The Rivers State Chairman of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Chief Kenneth Chigozie Osunwa, stood in the spotlight as he clinched two prestigious awards during the grand finale of the Rivers International Film Festival (RIFF) held at the elegant Alliance Francais, 22 Herbert Macaulay Street, Old GRA in Port Harcourt.
The three-day event, which drew an array of renowned personalities from the world of entertainment, culminated in a glittering awards night.
Chief Osunwa’s exceptional contributions to the industry were recognized as he received the coveted “Most Active Entertainer” award, a testament to his unwavering commitment to the craft of acting.
Not only was Chief Osunwa honored, but he also had the privilege of presenting the “Best Entertainment Friendly Station” award to Channels Television, in acknowledgement of their outstanding support for the entertainment industry.
However, the highlight of the evening was when Chief Osunwa was presented with the “Best Film of the Festival” award. His remarkable work left the audience in awe, and this accolade was a well-deserved recognition of his dedication to cinematic excellence.
The awards ceremony featured a variety of accolades, honoring talent from both local and international filmmakers.
Announcing the awards, Founder of the Rivers International Film Festival,Kate Ezeigbo, said the prestigious Life Time Achievement Award was bestowed upon a luminary of the film industry, recognizing a remarkable contribution to the world of cinema.
Nollywood Veteran of the Year Award celebrated a seasoned artist’s outstanding accomplishments in the Nigerian film industry.
This year, the award for the Most Entertainment-friendly Commissioner of Police was a unique addition, acknowledging the support of law enforcement in making the festival a success. The award was won by CP Emeka Polycarp Nwonyi, the Commissioner of Police in Rivers State.
The highly anticipated award for Overall Best Film went to “Tide Up and Down,” directed by Binghan Zhang from China. The film captivated audiences with its storytelling and cinematography.
“Rising Sun,” directed by Idigi Eremosele from Nigeria, was recognized as the Best Indigenous Film, showcasing the rich cultural diversity of the region.
“Brooklyn,” directed by Pascal Tessaud from France, claimed the title of Best International Film, highlighting the global appeal of the festival.
Short films also had their moment in the spotlight, with “Horseband Man Husband,” directed by Zaffar from Nigeria, receiving the Best Short Film award. Outstanding cinematography was acknowledged, with “Tide Up and Down” taking home the prize.
The festival recognized exceptional performances, with KT Gorique winning the Best Female Actor for her role in “Brooklyn” and Atul Kawthalkar earning the Best Male Actor award for the same film.
In addition to these awards, the festival celebrated the contributions of its volunteers with the Best Volunteer Worker award. The performing arts were also honored, as the Best Performing Art award highlighted the remarkable talents showcased during the event.
One of the most coveted titles, RIFF Ambassador, came with a cash prize of two hundred thousand naira and was claimed by Oriaku Marvin.
The Rivers International Film Festival’s inaugural edition has undoubtedly left a lasting mark on the world of cinema, bringing together talents from across the globe in a celebration of storytelling and creativity.
The festival concluded with an Award Ceremony, certifying 71 Skill# Screen project participants and honoring 14 Nollywood practitioners for their significant contributions to the nation’s film industry.
The Rivers International Film Festival, RIFF, not only celebrated the world of film and entertainment but also underscored the immense talent and creativity that thrive in the heart of Port Harcourt, Nigeria’s acclaimed Garden City.
The event served as a testament to the growing influence of the Nigerian film industry on the global stage, and Chief Osunwa’s double awards showcased his prominent role within it.
Kenneth Chigozie Osunwa, known as Brother Osunwa Ken, is an accomplished media executive with over 36 years of experience. He has held various leadership roles in the media industry, including being the Chairman of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) in Rivers State.
Throughout his career, he has worked as General Manager, Business Manager, Head of Production, and Content Manager in different media organizations. He has also been involved in the production of numerous television programs and films.
Notably, Osunwa Ken has received recognition for his work, including awards for documentary production. He is a film scholar specializing in film marketing and distribution and holds certificates from various institutions. Furthermore, he has been involved in humanitarian efforts and consultancy work with foreign NGOs, such as Christians For Israel, Global Prayer Call, and Christian Friends of Israel.
He resides in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, with his family and is actively engaged in the media and film industry as a member of the Board of Directors for Kenvica Optimal Limited and Midcourse Ventures Solutions, both prominent film production and media consulting companies in Nigeria.