Nolly Silver Screen ISSUE 07 AUGUST 2014
fresh faces to watch out for
- Ibinabo Fiberisima - C.J. Obasi - Wana Udobang - Nosa Igbinedion - Bimpe Adebambo - Anthony Monjaro - Marc-AndrĂŠ Schmachtel - Victor Sanchez Aghahowa
The talented actress on her next big move and giving back
Nolly Silver Screen
ISSUE 07 AUGUST 2014
8 They are next: 10 Nollywood fresh faces to watch out for 11 The Legal Framework for Defending Intellectual Property Rights Nationally and Internationally – A Film Producer’s Perspective 16 Nollywood Studies Centre organises international conference on distribution 30 Filmmakers’ Interview: Wana Udobang and Nosa Igbinedion 32 5 Nigerians books we would love to see on the big screen 36 Nollywood needs a more focused leadership
14 On the cover: Ibinabo Fiberisima 18 Bayray McNwizu 22 Q & A with C.J. Obasi 23 Up close and personal with Victor Sanchez Aghahowa 26 Talent on the rise: Bimpe Adebambo 27 A Day in the life of...Anthony Monjaro 27 Andre-Marc Schmachtel: “Nollywood is big”
4 Editor’s Note 5 Readers’ Corner 13 6 Contributors’ Bio 9 Vox Pop 10 Story-Bored! 10 Celebrations this month 12 On Set 17 News 21 Photo News 23 Nolly Pop Quiz 24 Reviews 28 Red carpet 33 Festival News 34 Listings 35 Events 38 Award News
4 Editor’s Note
It is our first ever double cover and we have two fabulous women. The first female president of the Actors Guild of Nigeria and soon to be married Ms Ibinabo Fiberisima and AMBO winner and entrepreneur, Bayray McNwizu. These women have continued to push boundaries, challenge status quos and in their own ways, bring about meaningful change.
We have been enjoying our journey of change which we embarked on last month (expanding the magazine from a 16 pager to a whopping 40). And now, it is our first ever double cover and we have two fabulous women. The first female president of the Actors Guild of Nigeria and soon to be married Ms Ibinabo Fiberisima and AMBO winner and entrepreneur, Bayray McNwizu. These women have continued to push boundaries, challenge status quos and in their own way, bring about meaningful change. Ms Fiberisima talks passionately about her love for Nollywood (p. 14) while Bayray (as she prefers to be called) tells us about her latest new female empowerment project (p. 18).
their heart (p. 9).
Nolly Silver Screen is happy to welcome on board the talented and award winning cartoonist Mike Asukwo whose new new cartoon strip – Story-Bored! – explores typecasting in Nollywood (p. 10). We recently partnered with the Nollywood Studies Centre of the Pan Atlantic University during their annual international conference. Last edition, we brought you the pictures, now, Dr Ikechukwu Obiaya has the full report (p. 16). Enjoy!
Wilfred Okiche profiles 10 new movie stars taking over Nollywood (p. 8) while Oluwaponmile Orija heads to the street to find out which Nollywood director has captured @iakinseye
Readers’ Corner COMMENTS FROM THE WEBSITE
100 Word Review: Tunnel is a good effort for a first film Thanks for being honest and true with your review and pointing out the key areas to be improved upon. Stanlee
5 Write ‘n’ win
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 DVD. Also up copies of Potomanto on kets to see a for grabs are cinema tic geria and a gift Nollywood movie in Ni 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
Trailer: Unforgivable I really enjoy dis movie. And I will be very glad if u can feature me in one of ur movie. God bless. Prince Demilade
Trailer Review: Dazzling Mirage Thank you for the compliment re the “intelligent script.” Enjoyed writing it and and pleasure to have such a team bringing it to life! Ade Solanke
Read Nolly Silver Screen on www.nollysilverscren.com issuu.com/nollysilverscreen scribd.com/nollysilverscreen
NOLLY SILVER SCREEN EDITOR
GRAPHICS & LAYOUT Isabella Akinseye
Quill and Scroll Creatives
Temitayo Amogunla Bola Atta Bola Audu Toni Kan
Mike Asukwo studied Fine Art at the prestigious Yaba College of Technology. He is an award winning cartoonist and illustrator with his work appearing in numerous publications. He currently works with BusinessDay Newspaper as Senior Editorial Artist. His cartoon strip ‘StoryBored’ takes a swipe at typecasting in Nollywood (p. 10).
