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Nollywood gems shine bright at New York African film festival: over the bridge, dynamite lead the way



Nollywood gems shine bright at New York African film festival: over the bridge, dynamite lead the way

Nollywood gems shine bright at New York African film festival: over the bridge, dynamite lead the way

The New York African Film Festival (NYAFF) kicked off on Wednesday, May 8, 2024, with a dazzling lineup of films, including notable entries from Nigeria’s vibrant Nollywood industry. Among the standout features are “Over the Bridge,” “This Is Lagos,” and “Dynamite,” promising to captivate audiences with their compelling storytelling and stellar performances.

Since its inception in 1993, NYAFF has been a vital platform for showcasing African and diaspora cinema, providing a window into the diverse narratives and cultural tapestry of the continent. This year, under the theme “Convergence of Time,” the festival explores the intersection of past and present through the lens of African artistry.

Leading the charge is “Over the Bridge,” directed by Tolu Ajayi, which serves as the festival’s opening night film at the prestigious Walter Reade Theatre at Lincoln Centre. The movie follows the journey of Folarin Marinho, portrayed by Ozzy Agu, an investment banker grappling with personal demons amid a backdrop of urban turmoil. With 12 nominations at the AMVCA, including nods for Best Picture and Best Director, “Over the Bridge” promises to be a cinematic tour de force.

Kenneth Gyang’s “This Is Lagos” takes viewers on a gripping ride through the streets of Nigeria’s bustling metropolis, offering a nuanced portrayal of a rapper caught in the crosshairs of his checkered past. Gabriel Afolayan shines in the lead role, earning accolades for his compelling performance. Nominated in multiple categories at the AMVCA, including Best Actor and Best Documentary, “This Is Lagos” showcases the raw energy and complexity of urban life in Africa.

Meanwhile, “Dynamite,” helmed by Uche Aguh, explores the intricacies of love and betrayal within the music industry. Set against the backdrop of a troubled marriage, the film delves into the passion and turmoil that define the lives of its characters. With its captivating storyline and soulful performances, “Dynamite” promises to strike a chord with audiences worldwide.

As the festival draws to a close on May 14, 2024, with the screening of the Bollywood film “Dilli Dark,” featuring acclaimed Nollywood actor Michael Okeke, NYAFF continues to push boundaries and foster dialogue around pressing social issues. Directed by Dibakar Das Roy, “Dilli Dark” sheds light on the pervasive issue of racial discrimination in Delhi and India, offering a poignant reflection on the struggles faced by marginalized communities.

In addition to the film screenings, NYAFF offers a unique opportunity for aspiring filmmakers to learn from industry veterans like Ngozi Onwurah. Through workshops and discussions, filmmakers gain insights into the power of cinema as a tool for social commentary and cultural exploration.

With Nollywood films taking center stage at NYAFF, audiences can expect a cinematic experience that celebrates the rich tapestry of African storytelling while addressing pressing issues facing society today.

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