This is an exciting time for Nigerian filmmaker and former ITPAN president, Femi Odugbemi. Weeks after the premiere of his latest movie, Gidi Blues which African Magic has since bought over, the movie is attracting interest from festivals across the continent, with requests to screen the film.
On the other hand, Odugbemi himself, who chaired the Africa Magic Viewer’s Choice Award (AMVCA) Jury for three consecutive terms, has become one of the most sought after filmmakers in the continent having been selected as a judge for different film festivals. From all indications, it’s going to be a busy year for the CEO of DVWorx Studios starting from this month. Currently, Odugbemi is among the curating panel of the the Pan-African Representation for Golden Tree International FilmFest in Frankfurt, Germany and is excepted to jet to Goree Island, Dakar, Senegal, on Thursday, August 18 through 22, for a meeting of the jury. From Senegal, the co-founder of iRep International Documentary Film Festival will move to Accra, Ghana, where Gidi Blues has been selected as closing film for the Black Star International Film Festival Ghana. Aside from being a big honor, as the closing films of festivals are highly coveted, the platform will give Odugbemi the opportunity to speak with Ghanaian film community, as well as share his wealth of experience with festival attendees.
“It’s a huge honour signifying a major acknowledgement of the quality of Nigerian cinema and the respect with which we are viewed across Africa,” he noted. Aside from his role as Chief Jury for the festival, which opens on August 22, 2016, in Kampala, Uganda, Odugbemi’s Gidi Blues was also picked as the opening film for the festival organised by the Uganda Communications Commission. On his movie which stars Hauwa Allahbura, late Bukky Wright, Tina Mba and Gideon Okeke to name a few.
Odugbemi says, “Gidi Blues touches on a few things that I think are issues young people in Nigeria today are dealing with. One is work ethic; the idea that I can be rich without working hard, it’s a fallacy. It’s fuelling the next generation that’s not going to be helpful in building the country. Success comes before work only in a dictionary; if you are going to be successful, if you are going o make it, you have to work hard,” he said.