Efeturi Doghudje is a PR practitioner eager to see a sustainable change in the Nigerian Film, Television & Arts industry. She enjoys watching movies both foreign & local, reading, traveling and adventure. Visit her blog for latest reviews on xplorenollywood. blogspot.com
Alex Enyengho is a filmmaker and journalist. He is the President of both the Association of Nollywood Core Producers (ANCOP) and the Association of Itsekiri Performing Artistes (AIPA). Vice President of the International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF).
She reviews Darkside (p. 25).
He shares his perspective on intellectual rights (p. 11).
Wilfred Okiche believes in God, medicine, music and movies. A medical doctor, occasional writer, columnist and profiler. He runs a regular column in The Sun newspaper and contributes to Y!Africa.
Oluwaponmile Orija is studying Food Science and Technology at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta. She loves writing and has published several works in the newspapers.
He compiles a top 10 list of Nollywood fresh faces to watch out for (p. 8).
She finds out what people think is the most expensive Nollywood movie for the Vox Pop section (p. 9).
Ebunoluwa Mordi Oluwayomi Olushola
Mike Asukwo Alex Enyengho Efeturi Doghudje Ikechukwu Obiaya Wilfred Okiche Oluwaponmile Orija
Ikechukwu Obiaya lectures at the School of Media and Communication of the Pan-Atlantic University and is the director of the Nollywood Studies Centre. He writes on the international conference (p. 16) and the monthly forum organised by the Nollywood Studies Centre (p. 36).
Nolly Silver Screen is a monthly online magazine of www.nollysilverscreen.com. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is strictly prohibited.
Want to contribute?
Nolly Silver Screen is always on the lookout for writers and artists to contribute to the website, magazine and social media pages. We are currently open to receiving movie reviews, articles, interviews, inforgraphics, cartoon strips and caricatures focusing on Nollywood as well as Africa’s film industry. Send an email to email@example.com requesting contributors’ guidelines.
They are next: 10 Nollywood fresh faces to watch out for
BY WILFRED OKICHE
Let’s face it, Nollywood has been a tad stagnant for a while now. Many A-list performers have hit the peak of their profession and moved on to pursue other interests. There has been a slow injection of new talents to replace the established ones but of late, the scene has been gradually expanding and a couple of new faces appear to be finding their rhythm. We present 10 of the freshest faces to look out for in film. These are the ones to carry on the torch.
The pretty damsel has worked hard on stage where she appeared in prestigious productions like Bolanle Austen-Peters’ Saro: The Musical, Bobo Omotayo’s Lagos Life, London Living and Majmua Theatre’s Band Aid. She recently scored the lead in the movie-musical Knocking on Heaven’s Door where her talents as a gifted actor and singer were on full display. She has also starred in a short film, Brave with Wale Ojo.
Okanlawon may well be crowned king of online as he has played roles in some of Nigeria’s most successful web series. A graduate of the University of Lagos as well as the New York Film Academy, the occasional entrepreneur and voice over artiste has done fine work on Ndani TV’s Gidi Up, ZR-Z and Kpians. He appeared in Ebony Life TV series Dowr y and is expected to make bigger inroads in film soonest.
Kemi Lala Akindoju
Akindoju is a critic’s darling who conquered the stage before making the transition to the screen. A winner of The Future Award Africa for Actor of the Year, Lala bid her time appearing on the hit television show Tinsel and in Charles Novia’s 2013 disaster Alan Poza before landing the role of her career so far as the female lead in Tunde Kelani’s long awaited, big budget adaptation Dazzling Mirage.
Everyone’s favourite girl next door is most famous for playing the spoilt, childish Bimpe on television show Tinsel but she has transferred her effortless charm to the big screen where she was cast opposite Femi Jacobs in 2013 blockbuster, The Meeting. Ejiofor who also models professionally has also starred in Secret Room with O.C Ukeje and in Ebony Life TV’s Dowr y.
