Obi Emelonye, Nigerian filmmaker, has joined the list of BUFF’s (British Urban Film Festival) honorees. The London-based initiative was created in partnership with The Screen Biz (UK) and The Hip-Hop Association (USA) to mobilise and develop young, up and coming homegrown British urban talents in the independent film and TV sector.
Announcing the honour, which came at an elaborate event in London recently, Emelonye said: “I have joined an illustrious list of previous winners of this award- Idris Elba and Amma Asante. This village man from Nigeria has worked hard as a filmmaker for 20 years and it was rather nostalgic looking back on that journey. I am not usually short of what to say but being celebrated and honoured in that unique BUFF style left a lump in my throat. Thank you BUFF. This award is dedicated to Steve Osagie, who lived and loved and on whose giant shoulders I have stood to reach my dreams. So, from a little short film that you’ve done, to your first feature to your very ambitious projects, it’s all cumulative and you think nobody’s noticing. But the world is noticing; some of the works that you do travel to places that you would probably never see. I have projects on Netflix that I have people write to me from Brazil, Ecuador and China to say beautiful things about the work that I’ve done”.
On the other hand, University of Huddersfield, where Emelonye also teaches Film Studies, has congratulated him on the feat, stressing the filmmaker was positively driving the vision of the school by inspiring future global professionals.
Emelonye, who is behind such blockbusters as ‘Last Flight to Abuja’, ‘Mirror Boy’, ‘Black Mail’, and ‘Oxford Gardens’, has been described by the international media as ‘a filmmaker telling quintessential African stories with a universal soul’.