourne  Australia.
Founded in 1952.
Date: August.
Melbourne also has three other major film festivals: Melbourne International Animation Festival (MIAF), Melbourne Queer Film Festival (MQFF) and Melbourne Underground Film Festival (MUFF)

10. The Hong Kong International Film Festival, Hong Kong, China is organized every year by the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society.
Founded in 1976.
Date: March

11. Cairo International Film Festival
It is the only international competitive feature film festival recognized by the FIAPF in the Arab world and Africa.
Founded 1976.
Date: November.

12. Marrakech International Film Festival  (FIFM), Marrakech, Morocco.
Founded 2001.
Date: December.

~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima, Publisher/Editor of the NOLLYWOOD MIRROR®Series.

NOLLYWOOD MIRROR®Series: The only book series on the Nigerian film industry.

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