Tuesday, January 31, 2012

US Deputy Secretary Burns Completes Week-long Trip to Africa

31 Jan 2012 05:26 Africa/Lagos

US Deputy Secretary Burns Completes Week-long Trip to Africa

WASHINGTON, January 31, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Media Note

Office of the Spokesperson

Washington, DC

January 30, 2012

Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns wrapped up his week-long visit to Africa today in Ethiopia. As head of the U.S. delegation to the African Union Summit, he met yesterday and today with a number of leaders in Addis Ababa, including UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, South Sudanese President Kiir, Sudanese Foreign Minister Karti, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles, Libyan Prime Minister al-Keeb, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang, and Kenyan Foreign Minister Wetangula. Over the weekend, the Deputy Secretary was in Uganda, where he met with Ugandan President Museveni and visited a public-private partnership at Wagagai, one of more than a hundred clinics that the United States supports in Uganda to provide preventive care and comprehensive maternal and child health services. He also traveled on January 28 to South Sudan, where he met with a number of senior officials including Vice President Machar.

Throughout his meetings at the African Union, as well as in Ghana, Uganda, and South Sudan, the Deputy Secretary highlighted our ongoing commitment to work with African partners to support gains in democratic governance, sustainable development, economic growth, and the peaceful resolution of conflict. His discussions also covered a range of security, political, and humanitarian challenges facing the continent. The Deputy Secretary expressed deep concern regarding the Government of Sudan's continued denial of humanitarian access to Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, and also underscored the need for Sudan and South Sudan to quickly reach agreement on oil and related financial issues. Various leaders he met with expressed concern about the growing threat posed to Nigeria and the region by Boko Haram. The Deputy Secretary stressed that the United States will continue to support the Government of Nigeria on this and other challenges facing the country. On Somalia, the Deputy Secretary noted U.S. support for the work of the African Union Mission in Somalia and the need for the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) to make steady and sustained progress on the Roadmap in advance of the end of the TFG's mandate in August. The Deputy Secretary highlighted ongoing U.S. collaboration and partnership with the African Union on a broad range of issues, and assured leaders of the U.S. commitment to continue to assist the African Union in augmenting its capacity to address the many opportunities and challenges facing the continent.

In Ghana, Uganda, and Ethiopia, the Deputy Secretary took the time to engage with a cross section of young leaders, entrepreneurs, and civil society activists engaged in every sector of society. The Deputy Secretary's visit, coming on the heels of the Secretary's visit to West Africa last week, reaffirms the high priority that the Obama Administration attaches to Africa, and the special emphasis the United States has placed on engaging the continent's next generation of leaders.

Source: US Department of State

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Top 20 Nigerian Filmmakers

Tunde Kelani

Top 20 Nigerian Filmmakers

In no particular order, the following are the top 20 Nigerian filmmakers based on the local and international ratings of their active engagements, current movies at the cinemas, critical press reviews by film critics and screenings at film festivals.

1. Tunde Kelani

Tunde Kelani has been the most resourceful and outstanding Nigerian filmmaker from the old school who has remained very active since the 1970s to date when his contemporaries are no longer very active. He is accomplished in both celluloid and video And his notable films include Anikura, Ireke Onibudo, Pap Ajasco, Kannakanna, Ogun Ajaye, Iya Ni Wura, Taxi Driver, Iwa, Fopomoyo and feature videos Ti Oluwa Nile , Ayo Ni Mofe , Kosegbe, O Le Ku, Saworoide And Thunderbolt and Maami.

2. Amaka Igwe

Amaka Igwe may be called the “Mama of Nollywood” for being the leading lady of Nigeria’s home video industry for her notable contributions to the sustainable development from the 1990s to date. And famous for her outstanding movies Rattle Snake, Violated, Checkmate, Forever and celluloid film A Barber's Wisdom - a film which is part of M-Net's new directions.

3. Izu Ojukwu

Izu Ojukwu is one of the most accomplished Nigerian filmmakers of the new generation, but very modest about his achievements. He has won African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) for Best Director for the film Sitanda, which received 9 nominations and won 5 awards at the 2007 African Movie Academy Awards, including Best Picture & Best Nigerian Film.

