Thursday, March 21, 2013

Welcome To the 2013 I-Represent Documentary Film Festival from March 21-24


On behalf of directors of the i-REPRESENT Documentary Film Forum, I wish to invite you to the 2013 I-REPRESENT INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL (aka iREP Docu Film Feast), which will hold MARCH 21-24, at the FREEDOM PARK, 1 Hospital Road, by Broad Street, Lagos.

The generic theme for the iREP 2013 -- as is the tradition for every edition -- is AFRICA IN SELF-CONVERSATION but the theme for the 2013 edition is RECONNECTIONS (please see explanation below).

Over 30 popular and award winning documentaries sourced from notable and new filmmakers around Africa and its Diaspora, Europe and the USA, will be screened during the festival. The films all essentially treat themes that concern developments and realities around Africa and its peoples. Specifically, the films deal with issues of spirituality, religion, politics, culture, conflict, gender discrimination and affirmations, among others.

Specifically, we wish to invite you to the OPENING CEREMONY of the festival, which holds at 10am on THURSDAY, MARCH 21 at the Kongi Harvest Art Gallery, Fredom Park, Lagos. Aside attendance by dignitaries in the Nigerian film circuit including you and our guest filmmakers from five other countries, there will be a reflection on the state of African films in the global cinema circuit as would be encapsulated in the keynote address by one of us, Prof Awam Amkpa, a filmmaker and teacher of Africana studies at New York University. There will be the formal presentation of three books published by the Nigeria Film Corporation on the story of, and developments in the Nigeria film Industry in which you have been a key participant. There will also be the presentation of awards to deserving individuals who have served the local industry diligently.

Also, we would be glad if you would join us at the COCKTAIL event designed to provide a platform for networking and camaraderie between the Nigerian filmmakers and their counterparts from abroad, who will be participating in the festival. It will hold at 5pm in the Terrace of the Kongi’s Harvest Art Gallery.

With pleasure, we also invite you to the FILMMAKERS NETWORKING, an interactive session designed as an informal business session at which the various professional and technical issues affecting the Film industry would be reflected upon. Essentially issues of funding, especially co-production and funding opportunities that abound for the Nigerian film industry, would feature prominently. For this purpose we have invited experts who function in the film funding and distribution circuits in Europe and the USA as guests of the festival. We would be glad if you could take advantage of this session, which is partly facilitated by the Goethe Institut through its invitation of the Berlin-based Association of German Film Producers, AG DOK and those of the DOK FEST in Munich. We also have guests from France and the USA. It will hold on SATURDAY, MARCH 23, starting from 11am.

You could also attend our various Workshop sessions on Production and Distribution which would hold on Thursday March 21, and Friday, March 22 at the same Freedom Park, Lagos.

There is also the screening of award winning documentaries in the day time and at night at the festival venues. I encourage you to see as many of the films as possible, as many of them are being shown on the continent for the first time.
Details of other special events are also spotlighted below, and are available at

On the line-up for screening in the course of the festival are United States of Hoodoo by Oliver Hardt, which has been selected as the Opening Film for the festival on Thursday, March 21. Others include Orisha by notable Nigerian filmmaker, Kunle Afolayan; Ifa of the Yoruba People by the renowned filmmaker, Tunde Kelani; Urban Prayers by Sabrina Dittrus, Crackles of Our Times by Sibylle Dahrendorf; Oranian by Tobias Lindern; Fatai Roling Dollars: A Legend Unplugged by Femi Odugbemi. In addition all the 10 finalists in the Afrinolly Shortfilm Competion will be screened in a special section of the festival.

iREP International Documentary Film Festival, which in its three years has become the preeminent documentary film festival on the continent, will also play host to about 15 international filmmakers, especially from Germany, Southern Africa, USA and others.
Special Guests to the Festival include the actor, director, filmmaker and scholar of Africana Studies, Professor Awam Amkpa of the New York University, USA, who is a specialist on Africa and its Diasporas; and post coloniality. He is also the co-founder and executive director of the Real Life Documentary Film Festival, Accra, Ghana. He will deliver the keynote of the festival on theme; Reconnections: Africa’s Post-colonial Journey to Identity. He will speak on DAY 1 of the festival, March 21 at 10am.

