Nolly Silver Screen ISSUE 04 MAY 2014
Nollywood Cross Over Stars
out now on DVD
October 1 Behind the scenes pictures
Write & W Cinem in
a Nollyw tickets ood D VDs Gift ha mper
2014 Africa Movie PORNOGRAPHY IN Academy Awards NOLLYWOOD: A rising trend Nominations
MICHELLE BELLO Blazing Nollywoodâ€™s trail
hat a journey it was to the 2014 Africa Movie Academy Awards nominations in Johannesburg, South Africa. It was a great experience for me to rub minds with people who are equally as passionate about African cinema. Get the full list of nominees (p. 10), red carpet pictures (p. 13) and my personal essay (p. 5). We really cannot wait to see who will clinch the coveted prize statuette this year. Our cover girl, Michelle Bello epitomises the drive of New Nollywood; hardworking, grounded and visionary.
Read about her 2014 AMVCA win and her next plan for Flower Girl (p.7). We also have interviews with Ghollywood star Eddie Watson (p. 9), the creative force behind Render to Caesar , Desmond Ovbiagele (p. 12) and the producer of Murder at Prime Suites, Jumafor Ajogwu (p. 14). Read the reviews (p. 11), attempt the Nolly Pop Quiz (p. 9) and write to us (p. 2). Enjoy!
PHOTO: ODUTAYO ODUSANYA
SHORT FILMS WEB SERIES AUDITIONS
Isabella Akinseye @iakinseye
SOME OF THIS EDITION’S CONTRIBUTORS
Agina Eberechukwu Gloria is a graduate
of Mass Communication from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. She is a freelancer and contributes entertainment stories for The Nigerian Telegraph. Check out her piece ‘Pornography in Nollywood: a rising trend’ (p. 9).
believes in God, medicine, music and movies. A medical doctor, occasional writer, columnist and profiler. He profiles 10 Nollywood actors who have crossed over from English speaking movies to acting in other languages and back (p. 3).
The first Nollywood movie she bought was August Meeting.
The first Nollywood movie he bought was Letters to a Stranger.
Adams Oluwaponmile Innocent Ekejiuba is an alumnus of Obafemi Orija is studying Food
runs his own media company where he has handled numerous projects for different clients over the years. He sees himself venturing into animation, developing his comic brands and staging an exhibition. View his cartoon strip ‘Rollicking Nollies’ which focuses on the Africa Movie Academy Awards (p. 4). The first Nollywood movie he bought was Ije.
Science and Technology at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta. She loves writing and has published several works in the newspapers. She interviews people on their favourite Nollywood movie title for the Vox Pop section (p. 4). The first Nollywood movie she bought was Mother Dearest.
Follow @ o_ponmile
Awolowo University. He is the Deputy Editor of Nolly Silver Screen (the website and the magazine). An avid blogger and budding graphics designer, he reviews Phindile’s Heart and Yellow Fever (p. 11). Check out his Nolly Pop Quiz (p. 9) and ‘Top 5 Nollywood cinemas’ (p. 12). The first Nollywood movie he bought was Games Men Play.
Write ‘n’ win
CONTENTS May 2014 FEATURES
3 10 NOLLYWOOD CROSS OVER STARS 5 MY JOURNEY TO THE 2014 AFRICA MOVIE ACADEMY AWARDS NOMINATIONS 9 PORNOGRAPHY IN NOLLYWOOD: A RISING TREND 12 TOP 5 NOLLYWOOD CINEMAS
t you have Write to us about wha and stand a enjoyed in this edition lous prizes. chance of winning fabu giving out 2 This month, we will be osal DVD. Also copies of After the Prop a tickets to see up for grabs are cinem Nigeria and a a Nollywood movie in gift hamper.
rscreen.com Email: info@nollysilve media Get in touch via social lysilverscreen www.facebook .com/nol llysilverscreen www.google.com/+no rscreen www.twitter.com/nsilve ollysilverscreen www.instagram.com/n
7 MICHELLE BELLO: BLAZING NOLLYWOOD’S TRAIL 9 Q & A WITH EDDIE WATSON 12 UP, CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH DESMOND OVBIAGELE 14 TALENT ON THE RISE: JUMAFOR AJOGWU
READERS’ CORNER rocks! The mag Nneji Eke
COMPETITION 2 FREE GIVEAWAYS
I saw the magazine...serious passion project there o! I really admire your resilience. all the stories too. for s Thank Ibraheem Aladejobi
1 EDITOR’S NOTE 1 CONTRIBUTORS’ BIOS 2 READERS’ CORNER 4 CELEBRATIONS THIS MONTH 6 ON SET 10 NEWS 11 REVIEWS 13 RED CARPET 14 DVD RELEASES
One thing I enjoy ab out Nolly Silver Screen is the simplicity and honesty in their opinion. That’s what journalism should be. Jumafor Ajogwu
4 VOX POP 4 WORDS OF WISDOM FROM THE STARS 9 NOLLY POP QUIZ
NOLLY SILVER SCREEN TEAM PUBLISHER Quill and Scroll Creatives EDITOR Isabella Akinseye DEPUTY EDITOR Innocent Ekejiuba GRAPHICS & LAYOUT Isabella Akinseye
CONTRIBUTORS Olumuyiwa Awojide Gbolahan Adams Agina Eberechukwu Wilfred Okiche Oluwaponmile Orija EDITORIAL BOARD Temitayo Amogunla Bola Atta Bola Audu Toni Kan
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s ar 10 Nollywood Cross OvBYerWILSt FRED OKICHE When you think Nollywood, the first thing that comes to mind is the English-speaking Nigerian stars and the films that they appear in. However, a lot of them have proved themselves versatile and proficient in languages and interpreting roles that demand for more ethnic input. These 10 stars have made the leap from English films to those in the indigenous languages and back again. PHOTO CREDITS: LEFT (FROM TOP TO BOTTOM) Premium Times; CNN.com; Nigeriafilms.com; Nigeriafilms.com; BellaNaija.com RIGHT (FROM TOP TO BOTTOM) Nigeriafilms.com; 36ng.com; Nairaland.com; Nigeriafilms.com; Theeagleonline.com
emost fany uo ur Ez e ik M boy The Nollywood lover
FThue nqukeeen Akindele
of crossover, Funk e Akindele started her career in television as le ad in the United Nat ions Population Fu nd sponsored progra mme I Need To Know. After finding it di fficult getting wor k in the English films, she crossed over to the Yoruba sector and soon becam e a top actress/prod ucer. Her 2009 fil m Jenifa became wild ly successful and its follow up Retu rn of Jenifa was ev en more commercial ly successful.
