Towards the development of a sustainable documentary film culture in Nigeria: A study of iRepresent (IREP) documentary film festival

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Edmund Chukwuma Onwuliri
Barth Oshionebo

Abstract

A myriad of challenges confront the documentary film genre in Nigeria. Some of these include inadequate funding, distribution, exhibition, audience/viewer reception and issues of ideology. Despite all these, documentary filmmakers in Nigeria have kept the documentary film genre alive. In recent times, however, some committed documentary filmmakers in Nigeria have established a platform where they are advancing the cause of the documentary film genre. The iRepresent (iREP) International Documentary Film Festival provides a stage for filmmakers to engage in constant conversations to improve the art and practice of documentary filmmaking. Film festivals have become vital avenues for networking among industry players, scholars, tourists and cinema audiences worldwide. This study examines the concept and activities of the iREP International Documentary Film Festival, intending to establish how it has provided a platform for the growth and sustainability of the documentary film culture in Nigeria. Using the Documentary (Film) theory and qualitative research method via in-depth (structured and unstructured) interviews, the study articulates the views of documentary film practitioners, film scholars and organisers of the film festival to interrogate the impact of iREP on the Nigerian documentary film landscape. The study concludes that in the last 12 years, the first international documentary film festival in Nigeria has not only engendered progressive conversation about the documentary film genre in Nigeria, but has created the enabling environment for the documentary film culture to thrive, survive and become a sustainable cinematic practice like the fiction film genre.

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How to Cite
Onwuliri, E. C. ., & Oshionebo, B. . (2023). Towards the development of a sustainable documentary film culture in Nigeria: A study of iRepresent (IREP) documentary film festival. Advanced Journal of Theatre and Film Studies, 1(2), 69-76. https://doi.org/10.57040/ajtfs.v1i2.540
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