Good Morning and welcome to the Inaugural U.S. Consulate Documentary Film Festival. We’re excited to host this auspicious event with our partners, Ascends International Studios Limited and the Silverbird Group.
Let me extend a big thank you to all of our panelists, and of course our audience: film professionals, film students, or just film enthusiasts. I thank you all for coming out to show your support. And of course, I must thank the members of the media for joining us today as well. I hope that everyone of you will benefit from this Festival!
- The Inaugural U.S. Consulate Documentary Film Festival is an expression of the commitment of the U.S. Consulate to strengthen the ties that link Nigeria and the United States of America. We recognize that we have many common interests and concerns. We are very proud of our engagement with Nigerians in the areas of health, education, economic development, security assistance, and the promotion of democratic institutions. Here in Lagos, we are also intimately involved with the creative community. We especially support that community’s efforts to use the power of film, music, dance, or literature to expose society’s ills or celebrate the brilliance and artistry that also form the human experience.
- Over the next few days, we will highlight the American Film Showcase, the premier film diplomacy program of the U.S. Department of State, which is produced in partnership with the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts.
- The American Film Showcase brings award-winning contemporary American documentaries, independent fiction films, and documentary know-how to audiences around the world, offering a view of American society and culture as seen by independent filmmakers.
- We will showcase eight documentary films accompanied by eight panel sessions. Each of the films is designed to spark thought and dialogue. We also hope they will inspire some in the audience to explore the means of telling their own stories.
- Tomorrow, we will be treated to a virtual appearance by the director of the film I Am Jane Doe. Her film is one of the most discussed documentaries of recent years due to its riveting subject matter. Please make an effort to be here to hear from her.
- These documentaries are intended to offer contemporary insights into American society. You will see exciting and inspirational stories that span entrepreneurship, technology, food, music and dance as well as some disturbing aspects of the darker sides of human nature. Whether these stories are uplifting or distressing, these are important stories that must be told. We owe it to the heroes … to the victims … we owe it to ourselves.
- Let me conclude by thanking all of our partners again. We could not have done this without you.
- I am confident this Festival will prove to be a tremendous success and I hope it will become a consistent feature of our cultural engagement with the Lagos State and the people of Nigeria.
- As always, God bless the people of Nigeria … and God bless the United States of America. Thank you very much.