ng mous for his roles in English speaki pace films was looking for a change of Dayo role when actress cum producer film her Amusa offered him the lead in perUnforgivable released in 2013. His uba Yor formance had only a few lines of to but it was considered good enough phy at win him the Best Yoruba Actor tro s. the 2013 Best of Nollywood Award
ladesu-Eprekemeinasdeone of a Ja Omosotexoly ma y reign
Om important to Africa’s finest now but it is to successnote that she has been able th English fully combine working in bo tility has even and Yoruba films. Her versa o words in had her mumble a few Igb in the East. some of her English films set e Tony Umez She has appeared alongsid s like Kosoand Shola Shobowale in film rogun and Oyato.
ridriguguezez od -R bo om J e UThch e recently pregnant Mrs. Ro as a achieved fame and success s like film scriptwriter and actress in ducing Adure. She later moved to pro production movies and set up her own s. In 2011, studios - Uche Jombo Studio a title she appeared in the Yorub Dayo Dewunmi Iberu produced by Amusa.
Ke nneth Okonkwo Ken
neth Okonkwo became the first modern Nollywood leading man after his pioneering performance in the Kenneth Nnebue groundbreaker Living in Bondage. Speaking mostly in Igb o, Okonkwo followed that appearanc e in films like Betrayal but soon made the transition to English speaking mo vies. Of recent, he has appeared alongs ide Mercy Johnson in the award winnin g comedyDumebi the Dirty Girl.
Most of the coun tr y was introduced to Yomi Fash Lanso after his break ou t role as a gold digging hustler who mak es good in Wale Ade nuga’s iconic tele vision series Super Stor y. Following th is success, he has ap peared in countle ss Yoruba films incl uding Jenifa and Omolade and do es the occasional work in English speaki ng films.
oh m U p ho is B e Im has found o wh Umoh is a comic actor
Ka te He nshaw Ms.
Henshaw is one of Nollywood’s enduring leading ladies and has bee n in the game for 20 years now. A Bes t Actress Africa Movie Academy Aw ard winner (AMAA) in 2008 for the film Stronger Than Pain, Henshaw made the leap to the Yoruba film divide in 201 1 as lead actress in Saheed Balogun’s Eti Keta and impressed many with her delivery of her few Yoruba lines.
d by Emem success in movies produce ademy. He Isong and her Royal Arts Ac films like has appeared in indigenous where he Uyai, Udeme Mi and Edikan bio tongue. has spoken in his native Ibi sh films like He has also starred in Engli d In the Cupboard and Weeken Getaway.
oh w O m NOwke emy oh is an Africa Movie Acad
but is best Award winner for Best Actor cter Osuofia known for his comic chara multiple which he has parlayed into e to his successful films. He stays tru s like Ofor roots, appearing in Igbo film itching na Ogu and Ode-Eshi and sw pearances them up with crossover ap as and in films like Wisdom of Thom Stronger Than Pain.
Time was when Liz Bens on was queen of Nollywood and what a reign she enjoyed. No one could m atch her in terms of star power and this translated easily into film roles in all ge nres. She had the country under her spell and we were pleasantly surprised (a nd rewarded) when she made her Yoruba speaking debut in Tunde Bamishigbin’s Ee ku Ida. She followed this appearan ce up in 2007 with another fine outing in Toko Taya.
WORDS OF WISDOM FROM THE STARS “Hone your craft. Work on your craft. Who you know may get you in the door but your work ethic will keep you in the room.” CHET ANEKWE Nollywood actor
What is your favourite Nollywood movie title? Last Flight to Abuja BIMBO SOLANKE
“You don’t get about directing because you see or saw someone else direct. You’ve got to be inspired and when you get inspired, take time to learn the job. Go to school and study directing or learn on the job like I did under a very good director.” JOHN UCHE, Nollywood director BY ISABELLA AKINSEYE
17 Chris Attoh
Keeping My Man DEBORAH TAIWO
Mr. and Mrs.
BY OLUWAPONMILE ORIJA
18 Kalu Ikeagwu
19 Yemi Blaq
30 Susan Peters
My journey to the 2014 Africa Movie Academy Awards Nominations You know what they say about time when you’re having fun; it flies by quickly. The nominations night was upon us and I was prepared – camera and phone in hand. On the bus ride to Emperor Palace Hotel, Johannesburg, I began tweeting and as soon as we arrived, I started ‘snapping’ away. In between updating social media and getting names of the people I had ‘snapped’, I was able to talk to a South African filmmaker interested in collaborating with Nigeria. And yet people say that South Africans and Nigerians are always at logger heads? Not at the AMAAs. And though the night started slowly, the familiar faces from back home began to appear in front of my lens; Ramsey Nouah, Lydia Forson, Kanayo O. Kanayo, Fathia Balogun, Chinedu ‘Aki’ Ikedieze and Funso Adeolu. Others included Fred Amata, Paul Obazele, Chinwe Egwuagwu, Fidelis Duker, Chidi I started paying more attention to the Africa Film Academy which runs the awards and trainings when Malawi’s President, Mrs. Joyce Nwokeabia, Charles Awurum and Norbert Ajaegbu. And though there was no President Banda, the delegation from Malawi was led Banda got involved. Still, my affair with the AMAAs started and ended on the pages of the newspapers and blogs; viewing pictures by her daughter, Mrs. Edith Akridge. There were also representaand reading reports. All that changed in 2013 when Confusion Na tives from government of South Africa and Namibia. There were Wa won Best Picture. I just wanted to watch the movie and see people from radio, TV, online and print media. Worthy of note, what an ‘AMAA film’ looked like. Did the film really deserve the la- Martin Ayankola and Martins Oloja, the Editors of two of Nigeria’s bel? Was it different from the usual Nollywood fanfare? And all the leading newspapers – The Punch and The Guardian were both noise about a Nigerian trained director – Kenneth Gyang? These present. Segun Arinze kicked off the event and performed superbwere just some of the questions that were swirling in my end. And ly as the compere of the night. that was the beginning of my journey to the 2014 AMAA nominations. As expected, there was music, dance, speeches and food before the nominations proper. Listening to Ms. Peace Anyiam-OsigMy earliest memory of the Africa Movie Academy Awards was the glitz, glam, a Hollywood star and a Nigeria dominated awards. And of course, Bayelsa State. That was almost ten years ago. Then things began to change albeit gradually. Perhaps, the criticism was getting too much for the organisers and they began to work hard to legitimise the ‘African’ claim in their name. All of a sudden, countries like Ghana, South Africa and Kenya began to clinch more awards. But that wasn’t enough, the critics wanted more; they wanted a hitch free event devoid of lengthy and boring speeches and one that had perfect logistics. That is not to say that there were no good reports but bad news sticks.
