Plans are currently in top gear for what many consider the biggest celebration of Nollywood, Nigeria’s most influential cultural export double-pack festival in Frankfurt, Germany tagged “Nollywood Film Festival Germany – NFFG and Nollywood E-Golden Awards – NEGA 2014” under the patronage of awards winning Isaac Izoya Cultural Ambassador of Ehizoya Golden Entertainment and Hessen State’s Filmforun Höchst VHS, Frankfurt, Germany.
From the streets of Paris, France through to Antwerp, Belgium, Texas, USA and the major cities in Germany including Frankfurt Am Main where the event proper is set to take place, the build up is on – that every one, Africans and their European friends alike are talking about it.
According to the chief organizer, Isaac Izoya, the month of September has been carefully chosen instead of the original August date which coincides with school holiday in Frankfurt. The decision to hold this festival is based on the interest shown by the Germans and Europeans to watch classic Nollywood films on big screen for the first time. Their unprecedented interests followed with endless phone calls, forced us to change the festival date to September, after their school holiday.
THE FESTIVAL DETAILS
Nollywood Film Festival Germany – NFFG / Nollywood E-Golden Awards NEGA 2014 – is a four-day event scheduled to hold at Hessen’s Filmforun Höchst VHS, Frankfurt, Germany from 11th to 14th September 2014.
Nollywood Film Festival Germany – NFFG aims to create a platform that will facilitate an opportunity for Nigerian directors, actors, film distributors, producers and journalists to interact with their Europe counterparts about the nature and future of Nollywood and the movie industry generally. It will be both a pedagogic and stimulating platform for intercultural dialogue and international exposure.
Nollywood Festival/NEGA Awards Germany is an annual event dedicated to showcasing the best of Nollywood to the German audience in order to foster international trading and exchange opportunities in this largely untapped market.
1. Two feature length films screening daily.
2. Opening night cocktail attended by Nollywood directors, actors, German/Nigerian experts
3. African Movie premiere and the screening of two outstanding Nollywood movies daily is planned for the NFFG event.
FIRST COLLOQUIUM ON AFRICAN FILMS.
This is a special segment in the four day NFFG/NEGA 2014. It is a gathering of African film makers and stakeholders with international interest groups to discuss trends in African films production and trade and proffer solutions. Those expected to be in the panel are reputable film makers from Africa, Europe and USA.
WHAT IS NOLLYWOOD – BY THE WAY?
Nollywood is the acronym to describe the Nigerian motion picture industry. It is a name apparently modeled after Hollywood of America. Nollywood has been described by UNESCO as the second largest producer of feature films in the world after Bollywood of India. It has been universally recognised as part of the popular African culture of today.
Nollywood is the third ranking source of revenue for Nigeria after Oil and Agriculture. According to experts who follow the industry, in 2006, Nollywood was reported to have grossed $90 Million in New York alone and also suffered over $900 million yearly in UK alone due to lack of proper distribution framework.
Nollywood, the nomenclature for the Nigeria motion picture industry, has been variously described as a phenomenon. This is because the format was a sudden and successful vehicle that has consistently driven the visual entertainment wing of the industry at the expense of cinema, television serials and perhaps stage plays.
Yet, official statistics reveal that over 2,000 movies are censored in Nigeria by the National Film and Video Censors Board yearly. There seems to be a movie boom by Nigeria’s teeming movie producers and marketers because of what seems to be a huge reception of the products by the people of Africa who believe that, for the first time, authentic African stories are being told by Africans using globally competitive medium.
The Nigerian film industry has transcended national and continental borders, obtaining worldwide recognition. America, Australia, United Kingdom, Italy, France, and Spain are some examples of western nations where Nollywood has penetrated remarkably. Unfortunately, curiously, Nollywood is still largely unknown to millions of Germans. But this is about to change by the operation of this NFFG 2014 initiative.
WHY FRANKFURT – GERMANY?
