Nigerian feature film, Eyimofe (This is My Desire) has won the Achilles Valdosta Award at the just concluded Torino International Film Festival in Italy. The film, which had its world premiere at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival, was screened on November 24, in the Torino 38 section of the renowned festival.
Named after the famed Italian film critic, the award is given to the best film in competition as decided by a jury of TorinoSette – La Stampa readers (one of the three major newspapers in Italy).
In giving Eyimofe the award, the jury made a special note of the film’s interpretation of “the theme of emigration with an alternative slant, from the point of view of the migrant before he becomes one. In a sort of neorealism, the authors represent the difficult daily life of Lagos with dignity without falling into melodrama and compassion.”
Meanwhile, Botox, a co-production between Iran and Canada, directed by Kaveh Mazaheri, was named the best feature at the festival. The film co-written by Mazaheri and Sepinud Najian also won the award for best screenplay.
The award for the best short film went to A Better You by Eamonn Murphy from Ireland, while The Last Hillbilly, by Diane Sara Bouzgarrou and Thomas Jenkoe from France was selected as best documentary.
The special jury award was given to Fernanda Valadez’s Sin Senas Particulares, a co-production between Mexico and Spain while Mercedes Hernandez was named the best actress for her role in the film.
Conrad Mericoffer was named the best actor for his role in Camp de Maci from Romania. A line up of 133 films was presented during the festival. Extra Sauce, a short film co-produced by Iran and Germany, was also screened.
Established in 1982 by Prof. Gianni Rondolino, the Torino Film Festival is dedicated to innovative styles and new trends in cinema in Italy and abroad. Every year, TFF has established itself as a forum dedicated to supporting independent cinema, first and second works, documentaries and linguistic experimentation.
Throughout its history, the Torino Film Festival has had the honour of hosting international artists. However, the real objective of the festival is to discover and celebrate emerging directors.
This year’s festival celebrates its 38th edition, following an unprecedented global pandemic that has reaffirmed the importance of artists, community and cinema storytelling.
Set in Lagos, Nigeria, Eyimofe is a two-chapter film that follows the stories of Mofe (Jude Akuwudike), a factory technician, and Rosa (Temi Ami-Williams), a hairdresser, on their quest for what they believe will be a better life on foreign Shores.
The film is presented by GDN Studios, directed by twin brothers Arie and Chuko Esiri and produced by Melissa Adeyemo. It was funded entirely in Nigeria, shot on 16mm and filmed across 48 locations in Lagos. Executive Producers include Maiden Alex Ibru, Toke Alex Ibru, Olorogun Oskar Ibru, Kayode Akindele and Ifeoma Esiri.
Since its world premiere, the film has been selected for different international festivals, including Indie Lisboa International Film Festival in Portugal, BFI London Film Festival in the UK, Mostra Sao Paolo International Film Festival in Brazil, Cinecitta International Film Festival (CIFF) in the Netherlands, Valladolid International Film Festival in Spain, The Viennale in Austria, Sharjah Film Platform festival in UAE, Vancouver International Film Festival in Canada, AFI Film Festival in the USA, Thessaloniki International Film Festival in Greece, New Horizons International Film Festival in Poland and Torino Film Festival in Italy.
Now, with the recent festival selections in France and China, Eyimofe has been exposed to festival audiences in 15 countries – representing Nigeria everywhere it travels to.
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