Amid Russia's Invasion, Ukrainian, 17 Others Receive Huge Awards in Nigeria

Amid Russia's Invasion, Ukrainian, 17 Others Receive Huge Awards in Nigeria

  • A Ukrainian filmmaker, Olesya Morgunets-Isaenko, has been honoured with an award for the best pictures in her movie, Carol of the Bells
  • Morgunets-Isaenko was honoured at the Women's International Film Festival Nigeria which took place in Abuja, Nigeria's capital territory
  • In addition, 17 other female filmmakers received awards for various categories including best short film, best costume, best lighting among many others

Amid the intensified invasion of Ukraine by Russian military troops, the country seems not to be deterred in its effort to shine bright in the film industry.

Olesya Morgunets-Isaenko from Ukraine won the award for Best Picture in the film Carol of the Bells at the Women's International Film Festival Nigeria (WIFFEN 2022) on Saturday, March 5.

Ukraine Award
Representatives of different countries receiving the award on behalf of Morgunets-Isaenko in solidarity with Ukraine Photo: Austin Uche
Source: UGC

The award ceremony which took place at the International Conference Centre in Abuja was organised by Girls Voices Initiative’s Girl Nation Academy in partnership with the French Embassy’s PISCCA Program and other partners.

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All the ambassadors of various countries in Nigeria who were present at the event including the French Ambassador represented by Rafael Pont, head of cooperation and cultural affairs at the embassy and Esmond Reid, the Jamaican High Commissioner to Nigeria received the award on behalf of Morgunets-Isaenko.

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Speaking at the ceremony which was attended by reporter, the festival director, Carolyn Seaman, said the premier WIFFEN is in commemoration of the 2022 International Women's Day themed #BreakTheBias: Imagine a gender-equal world.

The IWD2022 aims to project a world that would be free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination.

Seaman said like the IWD, the WIFFEN 2022 is focused on encouraging female filmmakers across the country to be at their best in their crafts.

Her words:

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"For us, this is a journey that started since 2019 with the French Embassy in Nigeria... we've been training young talent and female filmmakers.
For the Women's International Film Festival Nigeria, we put out a call and we received over 3,000 film submission from over a 130 countries around the world."

Also speaking at the event, a veteran actor, Tony Goodman, said it is sickening to hear people discourage their daughters or female child from getting into the mainstream of the entertainment industry.

Goodman said people always tend to showcase or become a product of whatever was deposited in them by their parents, family, environment while growing up.

Noting that rather than prevent young people from exploring their talents and crafts, he said that the watchword ought to be proper discipline for the young minds.

His words:

"There is nothing that people feared about the movie industry that does not exist anywhere. Talking about sexual harassment is everywhere even in the church.

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"But if you have the right orientation, upbringing, words from the beginning sinking into you, you will grow up each time remembering those words that are on marble knowing that I must not disappoint my father, mother, states, nation."
"When you have that behind your mind, you are not tossed left-right and centres with all manner of issues that may confront you. Everybody faces challenges but how you deal with them remain indelible."

Describing the involvement of women in the entertainment industry as a welcome development, Goodman admitted that it is heartwarming to see women and girls think beyond just having children at home, being in the other room and even the kitchen.

Other awardees are who were honoured at the event are:

1. Best Short - 3:24PM - Margaux Fazio - Switzerland

2. Best Picture - Carol of the Bells - Olesya Morgunets-Isaenko - Ukraine

3. Best Documentary Feature - Daughters of Eve - Zanah Thirus - USA

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4. Best Documentary Short - The Story of All of Us Women - Itxaso Diaz - Spain

5. Best Student Film - La Foto Perfetta - Eleonora Mozzi - Italy with an additional €1000 award presented by the French Embassy

6. Best Director - The Letter Room - Elvira Lind - USA

7. Best Actress - Freedom Come -Maggie Osuome - Nigeria

8. Best Animation Short Film - I AM - Shafigheh Asani - Iran

9. Best Original Score - Last Days of Summer - Zaneta Rydzewska -Poland

10. Best Lighting - Brave Little Army - Carine Zahner - Canada

11. Best Costume - Dolapo is Fine - Martelle Hunt - United Kingdom

12. Best Production Design - The Call of Water - Siena Tone - USA

13. Best Child Actress - Phoenix - Kenza Ben Dhiab - Tunisia

14. Best Editing - Plastic Dream - Hande Yildirimer - Turkey

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15. Best Cinematographer - Dana - Claudia Rodriguez - Spain

16. Best Sound Design - Arising - Jessica Gallant - USA

17. Outstanding Juror Award - Helene Pont - France

18. Inspiring Filmmaker Award - Last Meal - Carolina Castilho - USA

Nigerian woman wins award for building software that can teach Yoruba, Igbo and 3 other African languages

A Nigerian-American woman, Omolabake Adenle, is on a journey to digitising African languages and she has been awarded for it.

Adenle, who is the founder of an app development studio,, won the DEI In Voice award from Women in Voice.

The Nigerian-American woman built an Application Programming Interface (API) that could help people learn five African languages including Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa.

Okonjo-Iweala tops Financial Times’ 25 most influential women of 2021

Financial Times had released a list of the 25 most influential women of 2021 and Nigerian-born Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala made the cut.

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Although Financial Times said the list is unranked, Okonjo-Iweala, who is also the director-general of the World Trade Organisation, was listed as number one.

Also listed is 81-year-old Nancy Pelosi who is the speaker of the United States House of Representatives, is a unique figure in American politics.

Pelosi is the nation’s first woman, first Californian and first Italian-American to become speaker of the house.


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