Cheyi Okoaye has emerged the winner of the 2023 NEFT Emerging Film Talent International Short Film (NEFTI) Nigeria Competition for his captivating short film titled, “Don’t Think Too Much About It”, earning him the grand prize of $5,000 for his cinematic talent.
The NEFTI finale event, held at the prestigious AFRIFF 2023, also saw Hassan Tha Kreator and Joanna Okey-Ogunjiofor securing the coveted NEFTi-LG Audience Choice Award for their short film titled, “Dream of the Weave” winning $2,000.
The NEFTI Nigeria was an eight-week-long short film competition for budding filmmakers to undergo mentorship from industry luminaries, gain recognition, become empowered to realise their aspirations and transform their creative visions into cinematic realities.
Founder of NEFTi & CCO, NEFT Vodka, Paul Robinson, expressed his delight at the success of the competition, stating that:
“NEFTi is not just about competition; it’s about education and providing filmmakers with opportunities to acquire skills that are invaluable to their craft.
Cheyi Okoaye’s victory showcases the incredible talent fostered by the NEFTI Competition, and we are proud to be part of his journey. A big thanks to our partners, mentors and judges for their exceptional work in this competition. NEFTI Nigeria 2024 will be bigger and better.”
Okoaye’s winning entry stood out among a pool of talented entries and finalist competitors, showcasing technical prowess and a unique storytelling ability. The NEFTI Competition, known for its dedication to supporting and propelling emerging talents, continues to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of Nigerian cinema.
Cheyi Okoaye expressed his gratitude for the recognition, saying:
“Winning the NEFTI Competition is an incredible honor. This experience has not only provided me with a platform to showcase my work but has also connected me with invaluable mentorship and guidance. I am excited about the opportunities that lie ahead in my filmmaking journey.”
The NEFTI Competition remains a beacon for aspiring filmmakers, offering not just a competition but a transformative experience that opens doors to mentorship, exposure, and industry recognition.