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Pendulum: Tributes to Olusegun Osoba and Nduka Obaigbena



By Dele Momodu

Fellow Nigerians, there is no way I can tell the stories of my life, my adventures and whatever I have achieved in journalism, without devoting substantial space to those who have been my inspiration. Two of them, Chief Olusegun Osoba and Prince Nduka Obaigbena, are in their season of big celebrations as they enjoy landmark birthdays. Chief Osoba turns 80 on July 15 2019 whilst Nduka, or “The Duke” as he is more fondly known by close associates will be 60 on 14 July 2019. Although there is a twenty-year gap between them, and Chief Osoba is a revered grandfather of journalism in Nigeria, both of them share the same attribute of bestriding the journalism sphere like a colossus. Here’s a tribute to the two giants of journalism who have been a significant part of my trajectory and had a great influence on my development and establishment as a media personality.

My interaction with Nduka began almost as soon as my sojourn in Lagos started. I arrived Lagos in May 1988 to resume work as a Staff Writer at the African Concord magazine, owned by Chief Moshood Abiola. I had visited Lagos about a month earlier in search of a job. In those days travelling to Lagos was seemingly like travelling to England or America. We viewed Lagos like an Eldorado, paradise on earth! After a quick interview conducted by the Editor of the magazine, Mr Lewis Obi, I was offered a job on the spot. I requested for some time to go back to Ile-Ife, where I lived, to prepare for the new life.

During that visit to Lagos, I took time off to call on a few media organizations in the city. My four favourite organisations were The Guardian, The Concord, Newswatch and Thisweek magazine, owned by Nduka Obaigbena. At the time we were students at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), we had access to many publications. And we were voracious readers. We had our heroes in the media. They included Segun Osoba, Felix Adenaike, Peter Ajayi, Peter Enahoro, Dele Giwa, Doyin Aboaba (later Mrs Doyin Abiola), Yakubu Mohammed, Dan Agbese, Nduka Obaigbena, Sonala Olumhense, Dele Olojede, Amma Ogan, Stanley Macebuh, Folu Olamiti, Olatunji Dare, Onukaba Adinoyi-Ojo, Tunji Lardner Junior, Greg Obong Oshotse, May Ellen Ezekiel, Dare Babarinsa, Seyi Olu Awofeso, Odia Ofeimun, Yemi Ogunbiyi, Andy Akporugo, Nduka Irabor, Tunde Thompson, Taiwo Obe and others.

I was particularly delighted to visit the Thisweek offices at Ogunlana Drive in Surulere. This was a magazine that was determined to push Newswatch, the leading Nigeria weekly magazine of those days, aside. Thisweek was glossy and colourful. It was published in London and airlifted to Nigeria. I marvelled endlessly at the audacity of its Publisher and was even more surprised when I read somewhere that he was not yet 30 when he chose to take on the Newswatch behemoth by poaching some of the best journalists from the biggest media houses in Lagos. This was a man who was going places and attaining great heights and he was barely a year older than me. I felt truly humbled by his courage, boldness and dare devilry. I knew I had so much to learn from him.

My visit to Thisweek would turn out to be a future gamechanger for me. Lanre Idowu had introduced me to Nduka Obaigbena and described me as one of those troublesome writers from Ile-Ife, referring to my partner, Kunle Ajibade, with whom I had co-authored a controversial article that had gone viral. Nduka immediately warmed up to me. He led me into his office and instantly gave me an article to pen and paid me N100 for it. Let me say, N100 was big money in those good old days. I was elated. That was how we struck our friendship and we have never parted ways since then. Our relationship is truly surreal as we are almost like blood relations sharing a similar passion for excellence in journalism and the company of great men and women. I shall return to this.

I had some challenges when I returned to resume work in Lagos. The major problem was, of course, accommodation. I had to squat with different friends at various locations. Let me pull out the one most relevant to this story. I was staying with Segun and Funke Adegbesan in Adeniran Ajao Estate, by Anthony Village. Segun worked as a Lawyer at Gani Fawehinmi chambers very close to the house. That is another story for another day.