THE AFRICA FILM ACADEMY MEANS BUSINESS. AMAA FOR THEM IS NOT JUST ABOUT PRETTY CLOTHES AND POPULAR FACES; IT IS MORE ABOUT CON NECTING AFRICA AND PRESENTING A POSITIVE IMAGE THROUGH FILM TO AN INTERNA TIONAL AUDIENCE. Confusion Na Wa is not your typical Nollywood movie. It sits comfortably with the works of Tunde Kelani and Kunle Afolayan which all serve as my evangelism tools in converting the naysayers and critics who think they have seen it all on the Africa Magic channels. This movie scores on many fronts; intelligent script, attention to detail and great cinematography. It is a film you’ll watch with your ears and mind wide open and your brain fully awake. So with my confidence in the AMAAs boosted, I wanted to support their efforts in my own little way as a writer, photographer and digital marketer. It was a brand I now wanted to be associated with. As Editor of Nolly Silver Screen magazine and website, I started sourcing for materials about the 2014 edition and contacted Shaibu Husseini of The Guardian newspaper to be put on the mailing list. He promptly redirected me to Tope Ajayi of Portion Consult Limited reminding me that his role as a jury member would not allow him to function in a ‘marketing’ capacity. Let me just stop here and say that when it comes to transparency, the AMAAs win hands down. There are no secrets about the membership of the jury, the numbers of films submitted, the screening process and what to expect generally. I was personally invited to come and see for myself during the screening process in Lagos. Unfortunately, I was unable to make it but I still got a report and pictures on Nollywoodaccess. com. Timely press releases were sent out and the website updated regularly. The opportunity presented itself again for me to witness an AMAA event – this time it was the nominations party in Johannesburg, South Africa. I already had expectations based on the last two Nollywood awards I attended: Nollywood Movies Awards and Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards. These events had a lot of Nollywood people in attendance. People dressed like they were on the runway in Paris – all wanting to turn heads. Cars were given away and choice venues used not to mention the musicians who performed. To cut a long story short, a lot of money was spent from the marketing to the event proper. So arriving in South Africa, I was expecting a lot of popular faces. Maybe I would see Hlomla Dandala or the filmmakers behind Othelo Burning. From Nigeria, maybe the duo of Omotola JaladeEkeinde and Genevieve Nnaji would make an appearance. And who knows President Banda might even come? I arrived a day to the event so I was able to network and speak to other participants – a handful of filmmakers and gentlemen of the media. In those two days, I learnt a lot from conversations over our meals. We talked about Nigeria, South Africa, Nollywood, the economy and AMAA. Clearly, people were excited to be here and speculations were rife on which country would dominate the nominations.
we speak passionately about the role of film in changing people’s lives, I was convinced that The Africa Film Academy means business. AMAA for them is not just about pretty clothes and popular faces; it is more about connecting Africa and presenting a positive image through film to an international audience. She spoke about the need for the Nigerian and South African government to forge better economic and cultural co-operation. “Our leaders should invest in our future and creative energy of the young people be it in music, film, fashion and other areas through appropriate funding and regulatory framework that will make the creative industry viable just as the governments in India and United States did for their creative entrepreneurs.” Indeed, there is still so much that can be achieved. Mrs. Ebizi Brown, Director General of Bayelsa State Tourism Development Agency had some good news to share. She said Bayelsa was ready to host the 10th anniversary of the awards and was also building a film city. “We have beautiful and exotic locations that are good for shooting of your films. We have stayed with AMAA in the last 10 years and we will continue as a state.” Finally, the moment we had all been waiting for – the announcements of the nominations into the 27 categories of the awards came. And as the Jurors took turns in letting us know who made it into this year’s list, it became obvious that the battle for supremacy would be fought between Nigeria and South Africa. South Africa’s Of Good Report, Felix and The Forgotten Kingdom gave Nigeria’s Apaye, Omo Elemosho, Accident and B for Boy a good run for their money. Ghana also showed promise with Potomanto, Good Old Days: Love of AA and Northern Affair and Kenya with Ni Sisi. Other successful countries included Mali, Cameroun, Mauritius, Tanzania, Gabon, Burkina Faso, Mozambique and Malawi among others. The Diaspora was represented by Bahamas, Trinidad & Tobago, USA, Canada, Jamaica and Venezuela. Unfortunately, no award will be given in the category of Best Film by an African living Abroad due to quality of films received which the Jurors found inadequate. The night ended with an energetic performance from Kcee Limpopo which had everyone on their feet. And my cherry on the cake, I spoke to a filmmaker from Burkina Faso who was interested in collaborating with Nolly Silver Screen which is testament to the fact that AMAA does unite filmmakers across Africa. Ten years in the business is no feat and I can only imagine what the organisers have in store for us. Bayelsa, here I come! The 2014 AMAAs will take place on 24 May. - ISABELLA AKINSEYE
PICTURES FROM THE SET OF KUNLE AFOLAYAN’S OCTOBER 1
MICHELLE BELLO Blazing Nollywood’s trail BY ISABELLA AKINSEYE Have you always wanted to work behind the cameras? Yes. Once I made the decision to be a filmmaker, I wanted to direct and produce. Reading a script and getting it translated into scenes and ultimately a whole movie is what is exciting to me.
Did your educational background prepare you for a career in the film industry?
My first degree was in Communications, specialising in Visual Media and I subsequently did my Master’s Degree at Regent University specifically because they have a great programme in Directing which I found extremely useful once I finished and came back to Nigeria.
What inspired the Flower Girl story?
I was seeing a lot of divorces happening amongst the younger generation (those
in their 20s). They would get married and in a year or two would get divorced and I started thinking ‘why, what is going on?’ Then I started to realise that it was because they were marrying for the wrong reasons. I spoke to my priest and a marriage counsellor and they told me all kinds of horror stories of couples. I started to get different perspectives and I thought, ‘that’s scary, that’s my age group!’ There is a lot of infidelity and people just don’t respect the institution of marriage anymore. People just think, ‘I am in love, I want to get married, let’s see what happens.’ A few years later the love fizzles out, problems start and it’s too much to handle and people get divorced.
So what is true love?
True love is not just ‘convenient’ love. In the main characters of the film you can see the different kinds of love going on. There is selfish love represented, sacrificial love and idealistic love which we all expe-
rience as young women (thinking we have found the perfect guy). So the film was really for the younger audience for them to think about their relationships and whether they are marrying the right person. As a society, people need a reminder of what real love is all about.
How was it collaborating with your brother Jigi on the film?
We had a lot of fun collaborating together. My brother is a genius when it comes to screenwriting so bouncing off ideas about the characters and different scenes was very easy to do with him. We worked long hours on the script for months and then we went on to do several drafts of the script. He came up with the character of Stella as Kemi’s eccentric best friend. We also added Sapphire’s character in later drafts. One has to be very patient to always improve on your previous draft by adding new or adapting various elements to make the story the best it can be.
What would you say was the hardest thing in directing Flower Girl?
sions,what has been the reaction by the different viewers?
It was doing the big scenes which involved a lot of extras such as the wedding scene at the beginning of the movie, the club scene in which we had to deal with more than fifty UNILAG students who were there as extras and the scene at the Lagoon Restaurant. The airport scenes were especially hard to get done because there was a time restriction involved so there was a lot of pressure to shoot those scenes quickly but they were definitely worth it.
The movie has a few versions. The first cut was released in Nigeria and Ghana and then there was the international shorter version which Mr. Mahmood Ali-Balogun worked with us to re-cut. The response from the UK audiences was fantastic. The first cut was a bit longer and had a few more scenes in it and was really tailored to the African market and everyone loved it that way. We are preparing the version for the DVD release as well which will have more bonus features, deleted scenes and bloopers added to it.
As a woman in a male-dominated industry, how have you been able to hold your own?
What needs to happen for Nollywood to become truly international?
I don’t give any thought as to whether it’s a male or a female involved in a project. For me, it’s important to respect everyone regardless of their sex. I am lucky enough not to have had any negative experiences over the years so it hasn’t been an issue for me. For me, every time I do come across female directors or producers, I think it’s fantastic and I’m glad there are now more females in the industry. We support each other when we can.
First of all, we need to develop great stories that are universal and that can cross over to the international market. We have a lot of amazing stories from different genres that we can tell but you need the right team to develop them that would attract not only the right investors but also an international cast. Also, our technical abilities need to be on an international level. The market is definitely there, it’s just a matter of putting the right structures in place.
The film has gone to several countries and festivals, share with us some of your high points.
Congrats on your win at the 2014 AMVCAs. Were you expecting it?
First came the Ghana premiere which was wonderful. The reception there was overwhelming as there was so much love shown to us by both the journalists and the fans. They were all very supportive. A big shout out to all the fans over there! One of the major high points was when the film was screened in the UK in September 2013 as it was our first cross over into international territory. The feedback and reviews were amazing. The movie subsequently won two international awards over there: the Best African Film at the Black International Film Festival, and the Favourite New Nollywood Film at the Screen Nation Awards. The movie was also screened in Los Angeles at the Hollywood Black Film Festival and the response there was fantastic too. Winning two awards in Nigeria during the AMVCAs meant a lot to us too.
Tell us about the planned French version of the movie.
The movie is going to have French sub-titles and not be dubbed in French as there is so much that could be lost in translation.
The film has different ver-
Thanks! It really meant a lot to me winning the 2014 AMVCA Trailblazer Award. I wasn’t expecting it at all. In fact, I didn’t even know that that category existed! When they called out my name, I froze in my seat for a few seconds before it sank in and then I shot up and went to the stage. It was hilarious. But on a more serious note, I feel so very honoured to have received the award. I’ve been working in this industry since 2007 and receiving the award has shown me that all my hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed. There’s always something new to learn and I realise that just because you have won an award or two, you can’t sit back and gloat and think that fame is going to last you a life time. You have to be able to remain at the top and bring your ‘A’ game every single time you release a production, whatever it may be. I am really grateful to the AMVCAs for acknowledging me, as well as seeing my future potential.
Any plans for the new car?
I just plan on enjoying having it! It’s a sports car and is a really smooth car to drive. It’s got state of the art gadgets inside so I’m having great fun figuring out how everything works. Thanks Hyundai!
Do you have any new film in the works or is the focus still on Flower Girl?
The focus is still on Flower Girl for the moment as the film is going to be screened at the Paris Nollywood Week in June. We’re also having discussions with some other countries that are interested in screening the movie. We have some other plans for the movie, which include it coming out on DVD and TV in addition to it being entered for awards in other festivals. There are also other films that are in the works right now that are being developed.
You spoke about your mother supporting you, what does family mean to you? Family means a lot to me. My parents have been very supportive over the years in so many ways. I’ve been extremely fortunate that they let me follow my dreams and didn’t try to force me to study the more travelled roads. I love them very much.
