THE much-anticipated Realtime International Film Festival (RTF) began last Saturday, August 20, 2022 with a formal opening that was loaded with glamorous activities that included a Red Carpet reception and screening of short and feature films at the SPACE HUB at WEP, Lekki studios, 6-8 General Ogomudia Boulevard, Off Jeremiah Ugwu Street, Off Babatunde Anjous Avenue, Off Admiralty Way, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos.
The opening ceremony, attended by the in the Nollywood, took off formally with an Industry Tributes, which duly honoured practitioners who have contributed to the movement and development of the Nigerian film industry. Thereafter, the screening of select short films started that included Tailored by Kongs Shamaki, ‘Poached, by Andrea Peregrino and Damilare Adeleke, Unseen Tears by Sammieleo, and Abuja by Nuvie Films Production. Obi Emelonye’s latest and popular flick, Blackmail had its African premiere as the opening feature film of the festival.
Festival founder and Director of RTF, Stanlee Ohikhuare, in a statement said the 7th edition of the festival has been designed to act as a “connector between generations of filmmakers”, and as well as “bridge the gaps often seen within several film traditions and ethnicities.” As such the selection of films has been deliberately curated to reflect the different cultures and styles of storytelling.
“A special feature of the festival in its 7th iteration is the desire to pay due attention to the “labours of our heroes past,” said Ohikhuare. “RTF is proud to revisit Nollywood’s foundations as we will see Nollywood Classics that are no longer in the gaze of younger practitioners or film patrons.”
“The films have been specially selected to show the various tendencies of the basis of what is today known as the Nollywood film production aesthetics,” added the multi-skilled filmmaker and festival director.
Importantly, the selected films will serve as educational and mentoring tools for the pool of young filmmakers who may never have encountered them or their makers, and who form the bulk of the festival’s participants and patrons.
Continued Ohikhuare: “The plan is to use the edition to pay tribute to the “labour of the heroes past” by showcasing high points of the glorious moments in the chequered journeys of the Nigerian cinema. “This will be done through the showcasing of some of the films that made a huge and impactful impression in the 1990s through the 2000s before the now famous ‘Nollywood’ came to formally acquire its name and current character.”
The classic films will be showcased mostly at Freedom Park, the old historical colonial prison, which has become the most important centre for cultural production and expression in the city of Lagos. This is a deliberate move by the organisers to properly locate the films in the glorious past of then Nigerian films.
Among the “classics” featuring in the session which began screening on Sunday, August 21, 2022 at Freedom Park, Lagos, are Hostages (1 hr. 56 mins; 1997), directed by Tade Ogidan for OGD Pictures, Vigilante (16mm; 106 mins; 1988), written by Afolabi Adesanya, directed by Adedeji Adesanya and produced by Afolabi Adesanya for A’ Productions, Ose Sango (104 mins, 1991), written by Afolabi Adesanya, directed by Afolabi Adesanya and produced by Adedeji Adesanya for A’ Productions, Maroko (120 mins; 2006), written and produced by Yinka Ogun and directed by Femi Odugbemi, Across the Niger (82 mins; 2004), written by Kabat Esosa Egbon, directed by Izu Ojukwu and produced by Kingsley Ogoro for Kingsley Ogoro Productions, Heritage (89mins; 2003), written, directed, and produced by Ladi Ladebo for Ladi Ladebo Productions, Saving Alero (110mins; 2001), written by Francis Onwochei, directed by Tade Ogidan and produced by Francis Onwochei, and The Kingmaker (2002), directed by Fred Amata, produced by Olu and Joke Jacobs, for Lufodo Productions. Also showing are two films — Campus Queen and Thunderbolt from the rich stable of the ace filmmaker, Tunde Kelani.