The main gist is that Segun had a music box that played cassettes. My favourite of them all was a release by Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey in which he praised Olusegun Osoba to high heavens:

“Olusegun o, Olusegun o, omo Osoba, Omo Osoba, Akinrogun moba rode…

Abata pa, abata pa Osoba yii daraba Olusegun…

Awo Felix Adenaike, awo Peter Ajayi, awo Funlola Okunowo, awo Bukola Okunowo mi, ati Bade Ojora, omo Apasa mi…”

This song was like an elixir of life for me! I played it as soon as I woke up every morning and also at night before sleeping off. I had already heard fantastic stories about the awesome exploits and derring-do of this esteemed journalist called Segun Osoba and was determined to emulate him. My God, I tapped into the generous grace of this man called Osoba and prayed that God should grant me such as well. It became an obsession for me. You can now imagine what it must have been like meeting this legend in body and soul.

Our paths would cross many times in the future, but at that time I was a fledgling tyro journalist while he was an embodiment of the quintessential Nigerian journalist that we all strove to be. Osoba was a mantra I chanted regularly. I studied him like a book. And, I must say, my respect for him grew in leaps and bounds. Osoba was very close to my Chairman, Chief Moshood Abiola. From our first encounter, we fell in love with each other. Time and space would not allow me to write much. But I became his protege. What I admired most in him was his extensive network of friends and associates and how he found time for almost everyone. I wished to acquire such level of experience and exposure.

His foray into politics was another remarkable aspect of his life. He was the prototype who proved that journalists could aspire to be anything that they wanted. There was style and class in Journalism and both Osboa and Nduka symbolise this. While Osoba took the world of journalism by storm, what he did in politics was even bigger. He went on to become Governor of Ogun State after only a short stint in politics. He was as dynamic in politics as he had been in journalism. I was not very surprised by his conquests and giant strides. His suaveness and impeccability were such that his successes were assured in whatever he touched. His impact on Ogun State was short-lived because of the June 12 debacle.

As if by divine coincidence, I went to visit Chief Osoba in Abeokuta during the June 12 crisis. This must have been on July 21, 1995 because the biggest drama of my life started on July 22, the day after. I therefore have poignant memories of that day. Chief Osoba and I discussed the impasse that June 12 had become, but we were not prepared for what happened next. He was a strong Abiola supporter who stood for justice. When it became necessary, he realised that the fight had become an external one, as well, he left Nigeria and tried to use his friends in the international media to bring our plight to the fore and ask for both.  I never envisaged the monumental surprise that awaited me in Lagos when I returned from Abeokuta. I ran into my wife on my way home and she broke the news to me. Some gentlemen had found their way to my flat in Ojodu. Apparently, they had picked up Intelligence that I was going to be arrested and detained as one of the suspected brains behind Radio Freedom which later metamorphosed into Radio Kudirat. So, I was advised to take cover and disappear into thin air. That was it. I never planned to live outside Nigeria.

I managed to escape Nigeria through the Seme bush and meandered my way via Benin Republic, Togo and Ghana until I landed in London. Meanwhile, Chief Osoba was facing his own ordeal back home. He was being harassed by the Abacha government. He eventually found his way to London. For both of us. London was too cold blooded. I visited him regularly and we walked a lot around his neighbourhood in the Swiss Cottage and St. John’s Wood area of London.

On June 8, 1998, some people woke me up with what I considered to be the rumours of General Sani Abacha’s death. I promptly dismissed these stories as untrue and impossible and went back to sleep. Abacha was just literarily larger than life and I could not comprehend news of his death. The call I got from Chief Osoba changed all that. I thought to myself, how on earth can Chief Osoba believe Abacha could ever die, but he insisted his sources were credible and that was it. The rest is history. We remained even closer since then.

I joined so many Nigerians to celebrate Chief Osoba at the launch of his book last Monday and, as always, Chief Osoba sparkled brilliantly like a million stars. The book BATTLELINES was written to commemorate his 80th birthday which comes up in a couple of days. My warm and hearty congratulations to him.

