Executives from US entertainment companies like Amazon and Paramount are attending the 2021 Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) towards deepening their ties with Nollywood.

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The office of Mary Beth Leonard, US ambassador to Nigeria, confirmed the development in a statement on Thursday.

AFRIFF, an annual showcase of the world of filmmaking, is taking place from November 7 to 13.

The annual event witnesses the participation of local and international actors, directors, film critics, buyers, distributors, visual artists, film students, and equipment manufacturers.

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Leonard said representatives from the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art and US firms like Amazon, Macro, and Paramount are attending the ongoing festival to deepen their ties with the Nigerian film industry.

This, she said, is in addition to sponsoring two masterclasses in partnership with American Film Showcase and Global Media Makers.

Leonard met with journalists and filmmakers at the US consul general’s residence in Ikoyi, Lagos.

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The event also received representatives from the Nigerian and US entertainment industries in honour of the 10th annual AFRIFF.

She highlighted the growing US-Nigeria ties and the vast potential of Nollywood as a cultural exporter to the African continent and beyond.

“Such a wonderful event we’re having, hosting AFRIFF, the continent’s biggest film festival, and celebrating American partners to work with Nigerian filmmakers. People like Amazon and  Paramount,” Leonard said.

“Here, we have a range of creative people in the industry. We’re just celebrating the fact that this vibrant industry exists.

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“One of the things the US finds very important is to increase human capital and its contributions to economic growth. Sometime’s it’s overlooked for those endeavours. We sponsored masterclasses in post-production.”

Chioma Ude, founder/executive director of AFRIFF, offered appreciation to the US mission for being one of the major sponsors of the festival over the last five years.

“We are grateful to the U.S. Embassy in Abuja and the U.S. Consulate General in Lagos for their continuing support of our efforts to build the capacity of African filmmakers,” she added.

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