The feisty reality show alumnus from Port Harcourt drew attention for herself when she won The Next Movie Star reality competition in 2011. After bit part roles in Finding Mercy and Mrs Somebody, Eteimo had her breakout role in the dramedy Desperate Housegirls, garnering widespread critical acclaim as well as an AMVCA nomination. She recently premiered her own film, Somewhere Down the Line in June.
Cross Rivers native, Effah started out on television with the series Shallow Waters before making the transition to the big screen in grand style. She made a huge splash when she was cast in the 2012 film Kokoma and won the award for the Most Promising Act of the Year at the Africa Movie Academy Awards. She has been cast in other hits like After the Proposal, Apaye: A Mother’s Love and Mrs Somebody.
The handsome, physically imposing bundle of talent has worked with some of Nollywood’s finest in his brief but eventful career since arriving in 2009 with Vivian Ejike’s Private Storm. Since his debut, Chukwujekwu has starred in films like Finding Mercy and Knocking on Heaven’s Door but it was in the romantic comedy Flower Girl that he best presented his bid for future consideration as a leading man.
Little was known of Tope Tedela until he was named the Best Actor in a Drama at this year’s Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards for his credible portrayal of a troubled youth in the small film A Mile from Home. A graduate of Mass Communication from the University of Lagos, Tedela has appeared in the sitcom, Edge of Paradise, as well as in other major film releases like Torn and The Awakening.
The jury is still out on Ogbonna’s actual acting talent but he has been a constant screen presence for a while back and is only a few films away from locating the role that would lend him some actorly credibility. In the meantime though, the tatooed fair skinned model turned actor continues to slum it in films with questionable filmmakers like Elvis Chucks and Rukky Sanda where he is an addition to a celeb cast.
Ojo emerged winner at the Amstel Malta Box Office reality television show in 2009 and as a result, was cast in the AMAA nominated film The Child. In 2012, he played Kashimawo, a footballer with a peculiar relationship with his mother in Tunde Kelani’s Maami. Ojo has made small screen guest appearances in Tinsel, Dear Mama and Everyday People as well as big screen credits in Façade and Converstions at Dinner.
Who is your favourite director in Nollywood?? Oluwaponmile Orija finds out..
I believes his works are classic and I appreciated Two Brides and a Baby.
- Oladimeji Ojo
Maami was different and itâ€™s kudos to him.
- Yetunde Salawu He does classical indigenous movies.
I really appreciate his movie style and believe it is beyond the usual Nigerian movie.
- Tosin Ogunsekan
His movies are unique.
- Seun Oludiya
His movies are catchy; he spices them up. No wonder they always get nominated for AMAA awards.
- Damilola Salako
- Desola Ibrahim
I loved her performance in the movie The Meeting.
Adebayo brings out the best of every actor/actress.
- Bamidele Michael - Mobee Ayobamidele
He is usually passionate about female child rights in his movies and he is as great a director as an actor.
