Newark International Film Festival is the brain-child of Ken Gifford, founder of Area 21 Studios, a film and television production company based in Newark NJ.
This is a 3-day film festival that celebrates and recognizes the works of filmmakers globally. This is an international platform that showcases creativity. This event is scheduled for Newark, New Jersey, each year in September.
This year, NIFF received over 800 entries from film-makers all over the world, competing for the categories; Best Narrative Feature, Best Documentary, Best Short Film, with a Youth component for all these categories. There was also a category of music, and a new addition for Audience-Choice.
“Sink or Swim; The Perilous journey”, by producer Prince Richard Nwaobi-E and Adjetey Anang, directed by Ike Nnaebue with Screenplay by Anna Hanson saw its first international screening at Citiplex Theatre on Saturday, 9th Sept. 2017.
The movie serves a social-advocacy project highlighting the dangers of irregular migration and human trafficking across the African sub-region. The movie was inspired in the wake of the frequent loss of lives on the Mediterranean as people travel in search of greener pastures.
This was a collaborative effort by an all-African cast from Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, Zambia, Kenya, Cote D-Ivoire, Togo, Guinea and South Africa including Zack Orji, Adjetey Anang, Raymond Ofula, Ali Nuhu, Mzee Chillo, Fred Amugi, Ama K, OG Nelson, Ruth Ndulu, Seun Akindele, Sika Osei, Cassie Kabwita, Deyemi O, Zoree Seidu, Romeo Kwame, Kalu George, Cosmos Segbefia and Vicky Coker. The movie received an Official Selection for the categories of Best Narrative Feature and Best Actress.
The screening was a huge success as the story captivated the audience and gave them an awakening to the sad reality of the dangers of irregular migration, human trafficking and the plight of the migrants.
The finale was the awards ceremony on Sunday, 10th September 2017 at the Newark Symphony Hall that was attended by several celebrities. The award ceremony was hosted by actress and model, Eva Marcille of America’s Next Top Model fame and co-hosted by Rob Stapleton.
Ultimately, Sink or Swim carried the day by sweeping the awards for both categories nominated. Ama K. won Best Actress. Sink or Swim, took the ultimate award for Best Narrative Feature, 2017.