In a dazzling showcase of emerging talent, Cheyi Okoaye has secured the top spot in the NEFT Emerging Film Talent International Short Film (NEFTI) Nigeria competition. His captivating short film, titled “Don’t Think Too Much,” earned him the grand prize of $5,000 in a finale event held at AFRIFF 2023.
The NEFTI Nigeria competition, spanning eight weeks, was more than a mere contest; it was a transformative journey for budding filmmakers. The challenge offered them an opportunity for mentorship from industry luminaries, a chance to gain recognition, and the empowerment to turn creative visions into cinematic realities.
Okoaye’s victory signifies the pinnacle of this transformative experience. His short film not only stood out among a pool of talented entries but also demonstrated technical prowess and a unique storytelling ability. His win serves as a testament to the incredible talent nurtured by the NEFTI competition.
At the prestigious AFRIFF 2023, the NEFTI finale event was not just a celebration of Okoaye’s victory but also a recognition of excellence in the art of short filmmaking. Hassan Tha Kreator and Joanna Okey-Ogunjiofor claimed the NEFTi-LG Audience Choice Award for their film “Dream of the Weave,” securing $2,000.
Expressing his delight, Paul Robinson, Founder of NEFTi & CCO, NEFT Vodka, emphasized that NEFTi is more than a competition; it’s about education and providing filmmakers with invaluable skills. He thanked partners, mentors, and judges for their exceptional contributions to the competition.
Okoaye, visibly elated by the recognition, expressed gratitude for the transformative experience. Winning the NEFTI competition not only provided him with a platform to showcase his work but also connected him with invaluable mentorship and guidance. He eagerly anticipates the opportunities that lie ahead in his filmmaking journey.
As NEFTI Nigeria looks ahead, Robinson promises that NEFTI Nigeria 2024 will be even more significant, promising aspiring filmmakers a journey not just of competition but of transformation, mentorship, exposure, and industry recognition. The competition continues to be a beacon, illuminating the path for the rising stars of the filmmaking world.