Back to my very dear friend and Brother, Nduka Obaigbena. From 1988 to date, we have come a long way together, through thick and thin. He has really touched my life in many ways. As he clocks 60 years, I’m proud to be associated with him and I raise a toast to one of the most daring, intelligent, hardworking and flamboyant journalists Nigeria has ever produced. It is fitting to celebrate him with Chief Osoba because they are of the same cloth, the same ilk! It is difficult to find a Publisher like this exceptionally gifted man, we call the Duke.

Nduka taught me so many things. In 1991, he cleared the way for me to obtain visas with ease as a journalist of repute. In 1992, he invited me to midwife what is today known as Thisday newspapers and bought me a brand new Peugeot. In 1992, he travelled all the way to Ijebu-Ode for my wedding. In 1993, we supported two different Presidential candidates. I supported Moshood Abiola while he supported Bashir Tofa. On June 14, 1993, after I departed Vienna where I had gone to represent Chief Abiola at the Bruno Kreisky Awards won by Chief Gani Fawehinmi, I made a call to Nduka from London, to let him know that I had arrived and discuss the turbulent, suspensory political situation in Nigeria. I received the rudest shock of my life when he gave me an inkling of the annulment to come. I told him it was impossible, but it turned out that Nduka was right as usual. He has such incredible sources!

Nduka and I found ourselves at some point in exile in London. We had our offices on Kilburn High Road. We were together in his apartment in West London with Tokunbo Afikuyomi two days before Chief Abiola died on July 7, 1998. He returned to Nigeria and turned Thisday into the formidable media empire and conglomerate that it has now become.

Nduka loves his friends dearly. He has been too kind to me, and I have only just mentioned a few instances. He never fails to acknowledge my humble contribution to the birth of one of Africa’s most influential newspapers as a Founding Editor.

He has suffered greatly for his daredevil approach to journalism, but he has remained unbowed and unmoved in the face of massive intimidation. He has always overcome! Nduka has managed to remain a dominant force and recently forayed into electronic media with the Arise News Channel. Within a short time, Arise has become one of the most authoritative news channels in Nigeria, Africa and beyond. Well done Nduka. I applaud you. You deserve all the plaudits.

60 hearty cheers to the Duke himself …

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Diezani Madueke Drags EFCC, AGF to Court over False, Injurious Publications, Seeks N100bn Damages




By Eric Elezuo

A former Minister of Petroleum during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, has brought the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Attorney-General of the Federation as first and second defendants respectively, through a Writ of Summons before a Federal Capital Territory High Court, demanding the appearance of the duo in court with a statutory 14 days period, or judgment may be given to the claimant in their absence.

The commandment was given in Suit number C4/6273/23, and dated May 26, 2023 with Mrs. Alison-Madueke as the claimant and the duo of EFCC and AGF as defendants.

The former Petroleum Minister is praying the court to declare certain publications “authored by the Defendant under the supervision of the 2nd Defendant and widely published by the 1st Defendant, is false, malicious, injurious and intended to lower the reputation and integrity of and did indeed lower the reputation and integrity of the Claimant in the estimation of right thinking members of the society within and outside Nigeria and also brought the Claimant into public ridicule, odium, contempt, derision and obloquy.”

Alison-Madueke also sought an order, among many orders “directing the Defendants jointly and severally to pay to the Claimant the sum of N100,000,000,000.00 (100 billion naira) only as damages for the false, injurious, malicious and libelous publications against the Claimant in the 1st Defendant’s publishing platform, and at the instance of both the 1st and the 2nd Defendants.”

The publications according to the claimant were dated from 2017 till 2021, and appeared in prominent national dailies including print and online.

The claimant, in proving the falsehood of the publications, said that the defendants had means and opportunities to verify the truth, but chose not to do so.

“The Defendants had the means and opportunities of verifying the truth or otherwise of the offensive publications, but failed to do so and were motivated in making the offensive publications by the desire to increase their public profile and perception, and to bring the estimation of the Claimant into contempt, odium and ridicule in the eyes of an average Nigerian.

