It was my first time ever attending a film festival – or any festival at all. So I was not quite sure what to expect when my colleague and I drove into the Filmhouse IMAX, Lekki Phase 1, parking lot for the highly anticipated EbonyLife TV Film Festival.
I was curious, for sure. And excited, too. Oh, but I was! I had heard and read so much about it and could hardly wait to see if the film festival would live up to its hype. The relaxed, serene ambience of the event, which was held last Friday to mark EbonyLife TV’s four years of excellence in broadcasting, immediately put me at ease. Also putting me at ease was the courteousness of the ladies who attended to us at the ticket stand. They were so nice and pleasant that they successfully persuaded me to get a ticket for a second movie I had earlier had no plans to watch and didn’t even register for – which was free, by the way.
The absolutely gorgeous and good-looking celebrities, including OC Ukeje, Adunni Ade, Dakore Egbuson-Akande, Tiwa Savage, Don Jazzy, Tuface and Annie Idibia amongst others, who paraded the red carpet were hard to miss. Their colourful, elegant, and stylish outfits were just as eye-catching. Soon, too, I spotted the delectable Mo Abudu, CEO of EbonyLife TV, exchanging pleasantries with everyone, and I mean everyone. I almost could not reconcile this kind, unassuming woman who so happily obliged everyone that requested for pictures with the top media personality I had seen on magazine covers and on TV.
It was finally time to watch the movies showing at the event. As soon as I stepped into the hall, I knew I was going to enjoy myself. There were packs of pop corn and bottles of soft drinks on every chair. I also liked the fact that there weren’t too many people, so I could conveniently laugh out loud, slouch on my chair, and chew loudly on my popcorn without offending the next person.
While my friend opted for the movie, ‘Fifty’, I chose to watch ‘The Wedding Party’. Although I had watched it last year when it started showing in the cinemas, it was awesome watching it again. I laughed when Dozie (Banky W) said, “Please, thief and armed robber, what’s the difference?” even though it was the second time I was hearing the words, I cheered Sola Sobowale on with goose bumps breaking out on my skin, my upper teeth biting on my lower lip, and my head nodding when she danced to “Ginger o, ginger!” even when I had watched the scene before, and I cried at the touching scene of Dozie and Dunnie (Adesua Etomi) at the beach that was already etched in my memory. I mean, I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
The event was well organised, with all the unique features of film festivals such as an interesting line-up of movies and TV series to choose from, fun, laughter, and merriment, as well as fashion statements made by our favourite celebrities. The only thing I had a problem with was perhaps the relaxed attitude to time that was demonstrated at the event. Some will call it African time. Granted the event was supposed to last late into the night, still it would have been nicer if a lot more people came earlier.
All in all, it was a near perfect event and I had way too much fun. Besides, meeting Ebuka Obi-Uchendu for the first time, who seemed genuinely nice and charming, was already fun. And, of course, I wasted no time in taking a selfie with him. If I were asked if the much talked about EbonyLife TV Film Festival lived up to its hype, I would definitely give a resounding yes.