- Cynthia Okpara Jiakponna
AUGUST CELEBRATIONS 1 Ngozi
10 Collette Orji
The Legal Framework for Defending Intellectual Property Rights Nationally and Internationally – A Film Producer’s Perspective BY ALEX ENYENGHO Film producers worldwide develop ideas and stories, obtain the necessary legal clearances, secure financing, engage writers, directors and actors, organise principal photography, and employ technicians as well as many other creative contributors. Producers are engaged in all stages of the creation of the film including development, financing, pre-production activities, principal photography, post-production activities as well as sales and marketing, and in many cases also, distribution of the finished film. One simple short cut you might want to use when thinking about our profession is this one: the producer is the person who is always the first in a project and the last out. This is true managerially and, alas, it is all too often true financially, as the producer is generally the last person to see any money back from the exploitation of his/her films. The film producer takes the first financial risk on a film project by spending money speculatively on story and script, in the hope of attracting investors further downstream. It is also the producer’s job to coordinate together all the different financial, creative and technical contributors – the function can almost be compared to an octopus which has its arms reaching out in many different directions, engaged in many different activities. Here in Nigeria, the booming of the film sector is recent. It is arguable that the Nollywood phenomenon is barely over 20 years old! However, what Nollywood stakeholders have achieved collectively is little short of extraordinary: in arguably two momentous decades, we have invented and grown from scratch, an entirely novel cultural and industrial reality. We create films that entertain our people at home, in our vast diaspora in the Northern Hemisphere, and amongst millions of our African neighbours. At the low-end, an informal economy in a low-cost/low-standard production model provides video-based entertainment at a price compatible with lower income, to the tune of well over 1,800 films annually. At the high-end, our maturing filmmakers have already proven their ability to break out of this low-cost/straight-to-video template. Looking back on
the past few years, I am thinking for instance, about Obi Emelonye’s Last Flight To Abuja, the highest grossing West African film of 2012, Kunle Afolayan’s ground-breaking supernatural drama The Figurine, his successful comedy Phone Swap and his latest, the whodunit October First, Tony Abulu’s Doctor Bello, shot partly in New York but very much a Nigerian film and Omoni Oboli’s debut comedy feature Being Mrs Elliot which had its world premiere at the Nollywood Week event in Paris, France earlier this month. And although it is currently not being issued a release certificate by the National Film and Video Censors’ Board who have concerns about its impact on our society, Biyi Bandele’s film version of Chimananda Ngozi Adichie’s best-selling novel Half Of A Yellow Sun, has already had a distinguished career in the United States, the UK and other foreign markets, since its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival last September. This $8 million film is the most expensive ever shot in our country and it is a sign of Nigeria’s growing economic strength that its two executive producers – both Nigerians – raised over 80% of the budget from local investors. For the policy makers out there who still doubt the strategic part my industry plays in national wealth creation, here’s something to reflect on: the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) recently introduced changes to its calculation of national GDP, which for the first time, encompasses the film and music sectors. According to NBS, these two industries combined, now account for fully 1.4% of our $510 billion national economic output. I cannot think how anyone involved in setting policy could now fail to acknowledge our importance for development and growth.
NOLLYWOOD IS AT A DEL“ICATE JUNCTURE IN ITS EXTRAORDINARY HISTORY: WE STAND – POTENTIALLY – ON THE CUSP OF MOMENTOUS
As you can see, there are enough real and measurable achievements in Nollywood for us – and some observers whose methodologies are sometimes flawed – to be able to afford to abstain
from grandiose and, ultimately, harmful claims about the level we’ve reached. ANCOP firmly believes that empty boasts do not build an industry: in the long run, they may be harmful to us because they help minimise the challenges we face and tend to create the impression that we can get on with delivering the miracle of two-digit annual growth without any need for enabling regulation, supportive legislation or public sector incentives. This isn’t so. In order to mature into a dependable contributor to GDP, employment and innovation, Nollywood, more than ever, needs to see its entrepreneurial energies backedup by a consistent and efficient public sector policy and a legal framework able to incentivise economic risk-taking and creativity.
Intellectual Property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs, symbols, names and images used in commerce. Intellectual Property, very broadly, means the legal rights, which result from intellectual activity in the industrial, scientific, literary and artistic fields. There are five major types of IP namely, Copyright, Patents, Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Geographical Indications. The main type of IP that concerns an industry like Nollywood is copyright, and so a chunk of the remaining part of my paper shall focus on copyright, albeit I shall attempt a brief definition of the other types, presently.
A Patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention. Generally speaking, a patent provides Nollywood – or, as some people the patent owner with the right prefer to call it these days – the to decide how - or whether Nigerian Film Industry, is at a others can use the invention. delicate juncture in its extraordi- In exchange for this right, the nary history: we stand – poten- patent owner makes technical tially – on the cusp of momeninformation about the invention tous change with unprecedented publicly available in the pubopportunities being presented lished patent document. to us. We can only seize these opportunities successfully if we A Trademark is a sign capable make a deliberate and collecof distinguishing the goods or tive choice to mutate from a services of one enterprise from still largely ad-hoc, unorganised those of other enterprises. Tradephenomenon, to a professional- marks date back to ancient times ly organised industry based on when craftsmen used to put legal best practice, legitimate their signature or “mark” on their and reliable investment partners products. and – most important of all – an efficient and above-board disAn Industrial design constitutes tribution system, reliant on a ro- the ornamental or aesthetic bust copyright and enforcement aspect of an article. A design infrastructure. may consist of three-dimensional features, such as the shape So much for back-grounding. or surface of an article, or of At this point, distinguished two-dimensional features, such participants, and so that there as patterns, lines or color. would be no confusion, I think it is important to attempt some Geographical Indications are definition of key terms embed- signs used on goods that have a ded in the subject matter of my specific geographical origin and paper. What exactly do we mean possess qualities, a reputation when we say Intellectual Propor characteristics that are essenerty Rights (IP)? What are the tially attributable to that place of legal frameworks for defending origin. Most commonly, a geoIP locally and internationally? For graphical indication includes the this brief section of my presenta- name of the place of origin of tion, I have relied on the globally the goods. accepted definitions by repuCopyright is a legal term used table organizations including to describe the rights that crethe World Intellectual Property ators have over their literary and Organization (WIPO), the Nigeri- artistic works. Works covered an Copyright Commission (NCC) by copyright range from books, and the Trademarks, Patents and music, paintings, sculpture and Designs Registry of the Commer- films, to computer programs, cial Law Department in the Fed- databases, advertisements, maps eral Ministry of Industry, Trade and technical drawings. To be continued. and Investment.
PICTURES FROM THE SET OF VICTOR SANCHEZ AGHAHOWA’S DOWRY
PICTURES FROM THE SET OF
BEING MRS. ELLIOTT
” s r a e y 0 1 n i d o o w y l l o H h t i w e t e p “will com
A M I S I R E B I F O IBINAB A
IUB J E K E T N E C O N BY IN
Tell us about your education background.
I am a graduate of the University of Ibadan.
How did you get into acting?
God blessed me with the talent and skills in acting from childhood but never took it seriously till after school before I went into it professionally.
What got you interested in the political part of Nollywood?
15 New Nollywood versus Old Nollywood?
Good quality films, young skillful talents are being discovered, good storyline, better remunerations and general improvement in the industry.
Nollywood in one sentence? Creativity at its best.
The urge to make positive changes and impact on the lives of the practitioners.
Describe your experience as the president of AGN?
Look into the crystal ball of Nollywood, what do you see in ten years? At the very top...compete favourably with Hollywood in ten years to come.
The experience is great. It has taught me so many things in life. Greatest regret(s) in life? None. It’s not easy to lead creative people.
How different is it to be a president from being just a member?
So many differences. A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. A leader does not set out to be a leader but becomes one by the quality of their actions and the integrity of their intent. In the end, leaders are much like eagles; they don’t flock and you find them one at a time. Progress always involves risks. You can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first. As the President, you are at the helm of affairs. You have to take responsibilities and be strong. You have to make decisions under extreme measures, take care of members’ welfare and swallow emotions. It’s like a driver and a passenger case.
If you were to change one thing about you what would that be? Nothing. I thank God for who I am and what I am
You still look young, do you still model? Once a model, always a model. I still model.
What does family mean to you? Love and unity.
In your opinion is the Nigerian government supporting the industry enough?
Yes. The present administration under Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has supported Nollywood and is supporting Nollywood very well. He has done well for Nollywood.
Tell us about the AGN Beneficiary Fund.
It’s a benevolence fund set up to assist members who have challenges and are out of work.
A word of encouragement?
Believe in yourself, be focused and don’t be discouraged. Remember no pain, no gain. There will always be light at the end of the tunnel. PHOTOS: COURTESY OF IBINABO FIBERISIMA
I don’t have any regrets. I’m always content with what God makes me to achieve, thus, I strive for the best always.”
You have successfully implemented the AGN Beneficiary Fund and got the government to fulfil its promises. What do you regret not accomplishing?
