On Saturday, August 15, the third annual Los Angeles Nollywood Film Awards (LANFA) took place at the LAX 4 Points Sheraton Hotel. The purpose of this yearly awards ceremony is to recognize the leading worldwide contributors to the African film industry that are working towards growing and developing that industry. King Bassey is the founder of LANFA and he does a great job of bringing the community together, which is quite a feat as it’s an international group.
I had the honor of being the presenter for noted fashion designer and friend Eugene Sidney. “I was truly honored to be bestowed an award by the Nigerian film community and the artistic community at large,” said Eugene.
It was great to see friends like Denise O’Brien of Dome Entertainment receive her award. Denise is a noted publicist, author and beauty expert. Denise’s speech was truly moving and it’s great to see someone so accomplished received her well deserved award.
And I met a lovely and inspiring woman, F.A. Cole, who also received an award. I was drawn to her warmth and grace and had to meet her. Turns out she’s a fellow Marylander and we are both from neighboring towns! F.A., who was born and raised in Sierra Leone, is an author and activist for FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) and is a survivor herself and has helped countless women who have been victimized by this human rights violation. F.A’s touching and gripping speech moved this roving reporter to tears.
LANFA’s goal is to promote actors, actresses, directors and producers in Nollywood to Hollywood, and to develop a technique that will enable them to work together in producing quality films. This goal gives greater media exposure, increases awareness, visibility, and opportunities to those who need to promote their projects. This esteemed organization also wants to eventually build a healthcare center in Africa to give the best medical help for those in the film industries and others who can’t afford to do so. Another goal of LANFA is to construct a state-of-the-art studio in Los Angeles for the production of technologically advanced film, TV, and theatre projects. Everyone made me feel so at home and I loved the international crowd at the event and it reminded me of the DC social scene. I also really enjoyed more about Nigerian films and that creative community. More info at http://www.lanfaa.com/