TAFM 2022: Owen Olowu’s Songs of Ubong Takes Grand Cheese Prize for Best Film

23 films were screened in competition at The Annual Film Mischief, a festival by The Film Rats Club. Other winners include Olabode Izy’s The Samaritan and Tosan Anyafulu’s Reflections.
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Part of the audience at The Annual Film Mischief 2022.

Part of the audience at The Annual Film Mischief 2022.

Editor’s note: Open Country Mag is a media partner of The Film Rats Club for The Annual Film Mischief Festival 2022.

On Thursday, March 17, The Film Rats Club kicked off the inaugural edition of The Annual Film Mischief (TAFM), a festival bringing to audiences a selection of quality low-budget independent films. We chose the theme “Less is More,” to celebrate low budget films with unique narratives and styles.

Our four-day festival ran simultaneously in Ibadan and Lagos, as well as virtually. It opened physically at Viva Cinemas, Ikeja, Lagos and at Thursday Film Series Club, University of Ibadan, and closed at Impact Hub Lagos and at Thursday Film Series Club.

TAFM screened 23 films in competition. Owen Olowu’s Songs of Ubong won the Grand Cheese Prize for best film. Olabode Izy’s The Samaritan took home the Audience Cheese Pick, and Reflections, written by Kelvin Amamize and directed by Tosan Anyafulu, received the Best Screenplay award.

Owen Olowu, director of Songs of Ubong, winner of TAFM's Grand Cheese Pick.
Owen Olowu, director of Songs of Ubong, winner of TAFM’s Grand Cheese Pick.

Apart from the selected films, the festival had special screenings of three award-winning films, which we referred to as “Cheese Picks.” The first was Chuko and Ari Esiri’s Eyimofe, on the opening night at Viva Cinemas, Ikeja, followed by a Q&A session with Chuko Esiri and actress Cynthia Ebijie.

The second was Tomisin Adepeju’s short film Appreciation, which closed Day 3 and was followed by a Q&A session with the director on Instagram Live. Our third cheese pick, Paul Utomi’s Country Hard, screened on the closing night, followed by a Q&A session with Utomi and actor Omowunmi Dada.

TAFM featured other Q&A sessions, board table conversations, and panels to encourage discourse and document the industry’s journey and future.

A panel at TAFM 2022.
A panel at TAFM 2022.

On the opening and closing nights, we hosted around 100 attendees in Lagos and 50 attendees in Ibadan. Our virtual screenings had numerous watch parties.

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The Film Rats Club specially thanks all our sponsors for the immense support they showed us in organizing this festival: RedTV, Impact Hub Lagos, Thursday Film Series, Viva Cinemas, Albantsho, Uber, and Malta Guinness.

Our official media partners for TAFM 2022 were Open Country Mag, Pulse NG, Zikoko, What Kept Me Up, Shock NG, Film Kaku,  Phoenix Tribe, S-clusive, Masquerade Media, Seventh Dimension, Movie Road Show with Irabor Okosun, and Games Hut.

The Film Rats Club
Founded in 2017 by the actor and director Martin Nwachukwu, The Film Rats Club is a community of circa 150 cinephiles across Nigeria. These are people who in good faith propagate the gospel of good cinema, and celebrate the filmmakers who make them. With our focus on African cinema, we execute our mission by contributing thought leadership (critiques, reviews, articles, thesis) through film screenings, classes, and interviews with/of industry personnel. The Annual Film Mischief is our main platform for showcasing filmmakers. Email: hello@filmratsclub.com.

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