4. Lancelot Oduwa Imaseun

Lancelot Imaseun who is the real Mr. Prolific of Nollywood, is one of the icons of the Nigerian film industry who has been there from the birth of Nollywood in the early 1990s to date and a multiple award winning director of over 200 movies so far including A Private Storm, Bent Arrows , Home in Exile and his latest blockbuster Adesuwa.

5. Teco Benson

Teco Benson is without dispute among the outstanding filmmakers in Nigeria today and among his notable movies are High Blood Pressure, The Fake Prophet, Mission To Nowhere, Explosion: Now or Never, Silence of the Gods, Blood Diamonds, Danger Signal, State of Emergency and War Front.

6. Kunle Afolayan

Kunle Afolayan is carrying on the torch of his famous father Adeyemi Afolayan, aka Ade Love who produced box office hits in the 1970s. Kunle’s Irapada was the best indigenous movie at the 2007 African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) and his box office hit The Figurine: Araromire won the best picture prize and four other major awards at the 2010 African movie academy Awards (AMAA) and has been well received at local and international film festivals.

7. Faruk Lasaki

Faruk Lasaki is an accomplished young filmmaker who is more accomplished for his commercials. And his first feature Changing Faces has become one of the most critically successful Nigerian movies in recent time.

8. Chineze Anyaene

Chineze Anyaene’s first feature IJÉ the Journey shot on 35mm is so far the most successful Nigerian movie in Nigeria and at major international film festivals where the film has won many nominations and awards

9. Mak Kusare

Mak ’Kusare is a young and ambitious filmmaker who has won multiple awards for his features, including three awards for his first feature Ninety Degrees in 2006 at the Zuma Film Film Festival in Abuja, for the Best Director, Best First Film/Video of a Director and Best Feature Film. He also directed the Champions of our Time that has won prizes, including; Best Film award at the Zafaa International Film Festival, Abuja International Film Festival, the special jury prize for TV/Video fiction and a special ECOWAS prize at the 2011 Pan African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO).

10. Jeta Amata

Jeta Amata is a highly rated filmmaker for his ambitious 35mm film The Amazing Grace which won the Best West African Film award at the 2006 Screen Nations Awards UK and for his daring award winning 2011 film Black Gold and the multiple awards winning Inale.

11. Obi Emelonye

Obi Emelonye who is now based in the UK is a notable award winning Nollywood filmmaker known for his outstanding movies, including The Asylum (2008), Sweet, Betrayal (2007), Lucky Joe (2006), London Successor (2006), Echoes of War (2003), Who's Next? (2001), Good Friends (2000) and his most successful so far The Mirror Boy.

12. Mahmood Ali-Balogun

Mahmood Ali-Balogun is the director of Tango With Me, one of the most successful Nigerian films shot on 35 mm and for “Temi ni Tooto” in 2003.. He is also respected for .his award-winning MNET short film A Place called Home in 1998

13. Stephanie Okereke

Stephanie Okereke’s Through the Glass which premiered in October 18th 2008 at the Pacific Design Center in Hollywood, California and got her the Recognition Award from the California state legislature and the city of Carson is among the top 10 Nigerian movies at the cinemas and also got an international distributor in North America.
14. Femi Odugbemi

Femi Odugbemi is a highly esteemed award-winning filmmaker who is notable for his award winning documentaries, dramas, TV Shows and commercials and commended for his Bar Beach Blues and Maroko.

15. Lonzo Nzekwe

Lonzo Nzekwe’s Anchor Baby won the Best Film prize at the 2010 Harlem International Film Festival in New York and has taken him places so far. The film is among the fantastic revelations of Nigerian motion pictures in the first decade of the 21st century.

16. Michelle Bello

Michelle Bello’s feature film, “Small Boy” had scooped coveted prizes and nominations at various awards ceremonies and film festivals, including Two AMAA awards for Best Art Direction and Best Young Child Actor in April 2009; two nominations at the American Black Film Festival in Los Angeles in August 2008, the Heineken Red Star Award for Innovation in Film and the Target Filmmaker Award for Most Inspirational Film. The film was also part of the Federal Government delegation to the Israeli Film Festival. Ms. Bello is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C. where she earned a degree in Mass Communication, specializing in Visual Media. She is the daughter of respected arts promoter, Mrs. Sylva Bello, of the Masoma Foundation.

