The Edo State International Film Festival (ESIFF), a prestigious event celebrating the achievements of global filmmakers, concluded its second edition on a high note. Among the stars gracing the event, which took place in Edo State from November 30 to December 2, 2023, was Big Brother Naija sensation Ijeoma Josephina Otabor, popularly known as Phyna.
The reality TV star turned actress was recognized with the Best Female Actress award for her role in the film "Osato," standing out among a strong field of contenders. Following her win, Phyna took to social media to express her dissatisfaction with Instablog, a popular online platform, for not highlighting her accomplishment.
She posted, "Na better thing happen today, oh, ESIFF them show my film (Osato). I con still win best actor of the year (female) @instablog9ja and many more…….. as Una eye blind so, na so Una eye go dy blind for better thing.
AMEN #OSATOisComing”. Victor Okhai, one of the festival’s organizers, revealed that this year's event received an impressive 3,000 submissions from 196 countries. The winners list includes "The Book of Mountains" for Best Editing, "Obito" for Best Sound, Best Screenplay, Best Director, and Best International Film, and "Ek Bhagavad ek Gita" for Best Costume and Best Cinematography, the latter also receiving a Sony camera.
Other notable winners were "I will never leave you" for Best Documentary, Jinmi Ahmed for Best Male Actor in "The Delectable Azeezah Samson," and "Ifediche" for Best Feature Film. The festival also posthumously honored the esteemed actor Sam Loco Efe.
Phyna's Milestone Triumph
The news of Phyna’s win and her subsequent social media post garnered significant attention, with many netizens expressing their support. Comments ranged from congratulatory messages to criticisms of those who overlook her achievements.
This win is seen as a significant milestone in Phyna’s career, especially following her previous success in the Big Brother Naija show. The festival, which is rapidly becoming a cornerstone event in the film industry, not only celebrates filmmaking excellence but also serves as a platform for emerging talents like Phyna to gain recognition and further their careers.