“The publications have greatly prejudiced and injured the Claimant and caused her reputational damage, loss of goodwill, and confidence by her political associates and professional colleagues, whom all of now shun and keep their distance from her as a common thief and corrupt public officer,” the Summons revealed.

Mrs. Alison-Madueke was Nigeria’s Minister of Petroleum till 2015 when the Jonathan’s administration left office. She left for England shortly after to treat severe ailment, and has been in England ever since. Attached are some of the documents of the Summons.

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Muhammadu Buhari: Eight Years of the Good, the Bad, the Ugly




By Eric Elezuo

The tense atmosphere prevalent in the nation today has proved that the fanfare, flamboyancy and tangible joy that heralded the arrival of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 are no longer in vogue. On the lips of most Nigerians is the expression ‘thank God it’s finally come to an end’ with different persons expressing themselves in different ways, but each coming to terms with the meaning.

In barely 24 hours, the eight years administration of Nigeria’s leader will come to an end; glorious or inglorious depends on the side of the divide the particular Nigerian or interest group is speaking from. To many, it has been an eight years of nostalgia, to others, it was an eight years of irreparable mistake. But the truth remains that the eight years, counting from May 29, 2015 to May 29, 2023, has remained a watershed in the history of Nigeria. Without an iota of doubt, a lot has happened, ranging from the good, the bad, the ugly and in fact the very ugly.

In 2013, when it was believed that the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan, was becoming rudderless, clueless, and practically heading to nowhere, a strong anti-government group ostensibly led by the Senator Bola Tinubu, rose, and galvanised a huge followership to cast aspersion on the incumbent with a view to dethroning him. The group, which cut across many parties in the country, including the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) sought the endorsement of Muhammadu Buhari as its presidential candidate, being touted as the face of the north, and erroneously believed to be a ‘saint’ in the corruption index.

A columnist wrote: “For the past eight years of Buhari’s administration have been an unmitigated failure; a monumental waste of time, of resources, and of the hopes and aspirations of a nation and a people. True stewardship is leaving a place better than one found it. But Buhari is leaving Nigeria far worse than he found it in 2015.”

From many quarters, observers have said that Buhari had an opportunity to better his first coming in 1984, but flopped the chance with a performance they believe is below average.

But how did the Buhari administration fare? In a Sunday morning farewell broadcast, the president examined his stewardship, and presented as follows:

My fellow Nigerian brothers, sisters and friends of Nigeria. 

2. I address you today, in my last assignment as a democratically elected President of our great and well-endowed nation, with a deep sense of gratitude to God, a great deal of appreciation to the Nigerian people and a modest sense of fulfilment. 

3. Today we mark and celebrate another peaceful transition of power from one elected government to another in our steady march to improve and sustain Nigeria’s democracy. 

4. This year we witnessed the most keenly contested Presidential Elections since the first Republic and this demonstrates that our democracy is getting better and more entrenched with each election. 

5. We must as a nation improve and sustain gains we make in the electoral process, on an incremental basis for Nigeria to take its rightful place among Nations. 

6. Our democracy provides for, allows and encourages seeking redress for perceived injustices, enabling some candidates and political parties that did not agree with the results to go to court. 

7. Irrespective of the outcome of the various cases, I urge all parties involved to accept the decision of our courts and join hands to build a better Nigeria. 

8. I salute the doggedness and resilience of all the Presidential Candidates and their political parties for believing in our judicial system by taking their grievances with the election results to court. 

9. In the course of the campaigns, we had argued and disagreed on how to make Nigeria better but we never disagreed or had any doubts that Nigeria has to be better. 

10. As your President, I call on all of us to bring to bear the strength of our individualism, the power of our unity, the convictions of our beliefs to make Nigeria work better and together with one spirit and one purpose. 

11. To my brother, friend and fellow worker in the political terrain for the past ten years – Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu -, I congratulate you on the realisation of your dream, which was propelled by a burning passion to put Nigeria amongst the leading nations of the world.  

12. You have indeed worked for this day and God has crowned your efforts. I have no doubt that your passion for excellence, reliance on competence, fairness in relationships, commitment to equity, loyalty to the country and desire for Nigeria to be globally relevant would come through for you, under God’s guidance, as you lead our country to levels higher that I am leaving.   

13. You are the best candidate among all the contestants and Nigerians have chosen well. 

14. The last eight years have been an exciting experience in my desire and commitment to see a Nigeria in which public goods and services are available, and accessible within a united, peaceful and secure nation. 

15. Fellow Nigerians, on the strength of your overwhelming support for me and my political party, I started this journey with a great deal of promise and expectation from you. I never intended to be just politically correct but to do the correct things that will make meaningful impact on the lives of the common Nigerian. 

16. This high expectation was not misplaced because, like the ordinary Nigerian, I had grown tired of watching the country progressively moving away from the path of correctness. 

17. To ensure that our democracy remains resilient and our elected representatives remain accountable to the people, I am leaving behind an electoral process which guarantees that votes count, results are credible, elections are fair and transparent and the influence of money in politics reduced to the barest minimum. And Nigerians can elect leaders of their choice. 

18. We are already seeing the outcome of this process as it provided an even playing field where persons without any political God-Father or access to money defeated other well-resourced candidates. 

19. The Nigerian economy has become more resilient due to the various strategies put in place to ensure that our economy remained afloat during cases of global economic downturns. 

20. You would all recall the supply chain disruptions and economic downturn that the world witnessed between 2020 and 2022 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The deftness of our response to the pandemic still remains a global best practice. 

21. Furthermore, we increased the ability of the poor and rural Nigerians to earn a living, provided more food for millions in our villages and gave our women opportunities to earn a living. 

22. Young men and women in urban centres were also supported to put their skills into productive use. Our administration also provided an enabling environment for the private sector to engage in businesses for which their return on investments is guaranteed. 

23. The private sector proved a strong partner in our drive to build a resilient and sustainable economy as evidenced by the growing number of turn-key projects in various sectors of the economy. 

24. In the course of revamping the economy, we made some difficult choices, most of which yielded the desired results. Some of the measures led to temporary pain and suffering for which I sincerely apologised to my fellow countrymen, but the measures were taken for the over-all good of the country. 

25. Mindful of the need to ensure adequate infrastructure to drive economic growth, we completed age-long projects and processes notably amongst which are the Petroleum Industry Act, completion of some power projects, completion of the second Niger bridge and various important roads linking cities and states. 

26. Our battle to ensure that all Nigerians live in a safe and secure environment has achieved considerable results. As I complete my term in office, we have been able to reduce the incidences of banditry, terrorism, armed robbery and other criminal activities considerably. 

27. To sustain the gains made so far, I call on all Nigerians to be more vigilant and support the security agencies by ensuring that our values defined by being your brothers’ keeper govern our actions. 

28. Up-till now, I still grieve for our children still in captivity, mourn with parents, friends and relatives of all those that lost loved ones in the days of the senseless brigandage and carnage. For all those under unlawful captivity our Security Agencies are working round the clock to secure their release unharmed. 

29. Fellow Nigerians, you know how dear the desire in my heart is, to rid the country of corrupt practices that had consistently diminished our efforts to be a great country. 

30. I did pursue this commitment relentlessly, in spite of the expected push back. I am happy that considerable progress had been made in repatriating huge sums of money back to the country and also taken over properties illegally acquired from our common wealth. 

31. To improve service delivery, we began the implementation of a number of reforms aimed at producing an Efficient, Productive, Incorruptible and Citizen-oriented (EPIC) Federal Civil Service and the results are beginning to show. 

32. On the international scene, Nigeria’s influence continues to grow as exemplified by notable Nigerians occupying headship and leadership positions in renowned global bodies. 

33. Our democracy is built on and continues to thrive on the principles of separation of powers. The leadership and members of the National Assembly deserve my appreciation for their patriotism which did not detract from their roles as a check to the executive arm.

34. I also want to use this opportunity to express my appreciation to a good number of Nigerians who provided their support and encouragement to help me navigate the exciting journey in moving Nigeria forward. 

35. I cannot and will not forget the millions who prayed for me during my illness in my first term of office. I am constantly praying for you and for Nigeria to thrive in peace.

36. As I retire home to Daura, Katsina State, I feel fulfilled that we have started the Nigeria Re-Birth by taking the initial critical steps and I am convinced the in-coming administration will quicken the pace of this walk to see a Nigeria that fulfils its destiny to be a great nation. 

37. I am confident that I am leaving office with Nigeria better in 2023 than in 2015. 

38. I thank you all. And may God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The Buhari administration has however received knocks from a good number of quarters, which believed that his administration was the worst in the history of the nation. According to the outgoing governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, Buhari performed abysmally low, and should be told.

In his opinion, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, Chief Bode George, noted that in all sectors of the country, the Buhari’s administration has not impacted positively the lives of Nigerians.

“My personal assessment is that he failed, not completely in every sector, but if you do an examination and say you must have a minimum of 33 per cent, then you can go to the next class, but they did not attain that 33 per cent.

“I can give them maybe about 5 per cent, even the 5 per cent requires a lot of retrospection.

“So it is very disheartening and heartbreaking that he failed in his number one job, which was to guarantee security of lives and property.

“You know when he was coming in, Buhari told us, ‘I would fight corruption, I will secure the lives and properties of the people, I will do this, I will do that’.

“So, let’s put those promises now into his departure, because that’s what will be written on the pages of history. Whatever a leader does during his time is on the pages of history,” he said.

For Senator Shehu Sani, Buhari granted waivers to the rich and impoverish the poor, closing the borders for those who import bags of rice on motorcycles and permitting those who use the ships.

“He led the country without any economic direction. He presided over a Government that failed to secure the lives of Nigerians; 63k dead, 3m IDPs & 366k refugees in neighbouring countries,” he tweeted.

“He failed to restructure as he promised. He granted waivers to the rich & impoverished the poor. He closed the borders for those who import bags of rice on motorcycles and permitted those who use the ships.

“He built magical pyramids that disappeared after three days. He left incomplete projects with huge debts to service for decades.

“He enabled, enriched & reinforced a cabal for 8 years. He appointed & retained failures and rewarded them with extensions. He was weak in taking decisions & runway when it’s tough.

“He has no house in London but made London his home. He left behind record inflation, record devaluation, record unemployment, record fall in GDP, record figures of poverty and record plunder of state resources.

“He left behind a nation with 60m people suffering from mental illnesses. He is leaving behind the health workers on strike. He set up traps for the next Government in order to make his own look better,” Sani said.

Also assessing the eight years of the Buhari administration, an aide to PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, Mr. Demola Olanrewaju, said: “APC was voted in 2015 on the promise of change, and APC got and effected a change of promise”.

He added that “nobody attaches credibility to promises made by politicians anymore because of the inability of this administration to keep its promise”.

“We must cast our mind back to the promises made by APC in 2015 en route to taking over from the PDP. I think it’s quite obvious that if you look at those promises and the reality on the ground today, the APC has simply not fulfilled its promises. Buhari has simply not fulfilled the promises that brought him into power,” he said.

“The government came in with high hopes that began to be dashed gradually.

“There was a sense of Buhari’s administration not being a reflection of any other administration simply because APC had criticised the previous government for some of the things that they turned around to do; in terms of the integrity of elections, insecurity, and ideas on how to make Nigeria work.

“There were also attempts by this administration to distance itself from its own promises. Buhari promised ‘restructuring’ when he got into power, and he said he did not understand what restructuring means anymore.

“Basically, APC was voted in 2015 on the promise of change, and APC effected a change of promise. Based on that, I think the Buhari administration has not lived up to the billing of its promise.”