In one word, Michelle Bello is...? Faithful.
What is the one thing you can’t do without on set?
The particular individual who acts as our prayer warrior.
If there was anything you could change about yourself, what would it be? I’d be taller! Lol!
COVER PHOTO: Michael Oloyede of TIDG Visuals. Make Up Artist by Michelle March and hair by Teresa of Pacific Hair Artists. OTHER PHOTOS: Courtesy of Michelle Bello.
Pornography in Nollywood: a rising trend BY AGINA EBERECHUKWU The issues around the Nigerian film and video industry known as Nollywood are at once lifting and depressing for many people. There are debates that revolve around its moral, economic and cultural values. The arguments and counter arguments usually boil down to the nature of its content in particular nudity and sex scenes.
For him, it is important that filmmakers “show the morals behind every sex scene used in a movie and not concentrate on the commercial aspect of it as that passes the wrong message.” For an Entertainment Editor, Tomi Adeyemo, “Some of the nude bodies you see on screen could be for artistic purpose which is trying to portray certain things. For example, when talking about slavery, you don’t expect the director to use fully clothed people to depict that. Lupita had to be naked in 12 Years a Slave to drive home that point.”
Mrs. Catherine Izuagba, a mother and housewife, is alarmed at Nollywood over the years has the rising trend of pornographic content in Nollywood movies. “I don’t support it but that is what the audience wants and I feel for transformed all aspects of my kids because they really don’t have enough educational proits production process from screenplay to acting. A sample grammes to watch. My advice to movie makers is that they should go back to where we are coming from (days of Sesame Street and of opinion from movie lovers on their perception of the Tales by Moonlight). For the sake of our kids and sanity of the sysevolving trend of pornographic tem, more educational films should be produced.” scenes in our movies raised some salient issues regarding morality and how it has affected our age long culture and traditions. According to Chigozie Macdom, “I Movies such as Domitilla, Glamour Girls, The Prostitute, Room 027 hardly watch Nollywood movies. There and Destructive Instinct are considered to be sexually explicit. Also is no moral lesson learnt. Sometimes on the list are Dirty Secret, Strippers in Love, Corporate Maid, Sin- they act like animals. I don’t think I can ful Act, Pregnant Hawker and Lesbian which all contain elements of play some Nollywood movies for my guests not to talk of watching it with pornographic content. my kids.” For web designer, Jude Ogunsanya who determines what movie Having heard from others their opinion to watch from how much ‘noise’ people make about it, he firmly on Nollywood movies, it is important believes that ‘sex sells.’ “People want to see it and discuss it but because they want to be discreet about it, they result to movies or to note that nudity is not exclusive to some other sites to satisfy their curiosity.” He added, “Sex revolves movies alone but also extends to Nigearound entertainment industry so people don’t really bother about rian music videos. It is only proper that we maintain and uphold our age long it anymore rather they look forward to seeing what is new or latvalues (which are fast diminishing) as est.” Africans. In addition, the censor boards should do everything within its powers For Paul Ubanaese, a social media critic, he belivieves that what to checkmate activities of desperate you see or tag pornography is only a matter of choice. “Actually I see more sex scenes or porn in music videos than I see in Nollyproducers who see making such movwood movies and what we call pornography here is nothing com- ies as a tool for cheap publicity and to fast track their climb on the ladder of pared to what we see in some foreign movies.” success. Eddie Watson is a Ghanian actor. What is your educational background? I read Economics at university. What is one tip that has saved you as an actor? Humility. Being humble is more difficult than being arrogant. See how easy it is for people to exhibit arrogance with just an improvement in their social or economic status. One of our African proverbs says, “The child that washes his hands very well shall eat with kings.” Psalm 22:26 says, “The meek shall eat and be satisfied.” What was the first Nollywood movie you saw in the cinema? Mirror Boy.
Q & A with Eddie Watson BY ISABELLA AKINSEYE
What quality do you love most in a woman? I love a woman that communicates very well with her
partner. Beauty and intelligence are pluses but what I think holds a relationship together the most is good communication. At what age did you get married? 33.
NOLLY POP QUIZ
BY INNOCENT EKEJIUBA
1. Which award is nicknamed ‘A Constellation of Stars’?
What is your favourite food? Cassava leaves stew with rice.
2. Who did the score of the short film Blink?
What is your fashion fetish? Earrings and tattoos.
3. Who directed the short film In Iredu?
Which football team do you support? Accra Hearts of Oak (Ghana), Invincible Eleven (Liberia) and Real Madrid (Europe).
4. What is the name of the first work of Stanlee Ohikuare featured on Nolly Silver Screen website?
Who is your secret Nollywood crush? Hard to choose; I think Nigeria is blessed with a lot of amazing talents and beauties.
5. Which Nollywood online streaming site was rated as number 1 in the first edition of Nolly Silver Screen magazine?
PHOTO: COURTESY OF EDDIE WATSON
Answers can be found online.
