WIFFEN
About the Festival
The WIFFEN Journey
About the Festival Director
Film Submission
About the Festival
The Women’s International Film Festival Nigeria (WIFFEN) is a premier film festival in Nigeria. The goal of the festival is to celebrate women in film around the world.

The extended objective of the Women’s International Film Festival Nigeria is to promote women in film and ensure that women filmmakers’ capacities are strengthened thereby creating platforms for local and global female filmmakers to learn and engage while celebrating women’s achievements in the film industry.

The festival was birthed out of the desire to build a community of female filmmakers supporting and empowering one another to grow and thrive in the global film industry. This will also inspire young girls to aspire to tell their stories through film, without the fear of being looked down on or abused.

The Women’s International Film Festival (WIFFEN) encourages women filmmakers to think, imagine, create, and share their stories with the world. The festival accepts submissions for FREE.

WIFFEN provides a platform for challenging gender imbalance and the lack of diversity in the film and media industry through a combination of film screenings, discussions, and professional development opportunities as well as incorporating International Women’s Day events into its programming.

Not only will WIFFEN showcase films made by women from around the world, but the festival also offers:

– Moderated Q&A sessions

– Panel discussions

– Artist talks

– Networking events

– Workshops

– Pitch sessions

– Awards ceremony

All the film festival selections will receive the WIFFEN Laurel and are eligible to compete for awards. And all awardees will receive the WIFFEN Award Trophy in recognition of their outstanding work.

The Women’s International Film Festival Nigeria (WIFFEN) is created and implemented by Girls Voices Initiative with support from the French Embassy to Nigeria. Carolyn Seaman is the Festival Director of the Women’s International Film Festival Nigeria.

The WIFFEN Journey

The Women’s International Film Festival Nigeria (WIFFEN) was inspired by the Girl Nation Project – a social impact film project that has empowered young female filmmakers to use film to champion advocacy for girls’ and women’s rights in Nigeria. Since 2019, the Girl Nation Project has trained over 500 female undergraduates with technical filmmaking skills and supported their productions telling compelling stories, including real-lived stories of girls and women and the productions have screened in various communities to challenge social norms issues affecting girls and women and mobilizing community action towards the empowerment of girls and women.

Girl Nation has 8 remarkable productions that have been selected and won awards in over 23 International Film Festivals, including the Toronto International Women Film Festival, the Los Angeles Women’s International Film Festival, and many others. The Girl Nation Project also birth the establishment of the Female Filmmakers Forum which is a vibrant community of female filmmakers promoting continuous film education and support system to inspire, nurture and empower women filmmakers. The Girl Nation Project is a proud initiative of Girls Voices Initiative, a nonprofit championing the girls’ rights movement in Nigeria.

This year, the Girl Nation Project has inspired the Women’s International Film Festival Nigeria (WIFFEN) to create a platform to celebrate women filmmakers around the world and foster an enabling environment for women filmmakers to network with industry professionals for global impact. The WIFFEN will be hosted as an annual international film festival to celebrate and promote women in film around the world.

About the Festival Director

Carolyn Seaman is the Founder and Creative Director of Girls Voices Initiative, a nonprofit championing the girls’ rights movement in Nigeria. She is the Project Lead of the Girl Nation Project and established the Female Filmmakers Forum as a community for women filmmakers in Nigeria. She is an award-winning filmmaker with experience spanning over 15 years and has worked with several local and international companies and organisations. She started the first all-female film crew and has succeeded in building many more female crews across Africa. On the International scene, Carolyn has experience working at Disney Interactive Media, CBS, Paramount Pictures, the Dr. Phil Show, and Facebook. She has also produced content for several international organisations including the World Bank, French Development Bank, GIZ, ECOWAS, ActionAid International, Friedrich Ebert Stitfung, Oxfam, and many others. Carolyn has produced and directed several documentaries, film productions, and corporate events. Her productions have won awards and have been screened in several countries of the world. Her festival directing debut with the Women’s International Film Festival presents a huge opportunity for women in film in Nigeria, especially young women who are building remarkable skills in filmmaking.

