The i-Represent International Documentary Film Festival (iREP) is set to return this year after a year’s hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Taking place between Match 18 and 21, this year the festival will be held virtually. This means that the audience will be able to see the 60 films presented at the festival from the comfort of their own homes.
The theme of the 2021 event, which is being held in collaboration with the Africa World Documentary Film Festival (AWDFF), is ‘Africa in Self-Conversation.’ More specifically, iREP’s organisers have commented that this year’s edition of the festival will treat the audience to “a feast of flicks that have been carefully curated to reflect the diversities of human experiences through themes that cut across social, cultural and political issues that affect the collective human family.”
They also said that the festival’s theme “is designed to promote awareness about the power of the documentary format to serve as a means of deepening and sharing social and cultural education as well as encouraging participatory democracy in African societies.”
This year iREP will showcase films from 26 countries, including the UK, Cameroon, Ghana, Brazil and Australia. The screenings, lectures and discussions, however, will take place online. “The virtual option has enabled us to harvest films from even greater numbers of countries and filmmakers; and especially the notion of bringing Africa and its diverse diasporas together has been greatly enabled by the virtual option,” said the iREP programme directorate.
It’s great to see film festivals adapting to the changing times. While many have lamented the fact that festivals have been pushed online due to the pandemic, this new way of experiencing films comes with a silver lining. We no longer need to travel to faraway places to achieve a sense of community during and after a film screening. At iREP, each film presentation will be followed by an online discussion centred around the making of the documentary and its particular issues, which means that now we can all participate in the event from our homes, said film expert from LATENIGHTSTREAMING.com/en-uk.
And there is plenty to look forward to. Here are just some of the festival entries we can expect from Nigeria. The festival will kick off with “UNMASKED: Leadership, Trust and the Covid-19 Pandemic in Nigeria,” a documentary about how Covid-19 has affected the populous country, especially in the light of its weak healthcare system, corruption and poverty. This will be followed by “The Supreme Price,” a film that explores the pro-democracy movement in Nigeria, as well as the issue of increasing women’s participation in positions of leadership. Last but certainly not least, “Untold Memories of the Nigeria – Biafra War” features stories from those who were involved in the conflict and how it has affected their lives.