The Festival's selection of film will be co-curated by the Festival Director, Femi Odugbemi and Professor Niyi Coker, the documentary filmmaker, and executive director of the Africa World Documentary Film Festival, AWDFF. Prof. Coker, the E. Desmond Lee Distinguished Professor at the UniversitY of Missouri, St. Louis, USA, who has done extensive research on, and networking between Africa, America and the Caribbean through his AWDFF, will also make presentation on Documentary Films and The Africa Disapora. He will speak on DAY 2 of the festival, MARCH 22 at 11am.

Professor Femi Okiremuette Shaka, will speak on Documentary Film and African Spirituality and Politics. He studied at the universities of Benin and lbadan, respectively in Nigeria, and took his doctorate degree in Film Studies at the University of Warwick, Coventry, UK, in 1994. In 2001, he was a Visiting Senior African Fulbright Fellow at Africana Studies Program, New York University. He was appointed a Professor of Film Studies by the University of Port Harcourt in 2009. He is the author of "Modernity and the African Cinema," published by Africa World Press, Trenton, NJ, USA, in 2004. He will speak on the DAY 3 of the festival, MARCH 23 at 11am.

The Festival will also feature various Workshops, Training Sessions and Masterclasses to be handled by experts from Europe, the US, South Africa and Nigeria. Among the Facilitators of the various workshops and training sessions aside from the Special guests are:

OLIVER HARDT, a freelance director, writer and filmmaker: After studying Applied Theatre Studies with a focus on directing and dramaturgy, he began his career in the early 90s as a theater director at the Theater am Turm Frankfurt, then leading the European avant-garde theater. In the context of his productions originated his first video works. His images and documentaries have won numerous international awards, including the Hessian Film Award for "winter spell - work for Eisler", the European Public Relations Award for "designs - Communicating German Design" as well as multiple Gold, Silver and Bronze at the New York Festivals . His documentary credits include The United States of Hoodoo; and Black Deutschland.

Tunji Akinshewa has been lecturing in cinematography at Leeds Metropolitan University for nine years, and also did three years teaching on the MA Film production course at the University of Salford. He has won several awards including Best Cinematography at The International Black Film Festival for "Laters" in 2004. Tunji’s passion is Africa; consequently he has filmed documentaries in Nigeria, Togo, Benin, Senegal and Ghana.

There are also guests from our partner organisations Ag-DOK, the association of film producers of Germany, and the DOK Fest, organisers of the Document Film Festival in Munich, Germany, Documentary Network of Africa, DNA, and the African World Documentary film Festival, AWDFF. Experts from this organisations would feature prominently in teh various workshops, presentations and networking sessions in teh course of the festival.

“I am not African because I was born in Africa, but because Africa was born in me” –Kwame Nkrumah.

In its years of existence, Africa has worn many faces and has assumed many identities most of them imposed by outsiders looking in. What then is the true definition of an African; what parameters can be used to define the African? Is it our values, cultures or our religion?

How do Africans at home and in the Diaspora see or think about themselves and their identity? What impact does western education, religious and economic value systems have on African socio-cultural life -- for instance creating in the African a conflict of identity?

The discourse of the African identity requires more than mere rhetoric of race and space. It is a world that is alive in every African, at the most misunderstood and abandoned, yet, it is undeniably present. It defies the common, and reaches into the heart of the essential nature of the black man in every detail of its being.
It is in the understanding of this core force in every African that will ensure the future of Africa is nourished.

The scope of the Festival would cover such areas as the need for rediscovery – spiritually, morally, socially, politically and economically – a reconnection with our true identity and values, and the potential of this resulting awareness to be used as a tool for reshaping the African nation.

I-Represent International Documentary Film Festival is an annual festival dedicated to promoting awareness about the power of documentary films to serve as a means of deepening and sharing social and cultural education as well as encouraging participatory democracy in our societies. The maiden edition held in January 2011, in Lagos, brought together a pool of veteran filmmakers, film scholars, critics, Arts enthusiasts, and students from different parts of the world.
We believe strongly that the 2013 Festival would provide completely invaluable opportunities for all participants to discuss cogent issues that are germane to the future of filmmaking in Africa, and indeed, the World. Activities at the conference have been carefully designed to cover a wide spectrum of knowledge areas and interest, and would include Paper presentations, Training and Workshops, Interactive panel discussions, film screenings, and Networking.


More information at

Femi Odugbemi,
Executive Director

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