i-REP… Global Recognitions For Promoting Africa’s Documentary Cinema



Flowing from the success of the 2015 iRep International Documentary Film Festival in March, the iRepresent Documentary Film Forum has continued to step higher in its operation, especially garnering international recognitions.

The year’s edition of the yearly film feast, which marked the fifth anniversary of the iREP Film Festival, indeed seems to have launched the forum into a season of recognitions across the globe.

Two weeks ago, iREP was the co-host of the Dok.Network Africa programme at the 30th anniversary edition of Dok.Fest Munich, one of the prime documentary film festivals in Europe.

The event, held at the prestigious Museum Funf Kontinente Munich, witnessed an impressively diverse audience. The special session screened among others the film by Camilla Nielsson (Denmark) The Democrats and Rehad Desai’s compelling work Miners Shot Down (South Africa) as well as La Sirene De Faso Fani by Michel K. Zongo (Burkina Faso).

It also presented a dynamic panel discussion on documentary’s political role in emerging democracies in Africa. 
Rens van Munster of the Danish Institute for International Studies presented a talk with interesting perspectives on the political dimensions of documentary filmmaking.

Femi Odugbemi, Co-founder and Executive Director of IREP, was a featured speaker. He also presented Miners’ Shot Down on behalf of South African director, Rehad Desai.

The film was curated and recommended to Dok.Fest 2015 by IREP and had earlier featured as part of the screened films at the iREP 2014 edition.

The idea of Africa Day had been inspired by the collaboration between DOK.Fest and iREP, which began three years ago. The collaboration has also yielded another opportunity as DOK.Fest has asked iREP to send in one of its operation’s staff to once again undertake a six-week internship starting in November.

The cooperation and collaboration between iREP and DOK.Fest had been midwifed by Goethe Institute, Lagos, which had also been the intermediary of the relationship between iREP and the Ag-Dok – the highly influential German association of independent film producers, which in the past four years, has brought groups of German filmmakers to every edition of the yearly iREP festival.

According to a statement released by iRep’s Executive Director, Mr. Wale Emmanuel Orosun, shortly after the staging of this year’s iREP festival in March at Freedom Park, Lagos, the forum received gladdening news from Cape Town, South Africa, that it should send a representative to Encounters Documentary Film Festival.

This is a highly competitive international documentary film workshop and industry gathering for a three-week training and internship that would usher collaborative programming. iREP 2015 Festival Manager Lanre Olupona has since left for South Africa for the attachment.

He will work and understudy the programming team of Encounters Festival over an intensive 3-weeks, with a view to learning best practices in Festival Operations and Management.

It will be recalled that just two years ago another iREP Festival Manager Toyin Poju-Oyemade was in Munich, Germany, to understudy the operations of Dok.Fest Documentary Festival as well.

All these exchanges have strengthened iREP’s global network and enshrined global best practices in its operations. This month at the prestigious Sheffield Documentary Film Festival, U.K., Odugbemi will also be a featured speaker on the subject of “Imperialism Or Inquiry – How Fair Is Foreign Filming?”, a major panel of Documentary Campus Industry Conference.

He will as well be meeting with several global documentary filmmakers to schedule films for the 2016 iREP Festival. In July, Odugbemi will also attend the People2People Conference scheduled to be held by the 2015 Durban International Film Festival in South Africa.

Odugbemi is on the Advisory Board of People2People Conference and iREP is a founding signatory to the Documentary Network Africa (DNA), an influential documentary platform featuring filmmakers from over 45 countries in the continent.

Resumption of Monthly Screening Meanwhile, after the disruption wrought by the last electioneering timetable, iREP will resume its monthly film screening programme at Freedom Park, Lagos, in the first week of June with the tribute screening of the film Uncommon Service produced by Deji Adesanya on the unusual story of patriotism and community service by Dr. Yombo Awojobi, a medical doctor, inventor, engineer and philosopher, all rolled into one.

Awojobi died a few weeks ago. The filmscreening event takes place on Sunday, June 7 at 2pm at Freedom Park, Broad Street, Lagos.

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