Sunday, September 28, 2014

THE SUPREME PRICE "ON KUDIRAT ABIOLA" Screened during Light Camera Africa Film Festival


                                      Kudirat and her Husband Chief MKO Abiola

Hasfat Abiola Costelle And Hope Opara (President Ekoiff)
During the premiering of "The Supreme Price" at the Light Camera Africa
Film Festival 2014 Federal Palace Hotel Lagos
   
      



SYNOPSIS
The Supreme Price is a feature length documentary film that traces the evolution of the Pro-Democracy Movement in Nigeria and efforts to increase the participation of women in leadership roles. Following the annulment of her father's victory in Nigeria's Presidential Election and her mother's assassination by agents of the military dictatorship, Hafsat Abiola faces the challenge of transforming a corrupt culture of governance into a democracy capable of serving Nigeria's most marginalized population: women.

(Produced and Directed by Joanna Lipper)

                                         PHOTOS FROM THE FESTIVAL















Wednesday, September 24, 2014

EBOLA EPIDEMIC: EXPERIMENTAL DRUGS TO BE RUSHED TO AFRICA




Vaccine trials under way as experts fear disease could become endemic in worst-hit areas of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia

Medical workers n Freetown, Sierra Leone, learn how to protect themselves against the Ebola disease. Photograph: Xinhua/Landov/Barcroft Media
Experimental drugs are to be fast-tracked into west Africa so that they can be tested and, if they work, save lives in the Ebola epidemic, which, experts say, is spiralling out of control. Trials of vaccines are already in their early stages, with healthy British volunteers taking part in safety tests in the UK. The Wellcome Trust is committing £3.2m to set up sites, systems and facilities for drug testing across the affected countries as well.
There is major international concern over the spread of infection and the disintegration of healthcare systems under pressure from the disease. The Centres for Disease Control (CDC) in the US released new projections on Tuesday saying that in the worst scenario, if the spread of Ebola goes unchecked, there could be 1.4m cases by late January. The WHO has not projected that far ahead, but has warned that there could be nearly 20,000 cases by early November.
Healthcare systems in the three worst-hit countries, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, fragile to begin with, have largely collapsed under the strain of coping with what may prove to be one of the most serious viral disease outbreaks in modern times.
More than 40 British military and humanitarian staff have arrived in Freetown, Sierra Leone, to oversee the construction of a UK medical facility, which will be part of the £100m UK commitment to help contain the outbreak. That includes 700 Ebola treatment beds.
The news followed a meeting of the UK’s emergency committee, Cobra, on Tuesday afternoon. It was chaired by foreign secretary Philip Hammond by videolink from New York, where the Ebola crisis had been a significant topic of discussion. “It is now vital that the international community translates its concern into action,” said Hammond. “This outbreak has wide-ranging humanitarian and security consequences for the region, and the world. Defeating this disease will need a global coalition, as well as innovative approaches to reducing the spread of the virus in communities.”
An analysis of the first nine months of the outbreak in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that the death rate is 70%, not 50%, when deaths outside hospitals are counted. Many people are too frightened to go to hospital and the number of infections is doubling every few weeks. As of 20 September, the WHO said there had been 5,843 cases and 2,803 confirmed deaths.
Some questioned the CDC projection of 1.4m cases by January. “It’s a big assumption that nothing will change in the current outbreak response,” said Dr Armand Sprecher, an infectious disease specialist at Doctors Without Borders. “Ebola outbreaks usually end when people stop touching the sick. The outbreak is not going to end tomorrow, but there are things we can do to reduce the case count.”
A call from the UK government for NHS volunteers to go out and help has so far led to 164 healthcare staff signing up. A similar appeal at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine by its director, Professor Peter Piot, has resulted in 35 staff volunteering so far. There is a particular need for trained nurses, clinicians, diagnostic laboratory technicians and sanitation experts, Piot told the school.
Experts fear that Ebola could become endemic in west Africa, instead of a viral disease that emerges from animals to cause outbreaks and then disappears again. If that happens, the region could be a reservoir for the spread of the virus, not only to other parts of Africa, but also the rest of the world, said Piot and Jeremy Farrar, the director of the Wellcome Trust, in the New England Journal. They said the epidemic “seems out of control and has evolved into a major humanitarian crisis”. In west Africa “there is a very real danger of a complete breakdown in civic society”, and communities have lost faith in authority.
Societies that were being rebuilt after civil war have been devastated by Ebola and will need rebuilding once the epidemic is finally under control, said Piot, who believes the World Health Organisation has been too slow to respond. It was three months before the first cases in December last year were identified, he said. “It was another five months and 1,000 deaths until WHO declared this a public health emergency and the world started getting serious about it.”
Several different potential drugs are likely to be trialled in west Africa, including Zmapp, which has already been used on foreign doctors and aid workers with the disease
. Current supplies of the drug, made from leaves of the tobacco plant, have been used up, but its manufacture is restarting.
Independent experts will decide which potential drugs are suitable for testing – there will have to be safety data before any can be given to patients and a rapid ethical review will have to be undertaken.
“It is a huge challenge to carry out clinical trials under such difficult conditions, but ultimately this is the only way we will ever find out whether any new Ebola treatments actually work,” said Farrar. “What’s more, rapid trials, followed by large-scale manufacturing and distribution of any effective treatments, might produce medicines that could be used in this epidemic. The Wellcome Trust funding will allow these trials to happen quickly, and in an ethically and scientifically robust setting.”

