This year saw filmmaker and producer Femi Odugbemi reach new heights. His admission into Oscar’s voting committee back in June might just be an inflection point in his car. His body of work, from movies (The Eve, 4th Estate) to television (Tinsel, Battleground) and his desire to train a new crop of African filmmakers under the MultiChoice Talent Factory Academy is laudable.
The Nigerian Film Society, recently, recognised Odugbemi’s immeasurable contributions towards the growth of the film industry by giving him the Lifetime Achievement Award. The award was presented at the Zuma Film Festival in Abuja. The Lifetime Achievement Award is also the Movie Rock of Fame, and Odugbemi joins past recipients of the award like late first Prime Minister of Nigeria Alhaji Tafawa Balewa, Chief China Okpala, Professor Hyginius Ekwuazi, Mallam Ali Buhu and Yakub Ibn Mohammed.
“It’s good to show all the glitz and glamour but if the essence of your story is lost, then you haven’t done a job. We need to find that untold story that reflects our history and the magic of the African culture more, not cloning stories informed only by pecuniary gains. Our stories should only entertain but also inform and inspire. Filmmaking is a powerful tool which most of us are yet to fully grasp. Nollywood can and should be the most powerful voice of the black race,” Odugbemi said after receiving the award.