With over 1,500 films from 94 countries, 200 movie screenings, elevating masterclasses and training, the Edo State International Film Festival 2022 closed beautifully with an award ceremony on Sunday, September 4 2022 at the Victor Uwaifo Creative Hub, Benin City, Edo State.

The Edo State International Film festival, facilitated by His Excellency Governor, Godwin Obaseki and Managing Director, Edo State Skills Development Agency (EDOJOBS) Mrs Ukinebo Dare, in partnership with the Swiss Agency for Development Corporation and the German Government (BMZ) through the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) SKYE Programme brought together movie makers, investors, distributors and industry enthusiasts from around the world. The festival served as an avenue to promote creative skills development and create job opportunities for the residents of Edo State.

Hosted by actors, Rex Nosa and Linda Osifo, the closing/award ceremony marked the finale of the successful 4-Day festival with a colourful night filled with dance, spoken word, and standup comedy performances from local talents.

Ukinebo Dare

Opening the event with her remarks, Ukinebo Dare, Convener and Co-Chairman of the Edo State international film festival 2022 appreciated the partners and guests for “a fantastic event, including the veterans and filmmakers who shared their talent and creativity with us. We would like to invite filmmakers, and producers to employ the services of the Victor Uwaifo Creative Hub. We have world-class equipment that you need here to help you produce the best quality films,” she stated.

Film entries were assessed by the official Jury panel, with winners from 15 categories emerging. $10,000, $5,000 & $5,000 was awarded by the Chief Host and Governor of Edo State, H.E Godwin Obaseki, for ‘Best Feature Film (overall)’, ‘Best Film shot in Edo’ and ‘Best Indigenous Film’ respectively. “In Edo State, we have the most creative people in the world, and our history reflects this. We are also the most creative Africans on the continent. The talents we are celebrating tonight have emerged from a long and strong heritage of creativity. This award is to show appreciation for their work and how they choose to tell our stories”, said the Governor while presenting the award for Best Feature Film (overall).

Governor’s Award for Best Indigenous Film’ to ‘On these mountains’ at #ESIFF2022

Three other categories were also awarded a cash prize of $2,000 each by Phoniex, for ‘Best Use of Technology Film’, ‘Best Cellphone Film’ and ‘Best Student Film’.

Governor of Edo State, H.E Godwin Obaseki and H.E Betsy Obaseki presenting the award for Best Feature Film (overall) – ‘Onaiwu’ at the #ESIFF202

The Award ceremony honoured and celebrated Edo State’s indigenes who have shaped and are still shaping the creative industry with a special award segment titled ‘HeartBeat of our Time’.

HeartBeat of Our Time recipients at the #ESIFF2022

While presenting a special award to participants and winners of ‘The Rural Photography Training’ commissioned in the rural areas by GIZ Skills Development for Youth Employment (SKYE) Programme and EdoJobs, the Head of Programme, Tobias Wolfgarten said, ‘Our partnership with Edo Jobs and ESIFF has been rewarding. I’m therefore delighted to present these awards to four winners from the photography competition. Beyond this, GIZ Skye will also be offering entrepreneurship training to the winners whilst also exhibiting their works to help raise funding which will go directly to the winners”.  The rural photography training in rural areas featured 24 entries and 4 winners were rewarded with N50,000, N75,000, N100,000, and N150,000 respectively. In addition, GIZ SKYE launched an eLearning platform called Edo State Academy to help young citizens of the state scale up with soft skills training.

Following the success of the maiden edition, the host and convener are scheduled to announce a date for the next ESIFF in the coming weeks.

Notable personalities in attendance are the First Lady of Edo State, H.E, Betsy Obaseki; Commissioner for Arts, Culture, tourism and Diaspora affairs Hon. Bamidele Olaitan, Desmond Eliot, Yvonne Jegede, Etinosa Idemudia, Angela Eguavoen, MC EdoPikin, Charles Inojie, Mercy Aigbe, Lasisi Elenu, Lillian Agbefai and host of others.

The full list of nominees and winners is below:

1 Special Jury Mention
A Bodmas (short film) Nigeria
2 Best Short films
A Omoatama (short film) Nigeria
B Dear immigrant(Short Film) Nigeria
C Tare (short film)  (WINNER) Nigeria
3 Best Indigenous Language Film
A Oduna Nigeria
B On these mountains (WINNER) Italy


Oosa Aafin Nigeria
4 Best Student  Films
A The honourable Nigeria
B Beauty Struck Nigeria
C The Funeral  (WINNER) Nigeria
5 Best Use of Technology Film
A Fury (Best Use of Technology Film) Nigeria
B Battle of the West (Best Use of Technology Film) – (WINNER) Nigeria
C Lost in the Earth (Best Use of Technology Film) Nigeria
6 Best Cellphone Film
A Zara (Cellphone Film) – (WINNER) Nigeria
B Just a number (Cellphone Film) Nigeria
7 Best Documentary
A Algeria: Treasure of the Mediterranean Algeria
B Palm for Crude – (WINNER) Nigeria
C Forty Years Memory Nigeria
8 Governor’s Award for Best Indigenous Feature Film
A Oduna Nigeria
B On these mountains – (WINNER) Italy
C Oosa Aafin Nigeria
9 Governor’s Award for Best Film Shot in Edo State
A Son of Mercy  (feature film) Nigeria
B Ivie Ogie (indigenous Language Film) Nigeria
C Omoatama (short film) – (WINNER) Nigeria
10 Governor’s Award for Best Feature Film (Overall)
A Onaiwu (Feature Film) – (WINNER) Nigeria
B Rancor (feature Film) Nigeria
C I Can’t Breathe (God Forgive Them)  (Feature Film) U.S.A
11 Best Director
A Funeral Nigeria
B Son of Mercy Nigeria
C Onaiwu – (WINNER) Nigeria
12 Best Actor (Male)
A Benjamin Olaiye (Jnr) – (WINNER) Nigeria
B Kelvin Brooks Nigeria
C Agboola Testimony Nigeria
13 Best Actor (Female)
A Jenifer Osawe Nigeria
B Victory Idahosa – (WINNER) Nigeria
C Loveth Okh Azugbene Nigeria
14 Best Film (Costume)
A Funeral Nigeria
B Onaiwu – (WINNER) Nigeria
C Battle of the West Nigeria
15 Best Film (Makeup)
A Funeral – (WINNER) Nigeria
B Battle of the West Nigeria
C Oduna Nigeria
16 Best Film (Cinematography)
A Beauty Struck Nigeria
B After a while – (WINNER) Egypt
C Battle of the west Nigeria
Winner of ‘The Rural Photography Training’ by GIZ EdoJobs at #ESIFF2022

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