The Asian Film Festival in Nigeria started in 2017 to foster closer relations among the Asian countries that have embassies in Nigeria.
This years edition which was held from 23th – 26th of January, had Iran as one of the countries at the forefront of the event, and the country screened a film titled “Sweet Taste of Imagination” on 26th January to the utmost admiration of viewers.
The movie which was directed by Kamal Tabrizi and written by Naghmeh Samini, has an imaginative dreamer university named Garoos professor, who falls in love with a student who resembles her teacher in this manner. Love story is endangered when a business competitor sets Garoos up for unethical behavior.
Among the stars were Shahab Hosseini, Nazanin Bayati, Nader Fallah and other notable Iranian artists.
In his opening remark, the Cultural Consular, Islamic Republic of Iran,Sayyed mahmoud Azimi and the coordinator of the event, noted that Asia is the largest and oldest continent in the world with the oldest ancient civilizations and cultures. “Film industry is one of the most effective and powerful means of conveying cultural concepts and activities,” he added.
Mr Azimi recalled that the 1st Asian film festival started in July 2017, and held at China Cultural Centre, which Embassy of Islamic Republic of Iran in Nigeria is the pioneer of the festival.
“This festival brings together most of the Asian country Embassies in Nigeria. We have about 10 Asian countries that participated and everything went well with the help of God. The 2nd (second) Asian film festival was held in December 2018 at Korea cultural centre, we had nine Asian countries that participated and it was so successful. The 3rd Asian film festival was suggested by Embassy of Islamic Republic of Iran in Nigeria, we had a series of meetings at Embassy of Islamic Republic of Iran in Nigeria about six times before reaching the final conclusion.
“The 3rd Asian film festival is opening today with participants of Eight Asian countries including; Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Nigeria, Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Nigeria, Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Nigeria, Embassy of Japan in Nigeria, High commission for the people’s Republic of Bangladesh in Nigeria, and Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Nigeria and for the first time Embassy of the Syrian Arab Republic in Nigeria and Embassy of the state of Palestine in Nigeria.
Speaking to The Sight News,Mr. Azimi said that Asia being one of the largest and biggest continents in the world with so many civilizations, the film festival is an important means to showcase culture and values.
On the level of impact of the previous festivals, he said the festival has the capacity to become one of the most important festivals, and expressed the hope that more countries can participate, to help Nigeria understand more about the Asian culture and civilization.
In his words, “Our civilization and culture is very old and to showcase this to Nigerians is the most important part of this festival. I know that Nigerians love film as a way to showcase Culture. We hope to increase the participation in the next few years.
“I would like to thank all my dear colleagues from the above mentioned countries, especially His Excellency Mr. Mohammad Abousreeh, Ambassador of the Embassy of the Syrian Arab Republic in Nigeria who accompanied the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Nigeria during the planning of this festival.
“I hope that with the help of the Nigerian Arts & Culture authorities, especially the Director General, National Council for Arts & Culture, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe to assist us in submitting this festival as one of the most important international festivals to Nigerian art events calendar,” he concluded.