OBAJI ABUNG-AKPET, Abuja
The issue of illegal migration was brought to the big screen again at the opening of the Abuja International Film Festival, AIFF, yesterday in Abuja.
This year’s AIFF making the 16th since it was first held in 2004 had official selections of 71 fiction and 17 documentary films.
The film festival opened with a documentary film titled ‘Far from home’ as directed by Charlie Luckock with a co production by China Global Network Television, CGTN Africa.
Far from Home follows the desperate journies of two Africans including a Nigerian as they desperately seek to enter Europe through the Mediterranean; and what they learnt from the trip.
Temitope Duker, the festival’s director said the film is key to the widespread immigrant issues currently affecting Africa.
“In the last one year, we have issues of illegal migrants into Libya, there are everywhere, Spain and all that; and you see the way Nigerians are being treated in some of these places where they end up.
“This film is just to educate and enlighten, to show the process of illegal migration and how society is affected,” Duker added.
Rahab Wambui of CGTN Africa is the Assistant Producer of the film and represents the movie’s production team said the film was made to shed light on main reasons Africans embark on these desperate journies.
“We created the story for a big story show, its on current affairs and we will look into news beyond the headlines
“We wanted to see the story for the migrants, when they get to Italy, when they get to these countries, how is life there and it’s very different. It really opened the issue of migrants, what do they go through, why do they go there?
We just imagine they’re running for better lives, but sometimes they’re running from issues we don’t know; so instead of just assuming we wanted to understand their story from their point of view.”Wambui believes that Africa and the international community is not doing enough to solve the issue of wide scale illegal migrants.
Nigeria’s Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Hussein Adamu, was at the film festival to see the film and declared the AIFF event open commended the organizers of the festival for their consistency in holding the event for the 16th time despite setbacks, even as he assured of government’s backing in the future.
On his part, the Managing Director of Nigerian Film Corporation, Dr. Chidia Amadueke charged film makers to keep up with the good works of telling compelling stories that are truly reflective of Africa.
For a better society