Background & History

The Benin City Film Festival was launched in November 2018, it is a new entity that offers a platform encouraging and promoting the works of the local film community and National, International emerging filmmakers to showcase their work in an environment where they have access to experienced industry professionals. BFF is the only independent film festival in Edo State and the only film festival that takes place in Benin City. BCFF screens premiere of international and national documentaries and it’s the 5th edition this year (2022)

Legal Status & Organisational Structure Benin City Film Festival is a non-profit company limited by guarantee with a Board (Organising Committee) currently made up of 9 members, primarily from the community, who make the decisions in relation to the festival, including the appointment of the Festival co-directors.

BCFF also has an international Advisory Board comprising of LIA GIOVANAZZI BELTRAMI,

Prof, Emmanuel Emsealu, Prof Josephine Mokwunyei, Dr. Peddie Okao, Eliel Otote, Hon. Agharese Idubor, Chief Ogie Ogedegbe, Dr. Pedro Obaseki, Aiyamenkhue Edokpolor

Bcff Team

Godfrey Omorodion – Festival director

Eliel Otote A. –  Head of Jury

David Esezimetor – programmer

Osezua Elimehe – Media director

Victoria Olabisa – language program coordinator and volunteer coordinator.

Bisola Olajuyi – International program & hospitality coordinator

Stella Izevbigie – Educational and outreach adviser

Kosi – Technical manager

Glory Osagiede – Graphics Digital/Online programmer

 

In preparing for our 2019 Festival, we intend to broaden the active working committee by inviting a number of people, who have an interest in film and in promoting, to join our committee.

Vision

The aim of the Benin City Film Festival is to present quality films to visiting professionals, amateurs, local, national, and international film enthusiasts and to make BCFF the biggest film market in Africa.

 

Objectives

The primary objective of the Festival is to attract audiences from all over Nigeria, from around the world to come to Benin City to watch quality films that emphasize human rights and social issues.

The secondary objective is to ensure that the international film directors attend the festival and participate in discussions about their work and about the art of filmmaking and that they are given the opportunity to see what the State has to offer, in the hope that they will return to make films there.

The third objective is to provide a sustainable long-term tourism event in Edo State.

The fourth objective is to encourage local people and international visitors who attend the festival to engage in the creative film-making process by participating in seminars, events, and workshops running in parallel to the festival screenings.

The fifth objective is to provide high-quality entertainment (music, international cuisine, family events)

Strategic Objectives

  • To select and screen films of the highest international standard;
  • To bring these screenings to Edo State;
  • To partner with local authorities and local business and tourism partners in Edo State, specifically in Benin City that link into their own cultural aims and objectives.
  • To screen the films in a non-competitive, film-focused environment with an emphasis on human rights, and social issues;
  • To Create the largest film market in Africa
  • To generate interest and participation in the films and festivals in the state.
  • To create an environment and atmosphere that facilitates in-depth discussion about the films and the social and environmental issues they raise;
  • To attract visitors from all over the world to the mythical, historical setting of Edo and the Benin City Heritage Sites.

Aims to achieve

  • We will attract multi-award-winning films and directors from around the globe
  • We will place emphasis on the community nature of the festival through all of our promotional material and in the working practice of the festival team;
  • We will generate discussion locally at the festival, in the national media, and internationally in reputable journals and websites.
  • We will increase participation every year to the point that we would have to extend our festival accommodation and lodging to a much wider catchment area;
  • We will establish a wide-ranging training and educational philosophy at each festival headed by film practitioners and industry figures with an international reputation.
  • We would employ the most successful media marketing campaigns of any similar-sized festival in the whole country, in massive national media exposure on major media outlets.

