Ambassador Hails Extend US/Nigeria Cultural Ties

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Mary Beth Leonard, the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, has hailed the extend United States/Nigeria cultural ties, saying the US Mission supports Nigeria’s burgeoning film industry and creative community with its participation at the 10th annual Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF).

Delivering remarks at a reception held for representatives from the Nigerian and American entertainment industries, Leonard said in addition to sponsoring two masterclasses in partnership with American Film Showcase and Global Media Makers, representatives from the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art and US companies, including Amazon, Macro and Paramount, are attending the ongoing festival to deepen their ties with the Nigerian film industry.

She said: “I am proud of the US Mission’s contributions to this year’s Africa International Film Festival.

“Our goal is to build the capacity of emerging filmmakers on animation and post-production, two areas that could lead to tremendous growth in Nigeria’s film industry.

“The US Government has long recognised the role of film in diplomacy, with its emphasis on free expression, creativity, democratic and collaborative teamwork.”

Founder/Executive Director of AFRIFF, Chioma Ude, offered appreciation to the US Mission for being one of the major sponsors of the festival over the last five years.

READ ALSO: Nigeria being one of our most top important partners – United States

Ude said: “We are grateful to the US Embassy in Abuja and the US Consulate-General in Lagos for their continuous support of our efforts to build the capacity of African filmmakers.”

AFRIFF, an annual showcase of the world of film making, with participation from local and international actors, directors, film critics, buyers, distributors, visual artists, film students, and equipment manufacturers, is taking place from November 7 to 13.

The Public Affairs Sections of the US Mission in Abuja and Lagos have supported programmes that bring American cultural leaders to Nigeria to meet, exchange ideas and collaborate with Nigerian cultural leaders. Through these people-to-people connections, the US Mission hopes to foster a deeper relationship between the people of Nigeria and the United States.

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