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Nollywood Stars Support ION International Film Festival

By Michael Chima Ekenyerengozi

The heavy rainfall of Tuesday morning did not stop the leading stars of Nollywood from thronging their favourite rendezvous Ojez Restaurant inside the National Stadium in Surelere, Lagos, to grace the press parley on the 6th ION International Film Festival to be held in December in the oil rich city of Port Harcourt in Rivers State, and making Nigeria the first host of ION in Africa.

Amaka Igwe, Zeb Ejiro,Kanayo O. Kanayo , Lancelot Imaseun, Charles Novia, Paul Obazele, the new President of the Association of Movie Producers (AMP), Madu Chikwenda, the founder and CEO of Lagos International Film Festival, Emeka Rollas and other Nollywood authorities spoke at the event on the importance of ION in re-branding the global image of Nigeria. Some top Nollywood actresses were also there. I noticed that the X-rated actress Cossy Ojiokor and top female producer and director Emem Isong were in their best elements as they tickled each other while Stephanie Okereke was on the high table and the beautiful Lilian Bach was a delight to sight.

Ilaria Chessa, the Creative Director of ION addressed the audience and answered all the questions on why Port Harcourt was chosen as the venue of the 2009 edition of ION, the importance and significance of the touring film festival to Nollywood and the public officials of the Rivers state government were excited to be co-sponsors of the 6th ION. They promised that their state government will guarantee the security of the event and dismissed fears of the militants in the volatile Niger Delta region.

ION got the approval of the stakeholders of the Nigerian film industry as they pledged their cooperation and support for the international film festival.