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iREP 2024 to ‘Right the Future’ of Africa’s political anomalies, leadership failures

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  • February 20, 2024
  • 4 min read
iREP 2024 to ‘Right the Future’ of Africa’s political anomalies, leadership failures

By Editor

THE 2024 edition of iREPRESENT International Documentary Film Festival will hold from March 21 – 24, 2024 at its primary home, Lagos. The prime project of the Foundation for Promotion of Documentary Film Festival in Africa (FPDFA), the leading platform for documentary film promotion in Nigeria and West Africa, will also be hosted in virtual format. Founded in 2010, the iREP Festival has the founding generic theme ‘Africa in Self-Conversation,’ which encourages cross-exchanges of ideas and developmental aspirations among the diverse peoples of Africa and the global black family. iREP 2024, the 14th edition of the annual ritual, will feature conversations, screenings, workshops, networking sessions, and other related activities.

Over 45 films are expected to be screened at the two venues hosting the festival this year, namely Freedom Park, 1 Hospital Road, Lagos Island, and Alliance Francaise, Mike Adenuga Centre, Ikoyi, all in Lagos. The films – short are long features — have been drawn from largely Nigerian filmmakers and their counterparts from 25 countries in four continents, who submitted their entries via Filmfreeway. However, there are also some specially curated films selected for the festival, some of which have made the round of international festival circuits and have won awards.

The theme for the 2024 edition, ‘Righting the Future’, according to the Executive Director of iREP, Mr. Femi Odugbemi “is deliberately chosen to instigate conversation between the present and the future of the continent, as well as encourage deeper dialogue between young people and their elders. The provocative theme is set in the context of happenings in the season of political anomalies and leadership failures in many countries of the continent.”

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iREP Executive Director, Mr. Femi Odugbemi

Also, iREP 2024 has been designated ‘The SOYIKA edition’ to commemorate the 90th birthday anniversary of the distinguished global cultural icon, poet, playwright, essayist, polemicist and Africa’s first Nobel laureate for literature, Professor Oluwole Akinwande Soyinka. He embodies the virtues of the quintessential ‘citizen activist’ with the clarity of vision and passion for the betterment of our collective humanity by holding power to be accountable to the people. Over the past six decades and more, he has consistently deployed his intellectual acumen and personal resources to defend human values and the fundamentality of the freedom of the individual to resist oppression. He is renowned for having also displayed a high degree of patriotic zeal to clamour for good governance and participatory democracy by citizens of the country, even at grave risks to his personal comfort and career.

For his tenacious hold to his convictions, he has sometimes run into problems with consecutive state authorities and certain sections of the society. But he remains steadfast in his self-imposed battles to always right the wrongs he perceives in his social, cultural and political environments. These are the values and virtues iREP hopes to spotlight and celebrate at the 2024 festival with the intention to assure members of the social milieu that they can hold on to their beliefs and convictions without being herded by the mob.

The Soyinka section will cover two days of the festival and will be staged at the Alliance Francaise, Mike Adenuga Centre. The day one will be a keynote on ‘Righting the Future: Soyinka & His Engagements’ will be delivered writer, filmmaker, cultural theorist, scholar, art historian, and distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature and Film at the New York University, Prof. Manthia Diawara. He is the writer and director of ‘Negritude: A Dialogue between Wole Soyinka and Leopold Senghor.’ The second day keynote on the humanistic ideals of Soyinka, as reflected in his works, will be delivered by the Dean of Arts and Humanities, Vice Provost at the New York University (NYUAD) and Global Network Professor of Drama, Social and Cultural Analysis, NYU New York, Professor Awam Amkpa. Each keynote will be followed by a panel discussion and screenings of films related to Soyinka’s career.

Odugbemi also provided the context for setting up iREP International Documentary Film Festival, saying it “serves as an educational and cultural platform that harnesses the influence of film and related industries to encourage public engagement in the developments of their sociocultural and political environments. The overarching objective of the iREP is to raise awareness about the documentary format’s potential to deepen and share social and cultural education, while also fostering participatory democracy in our societies.”

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