Coal City Film Festival Announces Award-Winning Jude Idada as Jury Chairman for 2024 Edition, Unveils Official Selection of 41 Films

Enugu, Nigeria – The highly acclaimed Coal City Film Festival has announced the appointment of Jude Idada, an award-winning writer and filmmaker, as the jury chairman for its 2024 edition. Additionally, the festival organizers revealed the official selection of 41 films for the upcoming event, marking its fourth edition. With submissions pouring in from 33 countries across Africa, Europe, Asia, South and North America, as well as the Middle East, the selected films were chosen from a pool of over a hundred.

Uche Agbo, the festival founder and Executive Director, expressed his excitement in a press statement, stating that the Coal City Film Festival is widely regarded as a premier film event in the South East region of Nigeria. He also added that this year’s 41 films encompass a wide range of genres and themes, showcasing the diverse cinematic talent from around the world.

The jury for this edition of the festival will be led by Nigerian Writer/Director, Jude Idada. Alongside him, the five-member jury includes notable industry figures such as Chichi Nwaorah, executive producer known for her work on the movie “Shanty Town,” Theo Ukpaa, filmmaker and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF), Dr. Charles Okwuowulu, a senior lecturer and former Head of Department, Theatre Arts, Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike, Ebonyi State, and Prof. Atul Marewad, a filmmaker and scholar from India.

The Coal City Film Festival, an annual event, aims to celebrate African cinema in the heart of the South East region, while providing a platform for local and international filmmakers to connect and showcase their work. Since its inception in March 2021, the festival has successfully hosted three editions, cementing its position as a leading cultural event in Nigeria.

According to Uche Agbo, the chairman of the Nigerian Film Festivals Association, the vision behind the Coal City Film Festival is to promote the richness of South East Nigeria’s culture to the world through the medium of film. The fourth edition, scheduled to take place at the scenic Nike Lake Resort and Hotel from March 21 to 23, 2024, will revolve around the theme of “Cultural Renaissance.”

The theme seeks to explore how film can rekindle a sense of pride in Nigeria’s cultural heritage, while also stimulating innovation and creativity in various sectors such as technology, fashion, finance, health, and culture. Agbo emphasized the transformative power of the creative industry in generating non-oil revenue for the country and stressed the importance of harnessing film as a catalyst for growth in the culture, tourism, and creative sectors.

The upcoming festival promises an array of exciting events and programs, including a 72-hour Script to Screen Marathon workshop for budding filmmakers and actors. Participants will be challenged to create short films within the given timeframe, with the best entry receiving recognition and awards from festival sponsors. Additionally, master classes, panel discussions, networking sessions, pitching sessions, parties, gala night, and an awards ceremony are all part of the festival schedule.

With its dedication to showcasing the best of African cinema and fostering cultural exchange, the Coal City Film Festival continues to captivate audiences and contribute to the development of the region’s film industry. As the clock ticks closer to the fourth edition, film enthusiasts and industry professionals eagerly anticipate the unique experiences and opportunities that await them in Enugu, Nigeria.