From Paris, An Alpha For Kelani’s Dazzling Mirage

Kelani (third left), Kunle Afolayan, Lola Akindoju and Nollywoodweek crew after dazzling Mirrage was named winner of the Audience Choice Award

Kelani (third left), Kunle Afolayan, Lola Akindoju and Nollywoodweek crew after dazzling Mirrage was named winner of the Audience Choice Award

Dazzling Mirage, the latest film by ace filmmaker Tunde Kelani is the best film of the just held Nollywoodweek Film Festival in Paris.

The movie based on the novel of the same name was awarded the Audience Choice Award, an award that is decided by the audience that were attracted to the four day long festival which opened on June 4 and ran till June 7.

The audience choice award is the biggest and only award of the festival. It is awarded to a film that is adjudged best by the audience out of the films in official selection.

This year, a total of ten films were screened for the Parisian audience to discover but eight of the films were in competition to win the Audience Award. The official selection line up comprises ‘A Mile From Home’ directed by Eric Aghimien, ‘The Last Three Digits’ directed by Moses Iwang, ‘Dazzling Mirage’ directed by Tunde Kelani and ‘Gone Too Far’ directed by Destiny Ekaragha. The other films on official selection are ‘Love or something like that’ directed by Shirley Frimpong, ‘Ojuju’ directed by C.J. Obasi, ‘October 1’ directed by Kunle Afolayan, and ‘Thy will be Done’ directed by Obi Emelonye.

Some festivalgoer’s had predicted that the audience choice award would either go to ‘Gone to Far’ or ‘October 1’ because of the positive comments that were expressed about the films after they screened to a full house. They felt that the Parisian audience would be drawn to how well the stories were reenacted. But when the choice cards were counted, it was Dazzling Mirage, a smart take about a young woman with sickle cell anemia who struggled to overcome various obstacles to lead a normal and fulfilled life that the audience chose.

An elated Tunde Kelani who received a plaque and a set of lenses donated by Angeneiux for use for a period of three months for his next film project thanked the audience for the choice of the movie. He dedicated the award to people living with sickle cell disorder but remarked that all the films in competition were ‘winners as well’. In his words ‘this is a pleasant surprise considering the quality of the films that were showcased here. I think we all winners as well’’ he said.

Held annually since 2013 and organised by the association Okada Media, the festival, which has the backing of TOTAL and Airfrance and is supported by a number of media organizations aims at providing access for Nollywood films in mainstream France and in Europe. It has also helped in popularizing Nollywood films and has provided a platform for fostering distribution opportunities in Europe. It opened on June 4 with ‘Jimmy Goes to Nollywood’ an incisive documentary by the Haitan born Hollywood actor Jimmy Jean-Louis and closed on June 7 with ‘Dry’ an engaging and powerful film by Stephanie Okereke on the VVF scourge.
Meanwhile, Dazzling Mirage will be screened on June 19 in Lagos to mark the international day for sickle cell. Kelani hinted that the film has been selected to be screened as part of the continued effort to create more awareness about sickle cell disorder.

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