Female filmmakers in Nigeria and around the world were honoured with various awards at the Premier Women International film Festival, as part of activities to mark the 2022 International Women’s Day (IWD).
A Nigerian, Maggie Osuome beat130 countries to win best actress at the award hosted by Girls Voices Initiative in partnership with the French Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria. She starred in the movie “Freedom Come”. Seventeen other female filmmakers from more than 3,000 entries across the world also bagged various awards.
Etta Jomaria, a movie producer, who received the award on Osuome’s behalf, applauded the maiden award wh8ich she noted was a platform to celebrate women in the film industry. She also expressed her delight that her movie was nominated. “I am thrilled that my film was even selected, it’s a prestigious platform that should not stop. I want to remind women that we can actually have it all. We are not limited,” she said.
Other awardees include: Olesya Morgunets from Ukraine who won best Picture in the movie ‘Carol of the Bells’; Margaux Fazio form Switzerland won best short film; Elvira Linda from USA won Best Director in the move ‘The Letter Room’; Kenza Ben Dhiab from Tunisian won Best Child Actress in the movie ‘Phoenix’, among several others.
Carolyn Seaman, Festival Director and Founder & Creative Director Girls Voices Initiative: Building a Girls’ Rights Movement said the goal of the film festival and awards is to recognise and encourage women across the world no matter their race or religion. She said, “For us, this is a journey that started in 2019 with the French Embassy in Nigeria as we’ve been training young talent and female filmmakers.
“For the Women’s International Film Festival Nigeria, we put out a call and we received over 3,000 film submissions from over 130 countries around the world. The winners emerged based on merit, the whole idea is to celebrate women, it does not matter where you are from, the colour of your skin; women is the whole idea of the programme.”
One of the juries, Helene pont, noted that all movies submitted were incredible, and women are doing a great job in telling stories. “I watched more than 120 movies, the selection process was not easy. I am very happy to see how women can make fantastic movies all around the world. A huge thank you to all women for the good job, this first edition was superb,” she said.