17. Chike Ibekwe

Chike Ibekwe’s first and only feature so far Eternal shared the Golden Screen prize for the best film award with “An Unusual Woman” by Burkinabe director Abdoulaye Dao at the 14th annual “Ecrans noirs” Film Festival in Yaounde (Cameroon) and has been screened at other international film festivals..

18. Niji Akanni

Niji Akanni is a quiet storm that thundered with Aramotu his historical film that won the Best Nigerian film prize at the 2011 http://www.ama-awards.com/amaa-nominees-and-winners-2011African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA), beating Mahmood Ali-Balogun’s Tango With Me, Tunde Kelani’s Maami, Jeta Amata’s Inale and Lancelot Imaseun/Ikechukwu Onyeka’s Private Storm. Akanni is a seasoned and well educated director who is highly respected in the Nigerian film industry for his award winning short and full length films.

19. Newton Aduaka

Newton Aduaka’s feature film, Rage, became the first wholly independently financed film by a black filmmaker in the history of British cinema to be released nationwide and has earned him a place among the most accomplished young Black filmmakers in the world today. Ezra, his first non-independently funded film, for Arte France was nominated for top honours at several film festivals and was an official selection at Sundance and Cannes and won the most coveted first prize of Etalon d'or de Yennenga (the golden stallion of Yennenga) at the 2007 Panafrican Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO).

20. Ejim Onyenkachi

Ejim Onyekachi’s multiple award winning film The Tenant earned him a place among the top 20 Nigerian filmmakers. The film notably won the Audience Choice Award, Best Feature Film– at the Hollywood Black Film Festival in 2009, Best Film at the Mid Atlantic Black Film Festival, Virginia in 2009 and the Best Feature Film at the Moving Image Film festival, Toronto, Canada in 2008.

~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima is the author of
Young At Art, Best of Nollywood and other articles and books.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Major Hamza Al-Mustapha and Accomplice Sentenced To Death

Major Hamza Al-Mustapha going to jail.

Monday January 30 was an ill-fated day for Major Hamza Al-Mustapha as he was sentenced to death by Judge Mojisola Dada at the high court in Igbosere on the Lagos Island in Nigeria. The former Chief Security Officer to late General Sani Abacha, the despotic tyrant and ruler of Nigeria from 1993 to 1998, was found guilty of masterminding the assassination of Kudirat Abiola on June 4th 1996. Kudirat was one of the wives of the late Chief M.K.O Abiola, the president-elect of the annulled 1993 presidential election. Al-mustapha was sentenced along with Alhaji Lateef Shofolahan, a protocol officer in the MKO Abiola campaign organization, also found guilty for his complicity in the murder of Kudirat. Al-mustapha has been in detention since he was arrested on Thursday, 22nd day of October 1998.

Kudirat Abiola

Chief M.K.O Abiola and Gen. Sani Abacha

On December 21, 2010, Hamza Al-mustapha was discharged and acquitted for the attempted murder of Mr. Alex Ibru, Publisher of The Guardian newspapers on February 2, 1996, when his car was sprayed with machine gun fire from unidentified men who had trailed him in a deep-blue Peugeot when Ibru was the Minister of Internal Affairs from 1993 to 1995 during the military regime of General Sani Abacha. Alex Ibru died on 20 November 2011, aged 66.

Without doubt, Al-mustapha will appeal against the death sentence.

~ By Orikkinla Osinachi

Bollywood To Grow From $3.2 Billion in 2010 to $5 Billion by 2014

The Indian film industry popularly known as Bollywood currently ranks number one in the world for attendance and film production with over 1,000 films produced a year and approximately 90% of revenues derived from non-English language movies. Recent reports project the country's film industry to grow from $3.2 billion in 2010 to $5 billion by 2014.

Bollywood films cost millions of dollars and the most expensive so far is Ra.One, a science fiction film with a budget of about USD 27 million.

