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International Focus: Nigerian Cinema and Culture

NYWIFT's International Focus is a quarterly series that celebrates the artistic, cultural and historic contributions of global cinema.  This month the series will feature the evolution of Nigerian cinema throughout the diaspora. Nigerian cinema, oftentimes referred to as "Nollywood", celebrated its 20th anniversary last year and is the second largest film industry in the world. Join us for a lively conversation and celebration with talented actors, musicians, producers and directors as they share their journey and films. 


Adesiji "Siji" Awoyinka
is a singer, songwriter, producer and filmmaker. Born in the UK to Nigerian parents, Siji spent much of his early childhood in Lagos and London before coming to the US to further pursue his musical ambitions. His music fuses elements of Soul, Jazz, Highlife, Afrobeat and Gospel music with traditional Yoruba rhythms drawn from his rich ancestral background. He has contributed songwriting and production talent to projects for Salif Keita, Cesaria Evora, Osunlade, Alix Alvarez and Wunmi. His critically acclaimed musical works, include God-Given (BBE 2004) and AdeSIJI (IVY 2008). Siji"s work as a director and producer has appeared on MTV, BBC, VH1, BET and many others. His most recent and critically acclaimed video, Ijo, was shot in Lagos and showcases several of the popular dance trends in Nigeria today. Siji will screen clips from Elder’s Corner as well as perform his music.  

Iquo B. Essien
is a Nigerian-American writer and director. Her short film, Aissa's Story, was a regional semifinalist in the 2013 Student Academy Awards and is an official selection in the short film competition of FESPACO 2015. She is currently adapting the short into a feature film while writing a memoir, Elizabeth's Daughter, about losing her mother to cancer. 





Linda Obasi
is a Nigerian born filmmaker raised in the U.S. She produced Overseas, a feature film starring Patience Ozokwor. Overseas was shot in Nigeria and the States and completed in 2013. Obasi is the screenwriter and associate producer for Beast Amongst Us, a feature film exploring domestic violence that will be released in 2015. The film was directed by Alex Mouth and produced by Bukky Wright, two prolific artists in Nigeria. Obasi has also produced several shorts, including Couranay in 2014, a film exploring the relationship of Americans to recent immigrants from countries with which the US is engaged in war.





Produced by Rosalind Murphy

Special Thanks to MIST Harlem for hosting this program.

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NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts