He is not new to international awards. He has received dozens of them. His lattest achievement is however more special to him than others. He during the week announced that he just recieved the prestigious 2012 Africa Reel Award at the Silicon Valley African Film Festival (SVAFF), California, USA. The Africa Reel Award is presented to a filmmaker of African origin whose body of work represents excellence in the art of film but more importantly a filmmaker who has through such body of work shown a dogged commitment to uplifting the Spirit of Africa.
In a congratulatory letter sent to the multiple award- winning filmmaker and signed by the Festival Director, Chike C. Nwoffiah, Kelani is recognized for his unrivalled commitment to promoting his cultural heritage in his works.
“I am delighted that this year’s award will be given to you in recognition of your many years of commitment to lifting up our people through your films. As is our practice, we have submitted your name to the California State House of Assembly where the Assembly member for our district (Assembly memberPaul Fong) will secure a Certificate of Recognition for you from the California State Legislature.”
The Silicon Valley African Film Festival was established by the proclamation of the City of Mountain View and has the seal of the city’s Mayor Jac Siegel. The festival seeks to showcase seasoned and emerging filmmakers from the African continent whose works reflect authentic African voice. Not less than 36feature-length, short-length and animation films from 16 African conutries will be showcased. The festival also enriches cultural landscape by providing a forum for a better understanding and appreciation of Africa and Africans through moving images.
In celebration of Kelani, his latest effort, Maami, starring award-winning actress, Funke Akindele will be shown as the centre piece film of the festival on Saturday, October, 13, 2012 followed by a post-screening conversation. The festival’s television sponsor, KMVT Channel15 will also engage the ace cinematographer in an interview on his works and the African film industry in general.
Kelani, whose principal ingredient in his works has been his cultural heritage which he showcases through his rich Yoruba language will be presented the prestigious award at a colourful ceremony that will take place on Sunday, October 14, 2012 in the bowel of the Tateuchi Hall of the Community School of Music and Arts, Mountain View, California, USA.