Copyright © 2012 Nigerians Report, International Digital Post Network Limited. All rights reserved.

My Birthday Message

Many thanks to all those who remembered my birthday, January 30th without being reminded. I really appreciate your well wishes and I have prophesied the blessings and favcurs of God to reward you always. Amen.

To celebrate my birthday, may I share the following article on how to separate fact from fiction in the midst of the existential challenges of life.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Inch by Inch ...

"If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done. Keep on sowing your seed, for you never know which will grow—perhaps it all will."1

I recently read about a woman who planted some 50,000 daffodil bulbs in her back yard—one at a time—over a period of nearly fifty years!

"Year after year, she kept planting bulbs until she had created five acres of ineffable magnificence, beauty and inspiration. After seeing the spectacular garden one woman remarked, 'It makes me sad in a way. What might I have accomplished if I had thought of a wonderful goal 35 or 40 years ago and had worked on it one bulb at a time through all those years? Just think what I might have been able to achieve!' Her daughter responded, 'Start tomorrow.' The mother said, 'I'll start today.'"2

It's amazing what can be accomplished by doing just a little every day, day after day. You've probably heard the old saying that says, "Inch by inch anything's a cinch—but yard by yard it's miles too hard."

When I first wanted to write a book, it seemed like an overwhelming task. However, a friend suggested I considered writing just one page at a time. "I can handle that," I said to myself … and that's what I did 205 times.

Not many people are going to plant five acres of daffodils and not everybody is going to write a book. However, the important thing is to invest your life in a worthwhile cause that will achieve at least three things: (1) it will have eternal value, (2) it will benefit others, and (3) it will give you a deep sense of satisfaction in that you will not have lived in vain but have achieved something worthwhile with your life. It doesn't have to be profound or earth shattering—just significant. And that you can start today … one "bulb," one "page," one kind word of encouragement, one act of kindness at a time … every day for the rest of your life.

Suggested prayer:
"Dear God, please give me a noble cause for which to live—not so big that it will cause me to be proud … not so small that it will never be a challenge … but big enough to make me stretch and grow … and give my life significance. And most of all grant that it will be a blessing to others and bring glory to your name. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Ecclesiastes 11:4, 6 (TLB)(NLT).
2. KneEmail #777, Mike Benson, Editor, http://www.oakhillcoc.org


Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Nigeria To Host African Première of Cybornetics

The African première of CYBORNETICS, a new science fiction film directed by Dwayne Buckle will be in Nigeria before summer.

What do you get when you get when you mix a barbarian, a bright eyed kid from the 1920s, and a director with a burning desire for Science Fiction? You get the latest film on our radar, “Cybornetics“. On it’s surface, this film featuring Raw Leiba (“Conan The Barbarian”, 2011) and Justiin A. Davis (“Boardwalk Empire”), is the story of group of scientists, working for the United States government, who transform Charles Benjamin, a small time hustler, into a cyborg.
Credited cast:
Raw Leiba Raw Leiba ...
Ice Morales
Hillary Hawkins Hillary Hawkins ...
Justiin A. Davis Justiin A. Davis ...
Charles Chuck Benjamin
James Rich James Rich ...
Scientist Lionel S. Polnacheck
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Nate Steinwachs Nate Steinwachs ...
Scientist Whitman
Preston Lawrence Preston Lawrence ...
Black Goon
Zahra Zubaidi Zahra Zubaidi ...
Tammy Thomas Tammy Thomas ...
Alan Bendich Alan Bendich ...
General McGregor
Roy Nowlin Roy Nowlin ...
Garrett Paknis Garrett Paknis ...
Robot Controller
Billy Klein Billy Klein ...
Patricia Gonzalez Patricia Gonzalez ...
Chico's Wife
Renes Rivera Renes Rivera ...
Adonis Williams Adonis Williams ...
Weeping Willow

Presented by:
360 Sound and Vision, LTD

For more details contact:
Nigerians Report
E-mail: publisher@nigeriansreport.com

The cinema première of THE MINORITY, another film by Dwayne Buckle comes up next month in Lagos.