Chidia Maduekwe, managing director, Nigeria Film Society, in his nomination letter to Odugbemi, said the lifetime achievement award is “to recognise and reward excellence and immeasurable contributions towards the growth of the film industry”.
Organised by Nigeria Film Corporation (NFC) as part of the film festival, other honourees include veteran actor Chika ‘Zebrudaya’ Okpala; former managing director of NFC, Hyginius Ekwuazi, actors Ali Nuhu and Yakub Ibn Mohammed.
Commenting on the award, Odugbemi urged young filmmakers to pursue artistic excellence in their work.
He said: “It is good to show all the glitz and glamour but if the essence of your story is lost, then you haven’t done a job.
“We need to find that untold stories that reflect our history and the magic of the African culture more, not cloning stories informed only by pecuniary gains. Our stories should not only entertain but also inform and inspire.
“Filmmaking is a powerful tool which most of us are yet to fully grasp. Nollywood can and should be the most powerful voice of the black race.”
The honour is the latest of many that Odugbemi has received in 2018 alone.
In June, the ‘Bariga Boys’ director and producer was named among the four Nigerians invited into the voting membership of the Oscar awards, also known as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
He was subsequently appointed as the West African director of the MultiChoice Talent Factory Academy.
Odugbemi is a past president of the Independent Television Producers Association of Nigeria (ITPAN) and was the pioneer and three-time head judge of the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards (AMVCA).
The filmmaker has also served as the jury head of the Uganda Film Festival for three consecutive years while he helms the popular iREP International Documentary Film Festival.
Odugbemi was a founding producer of ‘Tinsel’, and his current production ‘Battleground’ is one of the most-watched TV series on Africa Magic.