Film Submission

If there’s specific resistance to women making movies, I just choose to ignore that as an obstacle for two reasons: I can’t change my gender, and I refuse to stop making movies.
Kathryn Bigelow
Ignore the glass ceiling and do your work. If you’re focusing on the glass ceiling, focusing on what you don’t have, focusing on the limitations, then you will be limited. My way was to work, make my short… make my documentary… make my small films… use my own money… raise money myself… and stay shooting and focused on each project.
Ava DuVernay
I think it’s a mistake to write something you think people will like, or a combination idea, or this year’s version of last year’s movie. I don’t think you’ll ever get noticed doing that. I think you’re only going to get noticed by following your own instincts and doing original work and writing the thing that only you can write.
Nancy Meyers
Painting is a lot like writing, I think. You have a blank page before you. Or a blank canvas before you. And you must fill it. And no one else can really help you fill or — or finish it. Or know when you're finished. Knowing when you're finished is such a weird thing. You have to know.
Betty Thomas
Truly creative things happen when one thinks differently, yet nobody wants to think differently.
Shonda Rhimes
The idea that women don’t like each other or undermine or sabotage each other is a big myth. It is not true at all. Smart women connect with each other instantly and help one another.
Patricia Riggen
I’m not going to continue knocking that old door that doesn’t open for me. I’m going to create my own door and walk through that.
Ava DuVernay
Don’t give up. You’re going to get kicked in the teeth. A lot. Learn to take a hit, the pick yourself up off the floor. Resilience is the true key to success.
Melissa Rosenberg
Humble perseverance and the ability to observe and grow in pursuit of making what you love and believe in. Really. THAT is the secret.``
Patty Jenkins
Sometimes, you just have to go in there and bowl people over with your sheer force of will.
Jennifer Yuh Nelson
Don’t lose faith in what you are trying to do, even though you will get pummeled emotionally left and right. There are a lot of NOs to any YES. And that’s OK.
Jennifer Lee
Don’t take no as a full stop, treat it like a comma.
Amma Asante
If I learned one thing, it is that self-doubt is one of the most destructive forces. It makes you defensive instead of open, reactive instead of active. Self-doubt is consuming and cruel. And my hope today is that we can all collectively agree to ban it... Think to the moments of your life when you forgot to doubt yourself, when you were so inspired that you were just living and creating and working. Pay attention to those moments because they're trying to reach you through those lenses of doubt and trying to show you your potential.
Jennifer Lee
How do you edit? You just start tearing away at it... It’s impossible to see what it is at first. You just keep taking away and taking away, and it begins to shape up. Story, you know — you just keep following the story.
Nancy Meyers
Without risks you don't go anywhere, you don't learn anything, and the movies that have been least enjoyable for me have been the ones that have kind of been by rote. Directors should always explore their boundaries — that's where really exciting things happen.
Ellen Kuras
To embrace how truly hard, it is and always will be, to be really honest with yourself about whether that’s really what you want to do with your life, and then to put one foot in front of the other relentlessly. Also, to try to keep your eye on the ball about what you want out of it, and not get distracted by things you don’t care about.
Patty Jenkins
I made my first film when I was 35, so I firmly believe that you don’t have to be one thing in life. If you’re doing something, and you have a desire to do something different, give it a try.
Ava DuVernay
Let your characters talk to each other and do things. Spend time with them — they’ll tell you who they are and what they’re up to.
Greta Gerwig
What’s the trick to writing anything at all? Discipline. And readers who are honest with you.
Sarah Polley
What’s the trick to writing a great female character? Make her human.
Nicole Holofcener
What’s the trick to writing a genuinely funny comedy? The trick is therapy. Take notes.
Lake Bell
Directing is a way of looking at something and then communicating it. It would be hideous to think that either sex took a script and, in any way, pushed it toward any point of view other than the author’s. I don’t think it’s important whether you’re a man, a woman or a chair.
Elaine May
Film is not like a book; it’s not a writer’s baby at all. So many people have put in their talent, by that time that you feel grateful for what they’ve done, you don’t feel possessive about it in any way.
Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
I can connect with whoever I want to connect with in the world. And I can also write my own script. I don’t have to follow rules. I can sort of just be unconventional.
Lynn Shelton
For me, it’s a question of the way we pursue our creative dreams. There is something in our culture that says your dream or the thing you’re pursuing has to happen immediately and all at once, and that is destructive to the creative spirit. I just embraced the idea that this was going to be a gradual exploration of the thing I was interested in – making films – and gave myself permission to go slowly.
Ava DuVernay
It seems that the greatest difficulty is to find the end. Don’t try to find it, it’s there already.
Sophia Coppola
You want to be a writer? A writer is someone who writes every day, so start writing. You don’t have a job? Get one. Any job. Don’t sit at home waiting for the magical opportunity. Who are you? Prince William? No. Get a job. Go to work. Do something until you can do something else.
Shonda Rhimes
I think anybody can write about anything. I just never subscribed to the theory that there were certain subject matters that I had to write about.
Ann Biderman
I love it when actors come to you with a problem and you have to listen. You’d like them to just get on with it, but it often means that there is a problem with the script.
Jane Campion
Time will tell… whether folks want to point and stare at the black woman filmmaker who made a certain kind of film, and pat her on the back, or if they want to actually roll up the sleeves and do a little bit of work so that there can be more of me coming through.
Ava DuVernay
‘A big part of getting a ‘shot’ is about studio execs seeing themselves in you. As a woman and a black filmmaker, I’m often not that person.
Dee Rees
I think it’s worse than 10 years ago, so we can’t even tell ourselves it’s slowly evolving.
Helen Hunt
It’s kind of like the church. They don’t want us to be priests. They want us to be obedient nuns.
Anjelica Huston
I’m so fatigued by this superhero mythology and the notion that one guy with a cape who can fly is going to save the world. It’s so completely juvenile.
Karyn Kusama
Maybe even to the great men, a woman directing is like a dog playing the piano: at best, a novelty or fad; at worst, an aberration.
Leslye Headland
I used to assume that Hollywood would let anyone who could make them money get behind the wheel. But now I think there is some deep-seated aversion to letting women drive.
Lucy Fisher
The thing that’s so hard is, most of the female directors I know are spending a significant amount of their lives waiting around.
Lena Dunham
I can’t stand most of the movies marketed to women. They are all about finding guys and weddings, weddings, weddings. I don’t care about weddings.
Amy Heckerling
I don’t want to be called a female director. I want to be called a thin director.
Nicole Holofcener
Chick flick is not a term used to praise a movie. Nobody says ‘it’s a great chick flick.’ It’s a way of being derisive. I’m not clear why it’s ok to do it.
Callie Khouri

The Jury

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