2014 AFRICA MOVIE ACADEMY AWARDS NOMINATIONS
The nominations for the 2014 Africa Movie Academy Awards were announced on 2 April 2014 at a gathering of filmmakers and press at Emperor Palace Hotel, Johannesburg, South Africa. EFERE OZAKO AMAA 2014 AWARD FOR BEST SHORT FILM Haunted Soul – Kenya Siriya Mtungi – Tanzania Dialemi – Gabon New Horizon – Nigeria Nandy l’orpheline – Mali Living Funeral – Nigeria Phindile’s Heart – South Africa AMAA 2014 AWARD FOR BEST DOCUMENTARY Hamu Beya – The Sand Fishers – Mali Portraits of a Lone Farmer – Nigeria/Denmark Kushaya Ingagasi – South Africa Daughters of the Niger Delta – Nigeria Sincerely Ethiopia – Ethiopia OUSMANE SEMBENE AMAA 2014 AWARD FOR BEST FILM IN AN AFRICAN LANGUAGE The Forgotten Kingdom – South Africa B for Boy – Nigeria Omo Elemosho – Nigeria Onye Ozi – Nigeria Ni Sisi – Kenya AMAA 2014 AWARD FOR BEST DIASPORA SHORT Passage – Bahamas Heaven – USA Tickle Me Rich – Trinidad and Tobago Red – USA AMAA 2014 AWARD FOR BEST DIASPORA DOCUMENTARY Finding Samuel Lowe: From Harlem to China – USA/Canada Freedom Summer – USA No Bois Man, No Frad – Trinidad and Tobago Through the Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People – USA AMAA 2014 AWARD FOR BEST DIASPORA FEATURE Tula: The Revolt – The Netherlands AZU – Venezuela Kingston Paradise – Jamaica Retrieval – USA
N E W S AMAA 2014 AWARD FOR AMAA 2014 AWARD FOR BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN MAKE-UP CHILD ACTOR Tobe Oboli – Brother’s Keeper A Mile from Home – Nigeria (Nigeria) Apaye – Nigeria Once Upon A Road Trip – South Lebohang Ntsane – Forgotten Africa Kingdom (South Africa) Hlayani Junior Mabasa – Felix Felista’s Fable– Uganda Potomanto – Ghana (South Africa) AMAA 2014 AWARD AMAA 2014 AWARD FOR BEST FOR ACHIEVEMENT IN YOUNG/PROMISING ACTOR SOUNDTRACK Evelyn Galle Ansah – Good Old Once Upon A Road Trip – Days: For the Love of AA (Ghana) South Africa Petronella Tshuma – Of Good Onye Ozi – Nigeria Report (South Africa) Tope Tedela – A Mile from Felix – South Africa Home (Nigeria) Of Good Report – South Africa Potomanto – Ghana Kitty Phillips – The Children of Troumaron (Mauritius) AMAA 2014 AWARD FOR Shawn Faqua – Lagos Cougars ACHIEVEMENT IN VISUAL (Nigeria) EFFECT A Mile From Home – Nigeria AMAA 2014 AWARD FOR BEST Omo Elemosho – Nigeria ACTOR IN A Secret Room – Nigeria SUPPORTING ROLE Ni Sisi – Kenya Desmond Elliot – Finding Mercy Of Good Report – South Africa (Nigeria) Thapelo Mofekeng – Felix (South Africa) AMAA 2014 AWARD FOR Yomi Fash-Lanso – Omo ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND Elemosho (Nigeria) Felix – South Africa Aniekan Iyoho – Potomanto Northern Affair – Ghana Nothing for Mahala – South (Ghana) Africa Tshamano Sebe – Of Good Of Good Report – South Africa Report (South Africa) The Forgotten Kingdom – AMAA 2014 AWARD FOR BEST South Africa ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE AMAA 2014 AWARD FOR Vinaya Sungkur – The Children ACHIEVEMENT IN of Troumaron (Mauritius) CINEMATOGRAPHY Once Upon A Road Trip – South Patience Ozokwor – After the Africa Proposal (Nigeria) Good Old Days: Love of AA – Marie Humbert – Potomanto Ghana (Ghana) Of Good Report – South Africa Barbara Soky – Brother’s Keeper The Forgotten Kingdom – (Nigeria) South Africa Lee-Ann van Rooi – Of Good The Children of Troumaron – Report (South Africa) Mauritius AMAA 2014 AWARD FOR BEST AMAA 2014 AWARD FOR ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE ACHIEVEMENT IN EDITING Zengo Ngqobe – Forgotten Of Good Report – South Africa Kingdom (South Africa) Kanayo Kanayo – Apaye Accident – Nigeria Once Upon A Road Trip – South (Nigeria) Africa Mothusi Magano – Of Good Potomanto – Ghana Report (South Africa) Felix – South Africa Joseph Benjamin – Murder At Prime Suites (Nigeria) AMAA 2014 AWARD FOR Adjatey Annan – Potomanto ACHIEVEMENT IN (Ghana) SCREENPLAY Majid Michel – Brother’s Keeper B For Boy – Nigeria (Nigeria) Of Good Report – South Africa Accident – Nigeria AMAA 2014 AWARD FOR BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE Potomanto – Ghana Felix – South Africa Uche Nnadili – B for Boy (Nigeria) AMAA 2014 BAYELSA STATE Linda Sokhulu – Felix (South GOVERNMENT ENDOWED Africa) AWARD FOR BEST NIGERIAN Chioma Chukwuka Akpotha – FILM Accident (Nigeria) Apaye Clarion Chukwurah – Apaye B For Boy (Nigeria) Accident Uche Jombo-Rodriguez, Murder at Prime Suites Monalisa Chinda and Daniella Omo Elemosho Okeke – Lagos Cougars (Nigeria)
10 Joselyn Dumas – Northern Affair (Ghana) AMAA 2014 AWARD FOR BEST FIRST FEATURE FILM BY A DIRECTOR Roberta Durrant – Felix (South Africa) Chika Anadu – B for Boy (Nigeria) Andrew Mudge – Forgotten Kingdom (South Africa) Harrikrishna & Sharvan Anenden – The Children of Troumaron (Mauritius) Dilman Dila – Felista’s Fable (Uganda) Joyce Mhango Chavula – No More Tears (Malawi) AMAA 2014 AWARD FOR BEST ANIMATION The Hare and the Lion – Burkina Faso Thank God it’s Friday – Morocco Leila – Nigeria Khumba – South Africa The Brats and Toy Thief – Mozambique AMAA 2014 AWARD FOR ACHIEVEMENT IN PRODUCTION DESIGN Northern Affair – Ghana Of Good Report – South Africa Ni Sisi – Kenya Good Old Days: Love of AA – Ghana Apaye – Nigeria AMAA 2014 AWARD FOR BEST DIRECTOR Harrikrishna & Sharvan Anenden – Children of Troumaron (Mauritius) Shirley Frimpong Manso – Potomanto (Ghana) Andrew Mudge – The Forgotten Kingdom (South Africa) Jamil X.T. Quebeka – Of Good Report (South Africa) Teco Benson – Accident (Nigeria) AMAA 2014 AWARD FOR BEST FILM The Children of Troumaron – Mauritius Potomanto – Ghana The Forgotten Kingdom – South Africa Of Good Report – South Africa Accident – Nigeria The jury decided that there will be no nominations for the AMAA 2014 AWARD FOR BEST FILM BY AN AFRICAN LIVING ABROAD. The 2014 AMAA will take place on 24 May 2014 at the Gloryland Centre, Bayelsa State.
