Chioma Ude, Founder/C.E. O of Africa International Film Festival, AFRIFF says parties at the Cannes International Film Festival, (Festival international du film) taught her unquantifiable lessons about what such gatherings contribute to the development of the Film business worldwide.

Speaking in an interview with eelive.ng, Ms Ude, who has grown AFRIFF to be the most sought after film event on the African continent over the past nine years explained that even though a lot of practitioners imagined that parties were mere social activities without any measurable impacts on the industry, her experience at a particular edition of the festival in Cannes proved otherwise and influenced her into working towards making parties at AFRIFF memorable and worth the time of attendees.

Speaking on the import of parties at film festivals, Ude explained that were not only organised for people to just dance their sorrow away but they present the surest opportunities for practitioners to meet, network and form synergies for effective collaborations.

Hear her: “When we started, I went in to understudy the Cannes Film Festival.  I was there for seven days five of which all I did was go to parties. I was fascinated with the parties and I met people I never even dreamt of meeting before at these parties. When I got there, I found a concierge service provider and he said to me if you pay me a thousand Euros I can get you into the best parties!  I saw everything, and it occurred to me that a lot of people go to Cannes, maybe 60% of attendees go to the festival to see the stars, to party with the stars, to buy films. There is a lot of business being done, a lot of activities being done outside of watching the films and having discussions.”

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Ude said she returned to Nigeria to ensure that parties took a sizeable part of the budget for the first edition of AFFRIFF to the consternation of a lot of her team members who did not understand the end that she saw until it results began to emerge.

Now, according to the University of Nigeria Nsukka graduate of marketing, parties have become a major part of AFRRIFF such that there is one party every night and each of them get sponsorship!

Ude explained that every part of the festival is important to her and that she has seen enormous gains from the industry sessions, training sessions and as well the final night where awards are presented to presented deserving practitioners contribute to the development of the industry on different planes. She is however very concerned about the need to build the capacity of practitioners and expose them to trends across the world.

In her words: “A lot of people out of Nigeria enquire about the film industry and their focus will continue to be on the quality of technical workers or the actors and if you don’t have that, we will keep running around in circles. So, how do we get that? We needed and still need to train people…Since we started, I have heard some great, great stories of the impact we have made…

Although she expressed satisfaction with how much the festival as achieved, Ude said she does not feel near accomplished and is currently putting a few processes in place to further impact on education and entertainment in the country.

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