Ehizoya Golden Entertainment e.V consciously chose the cosmopolitan city of Frankfurt in consideration of the multi-cultural outlook of Frankfurt and the model role the city is playing in promoting integration as well as the city’s well documented pragmatic policy against racism, intolerance and discrimination. Berlin, a city which shares the above-stated virtues of Frankfurt, was the starting point where the vision bearer of this initiative, the award-winning Mr. Isaac Izoya (a cultural ambassador), through the medium of “Ehizoya Golden Entertainment”, first established Nollywood’s active presence in Europe. Mr. Izoya started building Nollywood’s presence in Europe in 2002 through Nollywood film productions and promotion shows, stand-up comedy shows, music and cultural road shows across Europe. Recently, he relocated to Frankfurt due to the well documented supportive character of the city of Frankfurt as well as popular demand by Africans, especially Nigeria immigrant populations in and around Hessen.
Since the regular storming of Europe by Nollywood movie stars, Germany has played a major role in giving comfort and pleasure for the visiting stars from Nigeria and Ghana. Germany was described as “Home abroad” by a majority of the Nollywood stars who have visited Germany through Ehizoya Golden Entertainment e.V. Thus, the choice of Frankfurt, Germany will be building on already existing structures.
Considering the growing numbers of Africa immigrant children and families in Germany, and the desire of a majority of them to have basic knowledge of life in Africa, the concentration in promoting Nollywood movies as a tutorial apparatus and a window of knowledge of Africa for the African-German descendants is becoming inevitable.
More or so, it has been Ehizoya Golden Entertainment e.V’s dream to promote Germany to become a rewarding promise land and Mecca State of Excellence for Nollywood (Africans) film makers and a choice tourist destination for the bourgeoisie Nollywood movie stars who otherwise spend a lot of hard currencies making holidays in America, United Kingdom, France and Italy, generating national income for those territories.
Ehizoya Golden Entertainment e.V’s believes that making Germany a favorite location for Nollywood tourism and cultural exchange will not only generate income for Germany but could also serve as a medium for re-branding for both the German and the Nigerian image, home and abroad.
NOLLYWOOD E-GOLDEN AWARDS GALA-NITE, NEGA 2014.
The four days event will be crowned with NEGA Awards; (Nollywood E-Golden Awards). It will feature honors for selected Nollywood living legends from Nigeria, Ghana and in the Diaspora who have played important roles in making Nollywood what it has become today. An A-List Stand-Up comedian, Cultural Dancers and Nigerian Hip Hop live performances will feature at an events venue in Frankfurt am Main.
“NOLLYWOOD DIASPORA TALENT HUNT COMPETITION”
Ehizoya Golden Entertainment e.V also hopes to leverage on the event to rediscover African talents in the Diaspora for Nollywood and across the globe. The winners will be rewarded with, at least, sub-lead roles in Nollywood films.
Ehizoya Golden Entertainment e.V has made it a responsibility to create these programs that will challenge, educate, improve and empower the lots of Nigerians in Germany and Europe who are endowed with various talents and natural gifts. This, to a significant extent, will improve the socio-economic status of many and could reduce the menace of idleness, criminality and restiveness of some.
In summary therefore, the NFFG/NEGA Awards is expected to attract African diplomats, politicians, film-makers, Nollywood stake-holders, Nollywood cross-border fans and of course the Europeans, especially residents of Frankfurt in particular and Hessen State in general.
If history is anything to go by, we’re really in for a very big show!
If experience is really the best teacher, we’ll then understand why Ehizoya’s motto is; “The Show Must Go On!”
See you in Frankfurt come September 2014 because “The Show Must Go On!”
ORGANIZATIONS BEHIND THE PROJECT; (We Are No Alone)
The brain child of Nigeria’s top flight European based show promoting outfit Ehizoya Golden Entertainment, is behind the project in association with Hessen State Filmforum VHS – Frankfurt Am Main, Germany, The Office for Multicultural Affairs (AMKA – Germany), Nigerian Association Rhein/Main Area e.V Frankfurt, Germany, Sunday Exclusive Live, Nigeria Television Authority NTA, ECD… Connecting Community People, Nollywood Radio France and Nollywood Spotlight – Houston, Texas, USA are all behind the camera.