Key Roles

Apart from the committee member’s setup, we would have paid employees working in many different roles, including Volunteer Coordinator, Festival Manager, and Publicity/Marketing. The Festival Manager runs the whole festival. With the Volunteer Coordinator, they source a community volunteer team, who are present in all the planning meetings and discussions. There are regular meetings and feedback sessions with staff and volunteers during the run-up to the festival and during the actual festival. Volunteers’ tasks include transportation, box office, technical support, hospitality, entertainment. We also employ on a short-term contract, a Graphic Designer to design our website, posters and all publicity material, and a Publicist. Also, we team up with international experts to assist with programming. We will set up the first BCFF International Advisory Board, comprising experts from Nollywood and other industries. This committee will advise us regularly on future plans for BCFF.

 Overall Experience of Group

The core team of workers at the festival has been carefully selected from industry practitioners. This core team is starting to take on the challenge of making the Benin City Film Festival an internationally recognized and world-class event. This means being ambitious but still focused and realistic about what is achievable. These challenges include getting more national and international media coverage, building an outreach program that will extend the life of the festival, but also the geographical catchment area, and improving upon the delivery of the festival as a landmark event in Edo State. The short-term employees and volunteer group gain a different but no less valuable experience, learning skills in areas of communication, media, hospitality, and many more.

 Specific Ideas

The theme for the festival is “Building Bridges” which will focus on the impact of digital technology in film production and distribution. The festival will celebrate the empowerment of women, in front of and behind the camera. BCCF will also host a debate that will address the issue of youth unemployment and restiveness, which will be attended by some leading national speakers. The theme could not be more topical as government across the country is taking the lead in tackling issues of unemployment to poverty and youth restiveness. Our festival will draw a domestic and international audience that will recognize that work in an atmosphere that is celebratory. Festival-goers will be taken on bus trips from the festival to the local historical sites in Benin City. Audiences can choose from ten films every day, partake in exciting question and answer sessions with the filmmakers. Next Generation Filmmakers Hub- we plan to develop and nurture relationships with colleges and film students and up-and-coming film talent. There will be a Gala and Award Night to be hosted by the state government.

Publicity & Audience Profile

We will advertise BCFF on an international, national, and local level. Internationally, we do this by having our festival listed on festival websites, and by organizing special deals with media organizations, and exchanging information with other international festivals with similar characteristics.

Our focus is to keep the marketing very web heavy and to target special interest groups at a grassroots level through Web 2.0 marketing and special networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. We also put up Google ads and we will run a couple of competitions to attract interactions with the audience. We will also post stuff on international festival sites, such as Festival focus, Shooting People, DFG.

On a national level, we get excellent ‘free’ press coverage across all media, and we also target all the industry people, film students, and film lovers through different websites, film magazines, film organizations, and colleges. On a local level, we will hang billboards around the City, etc.

Once the festival is happening, we organize post-screening discussions where the audience can participate, so we encourage them to get involved in an active way. We also create an environment of familiarity, intimacy, discussion, and non-elitism. The directors are accessible and happy to talk to everyone.

We always ask for feedback from the audience and try to implement their suggestions. We also run a festival club Nigeria Film Society, so that people can mingle and chat in a more relaxed atmosphere.

Funding

We expect to get funding from the government, embassies corporate private bodies, and individuals:

Benefits for Funders and Sponsors

There are many benefits to being associated with BCFF. BCFF offers an important indigenous film/television event and industry resource, which in its profile and design mirrors many of the objectives of the broadcast and television industry in Nigeria. Industry funders will benefit directly and indirectly from our efforts to promote and develop seminars and masterclasses involving participants and themes of national standing and relevance.

The positioning of a main sponsor of the Festival, with their name and logo on all our publicity material, brochures, website, etc, serves to guarantee a wider recognition of the sponsors’ role as a promoter of excellence in the arts, and as a supporter of the Film broadcast industry.

We will place a lot of emphasis on, and spend a significant part of our budget on producing the highest quality publicity material. We will also be very conscious of our responsibility to acknowledge the generous contributions of our funders in all media and we pay particular attention to this in press releases and other media events. For funders of specific events in the festival, Logos, Promotional materials and mentioned before, during, and after such events.

Sales Plan

Festivals have been generating a significant amount of art travel, a form of cultural tourism for decades. Cultural tourism can be defined as a travel connected with contemporary artistic creation, in our case, film making.