Monday, September 22, 2014

MY HEART BEAT FOR LOLA (MY BUM BUM)





                

             Team Song for popular Telemundo TV series by Jencarlos Canela who played Andre in
                           "My  Heart Beat for Lola" and "Bruno in Forbidden Passion"


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Popular Nollywood Star Actor Wale Ojo Birthday is Today.



Nollywood Star Actor Wale Ojo

Wale Ojo is a prolific actor in the Nigerian Film Industry and has featured in many films like “Half of a Yellow Sun”, “Phone Swap”, “Street of Calabar” and many others and currently featuring in popular TV soap Tinsel where he plays Nosa.

Happy birthday Wale.








          






Monday, September 8, 2014

HOPES RAISED AS EBOLA VACCINE PROTECTS MONKEYS FOR 10 MONTHS


Human trials underway aiming to prevent another outbreak of the virus which has swept through West Africa

Workers wearing protective suits in Monrovia in Liberia. Human trials are now underway to test a vaccine that may help to prevent future outbreaks.
Hopes for an effective Ebola vaccine have been raised after trials of an experimental jab found that it gave monkeys long-term protection from the killer disease.
Animals that received a first shot of the vaccine and a booster two months later were immune to the infection for 10 months, according to US government researchers. If further trials show that the vaccine works safely in humans, it could be used to protect health workers and contain future outbreaks by immunising villagers living next to affected areas.
The findings will encourage scientists in the UK and elsewhere who have just begun human trials of an Ebola vaccine in the hope of preventing another outbreak of the virus which has swept through Guinea, Liberia,Sierra Leone and Nigeria, claiming more than 2,000 lives.
The World Health Organisation warned last week that the total death toll in African states could reach 20,000 before it could be brought under control. The infection is spread by contact with bodily fluids and causes fever, vomiting and severe bleeding.
Researchers led by Nancy Sullivan at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Maryland tested two different vaccines on macaques. The first was based on a harmless monkey virus which had been modified to carry a protein from the Zaire strain of Ebola, responsible for the latest outbreak. A single shot of the vaccine protected the animals from the virus for several weeks. The same vaccine, developed by the US NIH and GlaxoSmithKline, has just gone into human clinical trials in the UK, Mali and the Gambia.
The US researchers went on to test a second vaccine based on a modified cowpox virus. Monkeys that received the vaccine as a booster two months after the first vaccine were protected against lethal doses of Ebola for a full 10 months, according to a report in Nature Medicine.
The Guardian understands that UK researchers are keen to include the booster jab in future human trials.
Jonathan Ball, a molecular virologist at the University of Nottingham, said that a single jab that gave even a few weeks of protection could help to contain an Ebola outbreak.
"This is important as it would keep the dosing regimen simple and could still provide good protection in the sort of outbreak that we are seeing in western Africa at the moment," he said. "For longer-term protection to prevent future outbreaks one could envisage using the combination, the so-called prime / boost approach."
Martin Hibberd, professor of emerging infectious disease at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said the study "gives hope for a successful trial in humans".
On Friday, the UN chief, Ban Ki-moon, set the goal of stopping the worst-ever outbreak of the disease within six to nine months. The "next few weeks will be crucial," Ban said in New York, adding that this was an "international rescue call".
Meanwhile, authorities are ordering people in Sierra Leone to stay inside their homes for three days later this month as part of an effort to stop the spread of Ebola, a government spokesman said on Saturday. Abdulai Bayraytay said the government was telling people to stay inside their homes on 19, 20 and 21 September. The dates were chosen to give people enough time to stock up on food and other provisions before the ban on movement goes into effect, he said.


