Nigerian movie ‘Lizard’ makes history, wins Grand Jury Prize at Sundance 2021


‘Lizard’ a Nigerian production has made history as the first Nigerian production at the Sundance Festival’s history to win the Grand Jury Prize in short film category.

‘Lizard’ which was Nigeria’s only Sundance 2021 submission, at the Sundance Film Festival Awards ceremony, tells the story of a 9-year-old girl who gets thrown out of Sunday school for her unusual abilities.

The film, which was set in Lagos in the 90s, star child actor, Pamilerin Ayodedeji alongside Osayi Uzamere, Charles Etubiebi, and Rita Edward.

‘Lizard’ was co-written by brothers, Akinola and Wale Davies, the latter being one of the members of the rap duo, Show Dem Camp. He also doubled as co-producer alongside Rachel Dargavel.

According to Screen Daily, the organisers received entries from over 27 different countries before shortlisting 50 movies in the short film category and ‘Lizard’ being a strong contender

Other strong contenders in the short film category include, ‘Like the Ones I Used to Know’, ‘Lata’, ‘The Criminals’, ‘Bambirak’, ‘Dear Philadelphia’, ‘KKUM’, ‘Wiggle Room’ and ‘This Is The Way We Rise’.

Reacting to his win on Instagram, the filmmaker wrote, “Literally a year to this day we started on a project conceived from a bunch of my childhood memories. Today I’m so grateful to @sundanceorg for awarding ‘LIZARD’ the Grand Jury prize for shorts. I’m overwhelmed and as much as I’d love to gloat, filmmaking is really crazy hard. Big love to all those who were part of the shorts program – it’s an honour to be amongst such brilliant films.”

An annual event, the Sundance Film Festival is the largest independent film festival in the United States. It includes competitive categories such as documentary and dramatic films, both feature-length and short films, in which awards are given, as well as out-of-competition categories for showcasing new films.

The Sundance Film Festival which began on January 29, ends on Wednesday.

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