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Francis Onwochei as King in ‘WEDE’ / Photo: Screenshot

Nigerian film premieres in Frankfurt to critical acclaim

Frankfurt am Main, the financial hub of Germany, recently hosted the annual double-packed – Nollywood Film Festival Germany NFFG and Nollywood Europe Golden Awards NEGA.

The twin-events, organized by Ehizoya Golden Entertainment e.V., featured Nigerian film screenings, networking sessions for film makers and an awards ceremony. The two-day cultural festival was kick-started with the premiere of Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen’s newest film WEDE.

WEDE is a feature-length film that tells the story of a revolt against female genital mutilation. An adaptation of Professor Julia Okoh’s novel Edewede and set in the 1980’s, the film exposes the obnoxious and debilitating negative effects of female genital mutilation, which is still prevalent among rural dwellers in the Midwestern part of Nigeria.

Women plan their onslaught on FGM in ‘WEDE’ / Photo: Screenshot

 

A fearless and determined young woman led other women to a revolt that saw the age-long tradition abolished.

WEDE boasts a roll call of leading Nollywood’s  actors, including Oge Okoye as Edewede, Rita Edochie as Mama Nurse, Nosa Obaseki as Odia, Francis Onwochei as King, Eunice Omoregie as Ebikere and Isio Joseph as Ebun.

In his opening speech before the screening, the event director and the founder of the festival, Isaac Izoya, said, “WEDE was painstakingly selected because of its originality and for its message that the barbaric cultural practice must be abolished in its entirety”.

Frankfurt was where WEDE was premiered for the very first time after its production and the reactions matter a lot to both the film’s producer and director.

“This is my first time ever of watching Nollywood film and I must confess that I’ve learnt a great lesson of how best to approach issues related to traditional matters in Africa. Great movie with a strong message, kudos to the event organizers to have chosen this film for screening,” Niels Bartels, an African analyst from Berlin, said.

“Thank you Lancelot Imasuen for this great story that was well delivered. Thanks to the actors for the roles they played so well. I couldn’t help but to cry during the screening,” Kathi, a social worker based in Frankfurt, added.

Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen on the set of his newest film ‘WEDE’ / Photo: Screenshot

 

“It’s a nice and must watch movie. I cried at the cinema and it’s a tradition that must be abolished. I advise women to resist it by all means possible,” said Sarah Agbebaku, a student in Dusseldorf.

“This movie showed how strong and powerful we are. It’s a great movie and I promise to be back here again unfailingly next year,” commented Ramatu Garba of Deutsche Welle Radio, Bonn.

“We were thinking of discontinuing Nollywood screening next year because of the annual low turnout but with what I saw today. I am highly impressed with the 300% turnout and the classic movie shown,” cinema director Peter R. Klaus, confirmed.

Nollywood Festival, which took place this year on 30-31 August, has been holding annually in Frankfurt since 2014. It’s a medium of promoting not just African culture but it’s also an educational tool for the Diaspora children as it’s a link for them to connect with their roots.

Austin Ohaegbu

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