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ION Film Festival: Dream ComesTrue – Nollywood Stars

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The ION International Film festival has come and gone but it has provided a lifetime experience for the entertainment world particularly practitioners in the Nigerian Movie Industry called Nollywood. Most of them who witnessed the event expressed gratitude to the Rivers State Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi, who hosted the festival for the first time in Africa as it gave them the opportunity to interact with movie makers and actors all over the world including celebrated Hollywood actor Giancario Esposito, Malcom X and Bollywood acclaimed actress Makhija Masumeh.

It was also an opportunity for Nollywood faithfuls to have a glimpse of some of their celebrated stars such as Genevieve Nnaji, Kate Henshaw-Nuttal, Rita Edochie and Rivers State- born, former Miss World Agbani Derego. Others include Sam Dede, Francis Duru, Gentle Jack as well as seasoned movie producers like Dickson Iroegbu, Kingsley Ogoro, Lancelot Imasun and Engr. Reginald Orlu among others.

The Nigerian music industry was not left out as most of the artistes attended the event among whom are, Rivers State born singer, Duncan Mighty, Wande Coal, Seun Anikulapo Kuti, Anambra born music sensation Nneka and Bayelsa State born rare of the moment, Timi Dakolo.

Apart from showcasing some of the over 82 films nominated for award in the various categories such as Animation, Documentary, Narrative feature, short films, student short films, music videos and youths project in which Nigeria won most of the awards, there were opportunities to participate in panel discussions with accredited industry professionals on movie financing.

This provided opportunity for the discussants to brainstorm on issues bordering on film value chain and the different   models to attract finances to film production and the roles of different stakeholders in ensuring that funds were channeled into film production and the development of Nigeria’s entertainment industry. Some of the discussants include representatives of World Bank and other Nigerian banks, firm Managers, consulting films, regulators, producers and distributors.

Another important event was the panel discussion on distribution to explore the best distribution for Nollywood content to ensure profitability. This was ably handled by the Director General of the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), Mr. Emeka Mba, who spoke extensively on the board’s new distribution frame work aimed at ensuring effective distribution of Nigerian movies to curb the menace of piracy in the industry as well as discussions by accredited producers and actors who discussed the possibilities of co-production with Nigerian producers that can provide stories for a wide market appeal.

It is therefore no gainsaying the fact that the festival held in Port Harcourt between 9th and 12th December 2009, is one of the best things to happen to Rivers State and Nigeria as a whole. Apart from exposing the state to the world, it has brought countless opportunities which if properly harnessed would lead to rapid development of the nation’s movie, music and tourism sectors of the economy as well as boost the revenue base of the state.

Though, some Nigerian artistes who spoke in an interview with The Weekend Tide complained of alleged marginalisation by the organisers as they were not carried along, most of them are of the view that it is a dream come true and big plus to the entertainment industry in Nigeria, stressing that, it has provided a rare opportunity for them to interact and partner with top celebrities and professionals from Hollywood and Bollywood, the world’s first and second movie industries in the world respectively.

For Ibinabo Fiberesima, Chairperson of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) Rivers State chapter, the purpose of the event is to promote our film industry. It is a wonderful experience and a dream come true, we thank Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi for his efforts in bringing the film festival to Port Harcourt.

She said apart from providing job opportunities to many, it is an opportunity to prove to the world that Rivers State is a peaceful and hospitable state and not a state where militants, kidnappers and other miscreants hold sway as people erroneously tag the state, so it is a big plus to our image it has given us projection as a state where peace and tranquility reign.

“I personally want to meet the big stars in Hollywood and Bollywood, I am even more honoured that this is happening, it has made the world to know that AGN exists in the state and I am even more honoured that this is happening especially when I am the chairperson.”

Engr. Reginald Orlu, Chairman, Association of Movie Producers (AMP) Rivers State Chapter, said the film festival provides a great opportunity to meet movie producers from Hollywood, Bollywood and other movie industries in the world. It will also create an enabling ground for the distribution of movies. For all the states in Nigeria, God knows why Rivers State is chosen, it is a sign that the world appreciates our peaceful environment and legendary hospitality. It will showcase our works and various locations for movie making.

According to Francis Duru  Chairman AGN Abuja, the ION Film festival is the biggest thing to happen to Nollywood and Port Harcourt, the heart of creativity and it is a good thing especially this period, when people are talking about peace, co-existence and cohabitation. The challenge now is to make good use of the opportunity the event has accorded us to get it right and improve on our standards so that we can compete favourably with Hollywood and Bollywood which are the leading film industries in the world.