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Abuja International Film Festival Names of the Nominees for Its 11th Edition





The Abuja International Film Festival has released the names of the nominees for its 11th edition scheduled for the prestigious Silverbird Cinemas Abuja Nigeria. The nominees were announced in 13 different  categories excluding nominations for animation and the viewer’s Choice awards that will be decided by the audience at the festival.
Two new categories were added to the list of categories namely outstanding music score and student film category. According to Fred Amata, the Acting Festival Director, these new categories were added to reward excellence in music scoring and student film production respectively.
Interestingly, the film festival attracted over 145 entries from around the world with entries from Nigeria attracting over 60% of the total entries.
The festival will open on the 23rd of September with the highly anticipated Nigerian film “Invasion 1897” produced by celebrated Nigerian filmmaker Lancelot Imaseun  and the Closing Night Film will also attract the presentation of Jackie Chan 3D film titled Chinese Zodiac which ironically is the last action thriller by the 60 years old Hong kong Filmmaker. The film Chinese Zodiac is an entry of the Chinese Government to the 11th Abuja International Film Festival.
Also, the Film Festival will as part of his honors list honor this year honor the President of Nigeria, President Goodluck jonathan with the highest honor of the festival amongst other Nigerians that will include the Governor ‘s of Benue state Hon. Gabriel Suswan, Mr. Ben Murray Bruce of Silverbird, Prince Chris Nnebe of Pharmatex, Mr. Andy Boyo of Diamond Pictures, Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe, High Chief Edem Duke at the closing ceremony.
According to Loius Okpoto, The Media Manager for the Abuja Film Festival, Other attractions at the festival will be the public presentation  of 4 Nigerian films centered on Agric/health related nutrition projects funded by the Harvestplus International based in Washington and this even will witness the presence of the Honorable Ministers of Heath Dr. Onyebuchi Chukwu and his counterpart from         Agriculture minister                
 Dr.  Akinwunmi Adeshina respectively. The films are advocacy projects on the benefits of cassava vitamin A nutrients in cassava.


2014 ABUJA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL NOMINEES LIST

BEST FEATURE FILM (NIGERIA)
1.      INVASION 1897 – LANCELOTT ODUWA IMASUEN
2.      BLOOD AND ROMANCE – DANJUMA DJ SAAID
3.      DREAM WALKER – NEVILLE OSSAI
4.      TWIST OF FATE – GBENGA BELLO
5.      WHERE TALENT LIES – IKENNA OGUIKE
6.      BLACK SILHOUETTE – CHARLES UWAGBAI
7.      IRUGBIN (SEED) – ADEBAYO TIJANNI


BEST FEATURE FILM (FOREIGN)
1.      CHINESE ZODIAC {CHINA}
2.      THE GRANDMASTER {CHINA}
3.      WALKING TO SCHOOL {CHINA}
4.      THE MAJOR {RUSSIA}
5.      THE SUPERSTITON {UGANDA}