Nolly Silver Screen proudly supports the 2014 AMAAs.
Title: Yellow Fever
Director: Stephanie Linus
Director: Ng’endo Muk’ii
Even though official trailer is not out, the unofficial version of Dry which was released last year in the heat of the ‘Child Not Bride’ debate is one of the best trailers to come out of Nollywood in recent times. Having followed Stephanie Linus’ work over the years, it is clear to see that the woman has really upped her game. Well done! A recent trend in Nollywood is that we have a number of producers embracing ‘agenda’ movies and sacrificing the tenets of good filmmaking at the expense of a message. For me, the mark of a true artist is in balancing the two. In the unofficial trailer of Dry, Linus does not hold back in putting burning issues of rape, child marriage, obstetric fistula and the societal stigma that comes with it in our face. She does not just tell us about them, she shows us through the character of a young girl who is forced into an early marriage with devastating results. This girl as we discover represents 1 in every 10 women in Nigeria that suffer complications after childbirth as a result of obstetric fistula. The saddest thing is that she could be your child. If I had to summarise the effect of this trailer in one phrase; it would be – emotional connection. I believe all the characters from Linus to Liz Benson Ameye who are trying to make a difference in the lives of young women. I believe a nameless male doctor who agrees that his duty is to save lives but “did not sign a vow of poverty.” I see the health care centre burnt down and my heart goes out to the community. I see girls and women suffering at the hands of their so-called sisters and I can relate with their story. I hear the simple yet ironical request of our protagonist; she says she “wants to be a girl again” and I want to rewind things. I want her to go back to playing with her friends, attending school, growing up and marrying the love of her life – not the person who paid for her like an item in a grocery store. I never want that girl to be my sister, mother, aunty, friend or even enemy. Nobody deserves to be used and left to Dry up from the inside out. The review will not be complete if I don’t comment on technique. From the background music to the selection of scenes, the cast and crew deserve two thumbs up. The dialogue interwoven with the text on screen helps to drive the plot forward and engage the viewer. I have most of the information I require including the name of the production company and the chilling statistics. The only thing missing is the names of the actors as they appeared in view but given that this is an unofficial trailer, we can let that slide. Verdict –Watch Dry because it is really just that good but if you still need an excuse; it communicates a powerful message in a compelling yet creative way. - ISABELLA AKINSEYE
Yellow Fever contends the uncomfortable issue of African women’s comfort with their skin colour. A vital message and distinct feature of the documentary. Another admirable feature is the beautiful blend of elements such as animation, poetry, narration and immaculately artistic dance to show coordination in thoughts and depth of message. Where the documentary fails is that the poetic part of the narration sounds too mundane and seems disconnected from the narratives. More importantly, the documentary fails to grant a resolution to the issue raised as it inadvertently pushes for dull admission of facts rather than move for a reversal of ideologies. - INNOCENT EKEJIUBA Title: Phindile’s Heart Genre: Short Film Director: Claudia Noble Year: 2013
Phindile’s Heart reminds us of why short films exist. The direct and head on approach in it is commendable. What is adorable about the production is Phindile and her acting and what is beautiful about it is the camera work and cinematography. What we see here is an amateurish work with a deep message and a big heart. The full extent of the amateurishness of the short film is obvious in the sound production and the acting. But nonetheless, only the quality of sound production is a turn off, as the amateurish acting adds to the adorableness of the production. - INNOCENT EKEJIUBA
GUEST REVIEW Brave is a short film inspired by a true story, based on the lives of a young couple who seem to have happiness, love and comfort. Tragedy strikes on a night which was meant to be special and marks the beginning of a nightmare both may not wake from and suddenly, love is not enough. Wole Ojo and Adesua Etomi’s execution of the simple and well written story was heartfelt and made it easier for the message intended to be delivered beautifully. Brave’s remarkability couldn’t have been possible without the impressive vision of a young indie filmmaker who we should watch out for in years to come. Title: Brave Genre: Drama Director: Lowladee Year: 2014
The Verdict The editing was the least impressive element for me but on the bright side, the movie doesn’t try too hard to impress. It’s a simple movie with a strong message which I enjoyed well and wanted to be longer than 30 mins. - OLUMUYIWA AWOJIDE of movie review site www.sodasandpopcorn.com
TOP 5 NOLLYWOOD CINEMAS
BY INNOCENT EKEJIUBA
1. Silverbird Cinemas
Up, Close and Personal with
Desmond Ovbiagele With a carefully laid down schedule, the cinema has been able to provide steadily Nollywood movies every week. Also, Silverbird has probably the largest collection of Nollywood movies and they screen them longer than most other cinema houses. More so, because of size and spread, this chain is one of the two most used cinemas for Nollywood movie premieres.
2. Genesis Deluxe Cinemas
This is the other most preferred destination for Nollywood movie premieres. Genesis Deluxe Cinemas are in three strategic locations and this has helped their appreciation of Nollywood movies. They have a cinema house in the South-West (Lagos), South-East (Enugu) and SouthSouth (Port Harcourt). While GDC is better known for having the latest Nollywood movies as they arrive, but what they don’t do is screen the movies for a long time. They flow with the wind.
3.Film House Cinemas
With three cinema houses (two in the South-West and one in the South-South), Film House sure has a spread. Yoruba movies screen for a longer duration than other Nollywood films in its Ibadan branch.
INVESTMENT BANKER TURNED FILMMAKER
After over a decade in investment banking, I needed a different avenue for self-expression and specifically wanted to contribute my ideas in the arena of the local film industry.
I appreciate films that stimulate both intellect and emotion, and Michael Mann (director of films such as Heat, Collateral and The Insider) is one of the most adept practitioners of this level of art.