According to Alaso Wariboko; a Rivers State born Nollywood actor, he is very happy for the event because it is a great opportunity for Nollywood to get to the neight of movie making. He, however, observed some sloppy arrangements stressing that most of them were not informed and they feel slighted.

He said here in the state, there are good artistes that have all the potentials to rule the movie world. The ION festival is a very big event and the artistes in Port Harcourt are on ground to work with them but we are not properly informed or carried along.

For Gentle Jack, The spirit of welcoming ION should not be dampened, everybody especially the artistes should see themselves as part and parcel of the event, it is only then that they can benefit from the opportunities the event provides.

 

Jacob Obinna

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Duncan Mighty Cheats Death In Ghastly Car Accident

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Rivers State-born singer, Duncan Mighty has survived a car accident while travelling to Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
The self-acclaimed Port Harcourt First Son, on his Instagram account, thanked God for saving his life and Nigerians for praying for him.
He revealed that on January 2, 2022, his vehicle drove straight into the river after a failed brake.
He wrote, “God bless you for your prayers. 2nd January on our way to Uyo, our vehicle drove straight into the river after a trailer on a high speed failed brake, was the last thing I can remember.
“Next is seeing myself in the hospital. God made, no be man made.”

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Grammy Awards Postponed Indefinitely, As Omicron Variant Spreads

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The 64th Grammy Awards has been postponed indefinitely amid an unprecedented wave of COVID Omicron variant.
Recording Academy announced that the awards was postponed indefinitely for safety reasons.
The awards show had been scheduled for January 31; no new date has been set yet.
CBS and Recording Academy in a statement said holding the show on January 31 simply contains too many risks given the uncertainty surrounding the Omicron variant.
Part of the statement read, “After careful consideration and analysis with city and state officials, health and safety experts, the artist community and our many partners, the Recording Academy and CBS have postponed the 64th Annual Grammy Awards Show.”
CBS noted that the health and safety of those in our music community, the live audience, and those who tirelessly work to produce the award show remain our top priority.
“We look forward to celebrating Music’s Biggest Night® on a future date, which will be announced soon,” the statement read.

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Yuletide: Emohua Turns To Carnival City …Commends Awuse’s Magnanimity

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The 2021 Yuletide celebration in Emohua Community, Rivers State was funfilled amidst glitz and glamour as the good people of the ancient town came out in their numbers to celebrate Christmas and new year under a peaceful atmosphere with gratitude to God and Ohna Sergent Awuse for a hitch free yuletide as the town literally turned to a carnival city.
The weeklong activities which started from December 23rd 2021 kicked off with the Ohna Awuse cup competition which featured six teams named after different countries. At the grand finale on January 4th 2022, South Africa defeated Ivory Coast with a lone goal and went home with the golden cup and N250,000 cash, while the second position went to Ivory Coast with a cash prize of N150,000, Egypt took third and got N100,000.
Speaking at the event, the Chairman, Organising Committee of the tournament, Mr Nnebuchi Woleru, thanked Ohna Awuse for sponsoring the tournament which has been in existence for the past six years. He described the soccer event as a unifying factor among the youths as the players were drawn from the eight villages in Emohua town. He stressed that they decided to name the teams after countries to avoid acrimony and rancour as was witnessed in previous tournaments.
According to Woleru, the football event helped to ensure peace in the community and contributed in curbing the menace of youth restiveness cultism and other social vices among the youths. He thanked Ohna Awuse for his foresight and for ensuring peace in the town.
Ohna Awuse noted that the purpose of the competition was to encourage the youths to discover and harness their potentials, promote peace and unity among the youths and to change the negative narrative and conduct for which they were known in the past. He thanked them for their peaceful conduct throughout the competition.
Ohna Awuse also ushered in the new year by hosting Ohna Emohua, Eleru-urie, Emohua Council of Chiefs, widows and the youths. He noted that 2022 was a year of peace, unity and freedom as he called for all hands to be on deck to move Emohua to the next level of development and peaceful coexistence.
The yuletide also witnessed masquerade displays and carnivals by the eight villages of Emohua. Speaking at one of the masquerade displays the Chairman of Ohna Mele Masquerade Dance, Mr Ifeanyi Iroh, thanked Ohna Awuse, Barr Chima Obinna and others for sponsoring the masquerade dance which he said had given them a sense of belonging and had helped to promote their age long culture and tradition.
Also speaking the youth Chairman and coordinator of Mgbuetor Carnival, Mr Anachor Emenike noted that the purpose of the carnival was to entertain the youths during the festive period and the carnival symbolises unity, peace and love among the youths. He thanked Hon Collins Amegl Opuel Wordu and other sponsores of the event for making their dream come true and urged others to emulate their kind gestures.

By: Jacob Obinna

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