ASF partners Ooni of Ife, Swedish Embassy Nigeria on WIFTI Summit 2022

In anticipation of the Women in Film and TV International (WIFTI) Summit set to take place in Africa for the first time, WIFTI has appointed Ascend Studios Foundation (ASF) as the implementing partner for the WIFTI Summit 2022.

Ascend Studios Foundation (ASF) has also announced its partnership with His Imperial Majesty TheOoni of Ife, the Swedish Embassy in Nigeria, VIACOM CBS Africa, The YD Company as some of the organisations supporting the Summit to its maximum potential.

Ascend Studios Foundation led by Inya Lawal is working closely with WIFTI led by Helene Granqvist, Women in Film and TV Africa (WIFTA), Forum of Women in Film and TV (FWIFT) led by Joke Silva to build alliances and partnerships with local and international organisations.

The summit is a bi-annual event that provides women an enabling environment, access to film and TV funds, reduces gender stifling barriers, and positions women in places of power within the entertainment industry.

Themed, ‘Telling Unique Stories with Film, Music, and Dance,’ this summit aims to incorporate the aspects of film, music, and dance to advance the funding, creation, and distribution of stories that reflect the thriving, socially aware film culture around the world.

To achieve this, various multicultural diversity in film, music, and dance will be established to serve reflection of various cultures of arts, stories, and values.

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The Summit will train thousands of creatives, have a significant international presence, and host attendees, partners, and film offices from all over the world.

The Summit will also feature an incredible line-up of A-list Film/TV Actors, Musicians, Dance players, as well as International and Local organizations interested in the creative economy.

As a part of the event, there will be networking and facilitated training sessions, both in-person and virtually, by industry experts with significant aspects of the industry to learn, while also introducing new trends, strategic thinking, and business models to drive the ever-evolving entertainment industry.

Speaking at the Courtesy Visit held at the palace of the 51st Ooni of Ife, the Secretary of WIFTI, Inya Lawal, commented on the significance of these partnerships.

“It is such an honour to have His Excellency – the Swedish Ambassador to Nigeria, as well as other executive members of WIFTI from Germany and Sweden; the Country Manager for VIACOMCBS Africa and the CEO of the YD Company at today’s Courtesy Visit to His Imperial Majesty – The Ooni of Ife.

“Having this summit in Nigeria is truly reflective of the grace Africa carries and the potential that is yet untapped. I look forward to attendees from all over the world experiencing the beauty and richness of our culture in person; and fostering business relationships,” she stated.

In addition, the 51st Ooni of Ife, the imperial majesty OgunwusiAdeyeyeEnitan, expressed his support for causes related to women empowerment, especially Nigerian women. He went ahead to thank the WIFTI Summit team for bringing this event to Nigeria.

Bada Akintunde Johnson, the country manager for VIACOMCBS Africa, emphasised the need to tell untold African stories highlighting that VIACOMCBS Africa over the last 16 years on the continent has stood strongly for empowering young Africans and amplifying their amazing stories to the rest of the world through their channels like MtvBase and BET as well as the MTV Africa Music Awards.

Carl Michael, the Swedish Ambassador to Nigeria, while highlighting the Swedish government’s commitment to this initiative, explained that the government is always interested in women’s empowerment programs and WIFTI is the right platform for the cause, being a major organisation.

He added: “Economically, countries struggled with the pandemic and lots of women lost their businesses. This is a great opportunity for those in Nollywood to solve some logistics concerns while they journey through the path of recovery from the pandemic economically.”

Helene Granqvist, president of WIFTI, thanked the Ooni of Ife for the warm reception and partnership opportunity to promote film and TV in Nigeria.

She added, “At WIFTI, we have three important pillars: Connection – to connect all members; Knowledge – to share knowledge, experiences, and industry information; and Visibility – to be seen and acknowledged. The start of the Forum of Women in Film and Television in Nigeria is great and very symbolic for carrying out this vision to the rest of the world.”