BEAT SHORT FILM (NIGERIA)
1.      FROST BITE – SEUN AJAYI
2.      NEW HORIZONS – TOPE OSHIN OGUN
3.      NOT RIGHT – UDUAK OBONG PATRICK
4.      YAWA (NEMESIS) – DAMIJO EFE YOUNG
5.      LOVE AND WAR – TOPE OSHIN OGUN


BEST SHORT FILM (FOREIGN)
1.      JUST AFRIEND {EGYPT-LUXOR}
2.      AWAITING LAZARUS {UNITED KINGDOM}
3.      LA QUEUE (THE QUEUE) {FRANCE}
4.      THE SON OF THE SEA {SPAIN}
5.      THE JOURNEY(UAE)

BEST DOCUMENTARY
1.      UNBROKEN (The Story John Sumonu)  – Toyin Fajj - Nigeria
2.      PARADOX OF LIFE –  Katman dayil - Nigeria
3.      OMONONG (GIFT) – Katman Dayil – Nigeria
4.      THE RISE OF THE EAGLES –  Biola Kazeem - Nigeria
5. SOUND OF TORTURE – Karen Shayo - Isreal


BEST EXPERIMENTAL FILM
1.      THE THRONE – Jubril Malafia - Nigeria
2.      WHEN IS TOMMOROW – Ayo Donadove - Nigeria
3.      SOULS UNDER SOLES – Oluwaseun Afolabi – Nigeria 

THE OUTSTANDING COMIC FILM
1.      TROUBLE SOME LANDLORD – LARRY ZUKA - NIGERIA
2.      I COME LAGOS – ELVIS CHUKS - NIGERIA
3.      YAWA – NEMESIS  - DAMMIJO EFE YOUNG - NIGERIA

OUTSTANDING MALE ACTOR
1.      KHING BASSEY        - BLOOD AND ROMANCE - NIGERIA
2.      FRANK ATUS           – TWIST OF FATE - NIGERIA
3.      ALEX AYALOGU      – WHERE TALENT LIESN - NIGERIA
4.      JACKIE CHAN          – CHINESE ZODIAC - CHINA
5.       MIKE OMOREGBE    – INVASION 1897 - NIGERIA

OUTSTANDING FEMALE ACTOR
1.      MARY UCHE                       – TWIST OF FATE - NIGERIA
2.      ABIMBOLA ADEMOYE    – WHERE TALENT LIES - NIGERIA
3.      JACKIE APPIAH                  – DREAM WALKER - NIGERIA
4.      IVIE OKUJAYE                    – BLACK SILHOUETTE - NIGERIA

BEST DIRECTING
1.      JACKIE CHAN                                   - CHINESE ZODIAC (CHINA)
2.      JIAHUANG PENG & CHEN PENG  - WALKING TO SCHOOL (CHINA)
3.      LANCEELOT .O. IMASUEN            – INVASION 1897 (NIGERIA)
4.      DANJUMA “DEEJAY” SA’ID          – BLOOD AND ROMANCE (NIGERIA)
5.      KAR WAI WONG                            – THE GRANDMASTER (CHINA)

BEST STUDENT FILM
1.      SOULS UNDER SOLES – NATIONAL FILM INSTITUTE
2.      WHEN IS TOMMOROW – AHMADU BELLO UNIVERSITY
3.      TALES BY SUNSET – AHMADU BELLO UNIVERSITY
4.      FORLON – NATIONAL FILM INSTITUTE
5.      BETRAYED – IYUA ALAH – NATIONAL FILM INSTITUTE

OUTSTANDING MUSIC
1.      BLOOD AND ROMANCE - NIGERIA
2.      CHINESE ZODIAC - CHINA
3.      INVASION 1897 -NIGERIA
4.      IRUGBIN (SEED) –NIGERIA
5.      THE WINGS - RUSSIA