PROFITABILITY OF NOLLYWOOD
On the typical micro-budget, Nollywood is potentially profitable, but at the budgetary levels required to achieve the production values requisite for not only local cinema exhibition but also international festival selection, Nollywood is definitely struggling. Paucity of available screens in the country, piracy risks in DVD distribution and marginal popularity of online viewing make it hard for investors to recoup their capital.
RENDER TO CAESAR
I functioned as writer, producer, director and also raised the requisite financing as executive producer.
WRITING VS DIRECTING VS PRODUCING
I would probably lean more toward the purely creative functions of writing and directing but appreciate the importance of producing to ensure that the original vision is protected right up to the end.
CHALLENGES ON THE WAY
Challenges were several, including raising the considerable amount of funds required, securing the multitude of locations used, sound pollution from generators in filming vicinity and compressing a very aggressive shooting schedule into a 35-day window (with overseas-based lead actor only available for 2 weeks). Most of all, shooting right through Christmas and New Year (i.e. the traditional time when everyone travels out for the festivities).
MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE ON SET Located in the Edo state, Kada Cinemas is one with an unusual dedication to Nollywood movies. Nollywood movies get a lot of screening here, but what is surprising is that they screen older movie more than the more recent titles.
5. Ozone Cinema
One does stand out particularly – whilst shooting a criminal chase scene in an isolated area, a passing motorist saw the prop weapons in use, assumed that a live robbery operation was in progress, and promptly ran her car into a nearby ditch before taking off for dear life! Fortunately no one was hurt, she saw the funny side of things after realising what was going on, and happily took pictures with our celebrity cast on set.
PRIVATE SECTOR IN NOLLYWOOD
Private sector can broaden and deepen the ongoing practice of product placement and sponsorship of local movies, albeit with greater subtlety in their visibility to avoid turning off the very audience they are aiming to attract. However, all around the world it is the governments that serve as the lifeline to their domestic industries by providing grants and other assistance on a transparent basis.
FINAL WORDS A decent cinema in a good location (Yaba, Lagos) but when it comes to Nigerian content, the Ozone is always found wanting. Nonetheless, new releases do tend to get only one week of screening time before they are removed.
Don’t compromise on quality no matter how long it takes – in the end, it’s always worth it. INTERVIEW: ISABELLA AKINSEYE PHOTO: COURTESY OF DESMOND OVBIAGELE
2014 AFRICA MOVIE ACADEMY AWARDS NOMINATIONS PHOTOS BY ISABELLA AKINSEYE
TOP (L - R) Peace Anyiam-Osigwe; Chidi Nwokeabia; Collins Talker; Temitope Ajayi; Isabella Akinseye. BOTTOM (CLOCKWISE) Fred Amata, Norbert Ajaegbu, Fidelis Duker, Azuka Ogujiuba, Johnny Muteba, Bond Emeruwa and Chidi Nwokeabia; Azuka Ogujiuba, Mercy Michael and Mary Ekah; Chidi Nwokeabia, Fred Amata, Paul Obazele, Peace AnyiamOsigwe, Fathia Balogun, Lydia Forson, Chinwe Egwuagwu, Madu Chikwendu and singer; Lydia Forson, Shaibu Hussein and Bola Aduwo.
Maami and the complete Mainframe collection now availabe on DVD
Award winning movie Maami produced by Tunde Kelani alongside other Mainframe films was released on DVD during the 2014 Easter celebrations. The movie which has shown at film festivals features Funke Akindele, Wole Ojo, Tamilore Kuboye, Tolani Abatti, Olumide Bakare, Fatai Rolling Dollar, Yinka Davies, Kayode Balogun and Biodun Kupoluyi. The film which follows the life of a helpless mother and her son is based on Femi Osofisan’s novel of the same name Maami. Other DVDs also released included Ti Oluwa Nile 1, 2,3, Koseegbe, Agogo Eewo, The Campus Queen, Saworoide, Thunderbolt (Magun), The Narrow Path, Oleku and Arugba.
TALENT ON THE RISE: JUMAFOR AJOGWU
What inspired you to produce Murder at Prime Suites? The same inspirations that make me do other movies; transformational content, inspired me to produce Murder at Prime Suites. Jumafor Ajogwu is a Nollywood screenwriter and producer. He speaks to us about his latest effort Murder at Prime Suites which was nominated for Best Nigerian Film at the 2014 Africa Movie Academy Awards Nominations.
What were some of the challenges you faced and how did you overcome them? Making a movie in Lagos State is always a great challenge. The traffic can hinder you from getting to your desired location but this can be overcome with proper planning. We set out a good plan for every stage of the filmmaking and I think that was our escape route and of course, God.
Briefly describe your educational background. I have a B.Sc. in Zoology from Nnamdi Aziki- What should viewers expect from this we University, Awka. movie? They can expect the extraordinary. What inspired to get involved in filmmaking, in particular, producing? What informed the casting of major NolI would first start by saying I started off as lywood actors and the director? a screenwriter. I have always loved writing Every member of the cast in this movie desince the age of 10. When I came into film- served their role. We took a lot of time castmaking as a writer, I guess I didn’t have my ing and interviewing all of them. We wanted scripts made the way it was written. So I passion and professionalism and I think we got it. The director doubled as the screenknew I had to develop and produce them.
writer so he knew exactly what he wanted. I can also say that he is one of the best directors in the country. What are your hobbies? Football and writing. I support Man-U. What is your take on the government’s contributions to Nollywood? The government needs to put good policies in place to checkmate piracy and also, invest in setting up more theatrical houses. It is only by doing this that we can have value for the efforts we put in in filmmaking. Which other areas of filmmaking would you like to explore? I would love to explore directing but that is still very far to come by. I will need to conquer my ambitions in producing first. I have set targets. What next should we expect from you? Just expect something bigger. INTERVIEW: ISABELLA AKINSEYE PHOTO: COURTESY OF JUMAFOR AJOGWU
Nolly Silver Screen is a monthly online magazine of www.nollysilverscreen.com The 16 page monthly serves up a mix of articles, interviews, p...