Aderonke Adeola’s Documentary “Awani” Advocating for the Emancipation of Nigerian Women Wins UNESCO Prize at the Afrika Film Festival
5 June 2019
Awani is a documentary that serves as a timeline that examines the evolution of the role of Nigerian women, starting from pre-colonial Nigeria to the present day. The documentary uses a blend of archival footage and expert commentary to make the case that the role women play is not due to any one individual or specific time period but a mixture of economic incidences and colonialism that shape political and social attitudes towards women. Awani is a thought provoking documentary that aims to simply answer the question, how did we get here?
“Awani,” a documentary that explores the intersection between colonialism and gender inequality, has won the UNESCO Prize at the Afrika Film Festival.
The film’s producer and director, Aderonke Adeola, said she only submitted her film, which features the perspectives of social commentators, activists and historians such as Kemi Da Silva Ibru, Ed Keazor, Bismarck Rewane, Minna Salami, Kadaria Ahmed and Joe Odumakin, to the Afrika Film Festival because she wanted it to be seen by a wider audience. She said:
When I submitted my film to the Afrika Film Festival, all I wanted was my film to be seen by a wider audience it was amazing being nominated and ultimately winning the UNESCO prize.
The UNESCO jury, explaining why “Awani” won its prize, described it as:
A pure documentary that encourages active participation in the process of emancipating women in Nigeria, but also globally.
“Awani” has been well received at several film festivals across the world. “Awani” had a bicoastal premiere at the Ake Arts Festival and the first Yale Africa Film Festival on the same date. It has been screened at the Africa International Film Festival, irep documentary film festival, and the Africa World Documentary Film Festival.
This summer, “Awani” will be screened at the African Film Festival in New York, the Durban International Film Festival and the African Women in Media Conference.