As the curtain rose on the 4th NEFT Emerging Film Talent International (N.E.F.T.I.) competition, a wave of cinematic joy and festive excitement swept through Landmark Event Centre, Lagos where NEFTI competition, originally developed by its Founder, Paul Robinson with NEFT VODKA challenged aspiring filmmakers across Nigeria to showcase their innovative and creative skills while embracing their uniqueness.
With this spirit, the LG OLED Audience Choice Awards made its debut at the festival this year, joining hands with NEFT Vodka and AFRIFF (Africa International Film Festival) to not only support the film industry but promote rising directors and young African filmmakers.
LG presented two awards at the film screening and award ceremony to acknowledge outstanding innovation in visual aesthetics.
The LG OLED Award gives recognition to the best emerging Nigerian filmmaker.
A panel of judges from the film and content creation industries, consisting of three leading film industry professionals—acclaimed actress Vivica A. Fox, Tony Award-winning producer Bruce Cohen, and President of Post-Production 21st Century Fox/Disney Ted Gagliano, alongside Moreetsi Gabang, 2023 NEFTI Africa winner, collaborated to determine the recipients of the distinguished awards. After careful deliberation, Cheyi Okoaye emerged as the winner of the LG OLED & NEFTi Short Film Competition which was announced at AFRIFF.
Cheyi was rewarded for his exceptional work titled “Don’t Think Too Much About It,” earning him the grand prize of $5,000 and a 55’’ LG OLED evo TV for his cinematic talent. Hassan Tha Kreator and Joanna Okey-Ogunjiofor secured the coveted LG OLED – NEFTI Audience Choice Award for their short film titled “Dream of the Weave,” winning $2,000.
In his welcome address, NEFTI founder and Chief Creative Officer of NEFT Vodka, Paul Robinson, expressed delight at the success of the competition. “NEFTi is not just about competition; it is about education and providing filmmakers with opportunities to acquire skills that are invaluable to their craft. One of the highlights of this NEFTI Africa competition is getting to work with so many talented filmmakers.
“There is such a diverse group of largely underrepresented talent on the African continent, and bringing an opportunity to showcase their stories is what the NEFTI Competition is all about.”