The air was electric with excitement as guests arrived The Wheatbaker for the two-hour long cocktail that preceded the screening of two short films, Olive and Lagos: The rise of Lagos as a city of Style.
It was the annual Patrons and Sponsors cocktail, which, in many ways, marks the un-official start of the most eclectic and intellectually stimulating film festival in Nigeria.
Festival director and co-founder of the festival, Ugoma Adegoke had summoned the tribe via a September 18, 2016 email:
“Dear friends, patrons and cultural enthusiasts,
I hope this emails finds you in excellent spirits and that you have had an enjoyable weekend.
It would be my pleasure if you would join me next Saturday 25th September 2016 at the Wheatbaker at 5pm.”
When guests arrived, there was wine and hors d’oeuvres aplenty as well as music from saxophonist, Taiwo Clegg and friends. In the house was an eclectic mix of Nigerians and expats, artists and art enthusiasts, writers and directors, journalists and musicians from Polly Alakija to city lawyer and art patron, Jide Bello, former oil man and publisher, Toyin Akinosho to his side kick and former editor of the Guardian on Sunday, Jahman Anikulapo, academic Mina Salami and avid reader Oyinda, Pierre and Laurent Polonceaux from the French consulate, directors Kunle Afolayan and Ifeoma Fafunwa, metal sculptor, Olu Amoda and grand old man of film, Tam Fiofori and many more.
Guests were ushered into the hall at about 6.45pm for the screening and once seated, actress and festival favourite, Lala Akindoju welcomed guests before introducing Ugoma Adegoke.
Ugoma thanked guests for turning up and for supporting the festival over the years. She also called for a one minute silence in honour of recently departed doyen of the arts and one of Nigeria’s foremost art collectors Sam Olagbaju who died during the week.
Guests were treated to two short films; Olive, a deeply affecting take on human connection, love lost and found as well as Ed Keazor’s Lagos: 1861 – 1960, the birth of a city of style which was a fascinating take on Lagos.
Ed’s triumph lies in the treasure trove of archival materials he has dug up from dance notices to advert copies and footage of men of style from Da Rocha to Herbert Macaulay to Nnamdi Azikiwe. It is a riveting introduction to Lagos from antiquity to contemporaneity.
The Lights. Camera. Africa. 2016!!! Film Festival kicks off by 5pm on Friday September 30, 2016 and will run till late on Sunday October 2, 2016.
Other films to expect include Green White Green, Cholo, No Good Turn, New York, I love you, Gidi Blues, Tunde, The Sense of Touch and many more.