Toronto International Film Festival will focus on Lagos this year

Toronto International Film Festival will focus on Lagos this year

A testament to the growing recognition of Nigerian cinema, the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) announced that this year’s City to City program, will focus on Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital. According to City to City’s curator and Artistic Director of TIFF Cameron Bailey, Lagos is a unique city that is “vital, complex, and inspiring.”


The Nollywood that mainly comprised of hastily shot low-budget productions is slowly giving way to a new generation of filmmakers who have access to larger budgets and now international audiences. Bailey notes that Lagos’s new cinema is “bold, exciting, and ready to take its place on the international stage.”


Lagos will be the eight city featured in TIFF’s City to City program. Other countries featured in the past include Tel Aviv, Istanbul, and Mumbai. In 2015, London was featured in the City to City program and showed films such as “Kill Your Friends,” a dark comedy by Owen Harris and “Urban Hymn” by Rufus Norris. The year before that trained the spotlight on Seoul with films, like “Alive,” a drama by celebrated filmmaker Park Jung-bum, and July Jung’s thriller “A Girl at My Door.”


TIFF is an illustrious film festival that has screened notable films and is attended by celebrities. It boasts a variety of programs including gala and presentations, TIFF Docs and TIFF kids. The City to City program aims at bringing international cities to a Toronto audience; it features works from filmmakers living and working in selected hotspots of global cinema. This will be a great opportunity for Nigerian filmmakers to show their works in front of a massive international stage. Film submissions for the festival are now open, with the latest possible submission date being June 3.  The lineup for City to City: Lagos will be announced in August.


Which Lagosian filmmakers do you think will make it to the TIFF? Share your answers in the comments section below or on Twitter @rafeeeeta

Rafeeat Aliyu

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