On his part, Oluseyi Olufemi, a data journalist, said while the Buhari administration ranked high in some aspects of state management, the government failed in economics and human rights issues.

“In terms of economics, that was a greater decline. The Buhari administration scored the lowest. Things have gotten worst than they used to be,” he said.

“In terms of the number of refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs), that increased drastically also under Buhari compared to other governments. Human rights abuse was also worse.”

The way it is, failed or succeeded, Buhari is on his way out, and this is the era of Senator Bola Tinubu if the cases in court do not yield anything positive. The question is not is how would Tinubu better the wrongs committed by the Buhari administration, especially when he had said he would continue where the outgoing administration stop.

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76th Cannes Film Festival Ends with Bang




The stars on parade at 76th Festival de Cannes


By Michael Effiong

The colour, the glamour, the style and class of the 76th Annual Cannes Film Festival ends today with a big bang.

Festival de Cannes, the film industry’s most prestigious festival will take place at 8:30 pm and will be broadcast live on France 2 and internationally on Brut.

The Jury, presided over by director Ruben Östlund and including director Maryam Touzani, actor Denis Ménochet, writer/director Rungano Nyoni, actress/director Brie Larson, actor/director Paul Dano, writer Atiq Rahimi, director Damián Szifron and director Julia Ducournau, will select the winners from the 21 films in Competition this year.

Actress Anaïs Demoustier, President of the Jury, will hand out the Caméra d’or award to the best first film. Actress Stacy Martin and director Ildikó Enyedi, President of the Short Film and La Cinef Jury, will award the Palme d’or for short films.

Actor Orlando Bloom will hand out the Jury Prize. Actor Song Kang-ho, last year’s winner of the Best Performance by an Actor for Broker and actress Zar Amir Ebrahimi, last year’s winner of the Best Performance by an Actress for Holy Spider, will award the Best Performance by an Actress and Best Performance by an Actor Prizes respectively.


Actor John C. Reilly, President of the Un Certain Regard Jury, will award the Best Screenplay Prize, while Pete Docter, Creative Director of Pixar Studios, will present the Best Director Prize.


The Festival de Cannes will also be honored by the exceptional presence tonight of legendary filmmaker Roger Corman, who will present the Grand Prix alongside virtuoso Quentin Tarantino.


Finally, the prestigious Palme d’or will be presented by the formidable and inspiring Jane Fonda.


The Closing Ceremony will mark the end of the 76th Festival de Cannes, and will be followed by the screening of Peter Sohn‘s film Elementary in the Grand Théâtre Lumière.


The 21 films competing for the Palme d’or this year are : Firebrand by Karim Aïnouz, Asteroid City by Wes Anderson, Rapito (Kidnapped)(Kidnapped) by Marco Bellocchio, Les Filles d’Olfa (Four Daughters)(Four Daughters) by Kaouther Ben Hania, L’Été dernier (Last Summer) (Last Summer) by Catherine Breillat, Kuru Otlar Ustune (About Dry Grasses)(About Dry Grasses) by Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Le Retour (Homecoming) by Catherine Corsini, The Zone of Interest by Jonathan Glazer, Club Zero by Jessica Hausner, May December by Todd Haynes, Monster by Kore-Eda Hirokazu, Kuolleet Lehdet (Fallen Leaves)(Fallen Leaves) by Aki Kaurismäki, The Old Oak by Ken Loach, Il Sol dell’ avvenire (A Brighter Tomorrow)(A Brighter Tomorrow) by Nanni Moretti, La Chimera by Alice Rohrwacher, Black Flies by Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire, Banel e Adama by Ramata-Toulaye Sy, La Passion de Dodin Bouffant (The Pot-au-Feu) (The Pot-au-Feuby Tran Anh Hùng, Anatomie d’une chute (Anatomy of a Fall) (Anatomy of a Fallby Justine Triet, Jeunesse (Le Printemps) (Youth (Spring))(Youth (Spring)) by Wang Bing, Perfect Days by Wim Wenders.

The Closing ceremony, usually a wonderful evening to behold will be broadcast in English and French by Brut.

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