Considering the high level of recognition the Nigerian movie industry has attracted in recent years, it comes as no surprise that the Toronto International Film Festival plans to focus 2016 City to City program in Lagos, Nigeria. The Nigerian movie industry, Nollywood, has given opportunities to several film makers who have grown from local to the international scene. This growing cadre of local film makers are interested in shifting the mostly unfavorable critical world’s perception about films made by Nigerians in Nigeria, this festival will help achieve that feat.
The City to City selection is overseen by Cameron Bailey, who says Lagos is entirely unique for this year’s project. Cameron Bailey also stands as the Artistic Director of the Toronto International Film Festival and highlights the fact that the city where Fela Kuti’s music originated from, has also given birth to one of the world’s most vibrant film industries.
According to the City to City Curator . . .
“The 1,000 low-budget features ‘Nollywood’ produces each year generate about $1 billion in box office. Now, from that commercial hotbed, a new generation of filmmakers is emerging to both advance and challenge Nollywood.”
“Bigger budgets, greater artistic ambition — the new cinema of Lagos is bold, exciting, and ready to take its place on the international stage. We’re excited to share the creativity of this remarkable city’s filmmakers with TIFF audiences in September.”
This is the 8th year for the City to City program, which showcases film makers living and working in a selected city, regardless of where their films are set. Lagos would be joining top cities in the world like London, Tel Aviv, Istanbul, Buenos Aires, Mumbai, Athens and Seoul, where this program has been hosted in the past. The City to City: Lagos lineup will be announced in August.
Meanwhile, this year would hold the 41st Toronto International Film Festival which runs from September 8 to 18, 2016. Film submissions for the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival are now open. Deadline for submission is May 6, while late submission deadline is June 3. Nigerian Film makers are expected to jump on this once-in-a lifetime opportunity.