Ehizoya Golden Entertainment e.V
Believing that the exposure of artistes is veritable vehicle for influencing humanity, culture and the people’s mentality, Ehizoya Golden Entertainment e.V, based in Germany, has successfully used her Integration movies and Shows for bringing Africans and their European friends and relatives together for an opportunity to feel merry. She has done this since 2002 when the organization premiered the movie “Sinners In The House” in Berlin. That was Nollywood’s first movie ever produced and premiered in Germany. The Integration Shows created, and continues to create opportunities for Africans and Africa-Germans as well as friends and relatives of Africa, who may not have been to Africa for some time, to meet and mingle with Africans in an African social environment and to share memories of Africa and feel at home – far away from home – both in Germany and across Europe countries – annually.
Ehizoya Golden Entertainment e.V has been leveraging Nollywood stars/movies, Nigerian stand-up comedians and hip-hop stars as a medium for unearthing and exposing artistic talents and promoting
African cultural heritage in Europe. She produces movies as a means of promoting integration in Europe and as a medium of resisting modern days slavery tagged “Human trafficking” by discouraging the interest among African youths and their families through demonstrative films that show to them that “all that glitters in Europe among immigrants is not gold” contrary to the general belief in Africa that Europe is heaven on earth.
This Ehizoya Golden Entertainment e.V believes may contribute significantly to stem the tide among desperate African migrants who flock to Europe through illegitimate means at great risks.
Some of the artistes who have benefited from such tours include prominent Nollywood icons;
Patience Ozokwor a.k.a Mama G, Ramsey Nouah, Mercy Johnson, Benedict Johnson, Charles Inojie (2 times), Ghana star – Jackie Appiah, Monalisa Chinda, Zik Zulu Okafor – AMP President, Ngozi Ezeonu, Empress Njamah, Nkeiruka Sylvanus, Jim Iyke, Desmond Elliot, Chinedu Ikedieze and Osita Iheme a.k.a Aki and PawPaw, John Okafor (a.k.a. Mr Ibu), Victor Osuagwu (a.k.a. One Dollar
Some of the stand-up comedians include;
Bright Okpocha, popularly known as Basket Mouth, Julius Agwu, Francis Agoda a.k.a I Go Dye,
Mike Ogbolosingha, Sheddi Baba, Maleke, not forgetting Kennedy Uyi Oviahon of blessed memory.
The list of Producers/directors who have featured in the Ehizoya Golden Entertainment shows include;
Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen (4 times), Kayode Peters, Peter Gabriel and Taiwo Oduala
For the musicians, the list include; Timaya with His Dem Mama Sojas, Olu Maintain aka Yahoozee, J. Martins, Bernard Ohenhen, BigBen, Deacon/Mr/s Palmer Omoruyi and Maleke to mention only but a few. This certainly is a record that has remained unbroken by any African in the EU till date.
ABOUT ISAAC IZOYA – IN BRIEF!
The detailes of Ishan, Edo State of Nigeria born and a graduate of London School of Journalism, Mr. Izoya´s contribution to Nollywood Film industry via Ehizoya Golden Entertainment he founded is well documented. His contribution has been acknowledged by a number of awards of excellence he has received. Some of the awards he has received include the following;
1. 2004 – Cultural Ambassador Award by Association of African Ambassadors in Berlin
2. 2004 – African Macro Entertainment Certificate of Merit, Berlin, Germany
3. 2005 – Nomination by Association of Movie Producers to represent their interest in Europe, based on his pedigree.
4. 2007 – Nollywood Outstanding Personalities Award NOPA by National Association of Movie Journalist NAMOJ, Lagos, Nigeria.
5. 2008 – Kultural Ambassador Media Award KAMA by African Heritage/Media Consult, Hamburg, Germany.
6. 2012 – The Voice African Achievers Award, Amsterdam, Holland.
7. 2012 – Nominee for Adler Award as African Best Entertainment/Producer In Europe by African Youth Foundation – AYF. Bonn, Germany.
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