I don’t have any regrets. I am always content with what God makes me to achieve, thus, I strive for the best always.
It has been a while since you appeared on screen, is this due to your work as the president?
Yes oooh! So much to do as the President of the Guild so no time for location jobs but I still do some jobs.
What is your take onactors who go into politics?
It is good for actors to go into politics so we can equally help to create and enact laws that would help reposition the industry. We have what it takes to be in politics.
How involved should actors be in the processes of governance and development of communities?
Actors should be active in the process of governance and community development. We have educated and intelligent members who can contribute their quotas to national development. Actors are role models and have large fanbase.
What next should we be expecting from you?
Surprises… I am always full of surprises as the grace of God leads me. It’s not by my power though.
Nollywood Studies Centre organises international conference on distribution BY IKECHUKWU OBIAYA FOR THE NOLLYWOOD STUDIES CENTRE The need exists for “a proper balancing of certain critical factors in the process of structuring and designing the most suitable framework for film distribution with appropriate intermediaries and trained operatives to sell the film products in a socially responsible manner while pursuing profit motives.” This was stated by Ms. Patricia Bala,
the Director General of the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), while speaking at the ‘Distribution in the Nigerian Film Industry’ conference. The conference was organised by the School of Media and Communication’s Nollywood Studies Centre and took place on the 26th and 27th of June, 2014.
an unequivocal expression of a growing appreciation that movies matter and, in the specific context, this conference shows an awareness of the centrality of distribution in this dynamic industry.” Earlier, in his introduction to the conference, the Director of the Nollywood Studies Centre (NSC), Dr. Ikechukwu Obiaya, explained that the decision to hold the conference was motivated by what the NSC was established to do. According to him, the NSC was set up to promote the study of the industry and to contribute to its development. Given the importance of distribution and the fact that it is key to the growth of the industry, it was only logical, he said, that the first conference of the NSC be centred on the topic. However, he noted that the goal of the conference was not merely to have another talk shop. Rather, it was hoped that the conference would serve to map the already existing solutions to the problems of distribution and to identify new possibilities. The mix of academics, industry practitioners, financiers and representatives of government agencies, Dr. Obiaya said, was indicative of what the conference organisers hoped to achieve.
Ms. Bala, who gave the keynote address on the first day of the conference, noted the vital role that distribution plays in “smoothening the flow of movies from filmmakers to consumers as it involves the process of making films/videos available for use or consumption by the final consumer.” Hence the importance of having in place “an efficient and effective distribution system.” This, she however went on to add, is lacking in the Nigerian film industry, which has a Also speaking, the Dean of the School of deficient distribution structure. Media and Communication, Prof. Emevwo Biakolo, in his welcome address, emphaA good part of the problem, the NFVCB sised the importance of the conference. EvDirector General indicated, can be traced to eryone, Prof. Biakolo said, is aware that film the informal character of much of the indus- production has escalated in the country, try’s distribution system. She nevertheless but one needs to question what has hapadded that it is more worrisome “that the pened with distribution, which has not sucnoticeable weaknesses [of the system] are ceeded in getting off the ground. He went direct consequences of lack of experience, on to say that the conference would have gaps in professional staffing, shortage of to respond to questions such as whether credible and legitimate outlets, which is a the present distribution model was workhuge shortcoming that fans piracy, as well ing and whether it is leading to consumer as the limited capacity to nurture relation- satisfaction. An additional importance of ships and the distribution footprints needed the conference, the Dean said, lay in the to reach audiences.” These weaknesses have fact that it would facilitate the gathering of led to huge financial losses for many of data and promote the further research. those that have ventured into the filmmak- The conference was then declared open ing business. by the Vice Chancellor of the Pan-Atlantic University, Prof. Juan Elegido. Prof. Elegido Ms. Bala went on to stress the need for expressed his pleasure at the conference, greater synergy among all the stakeholdnoting that it fit into the tradition of the ers in the film/video distribution sector in University, which strives to maintain a Nigeria to promote a value-chain that takes lively connection with industry. The subject into account the public interest…never sac- matter of the conference, he said, was of rificing the greater good and societal well- special interest since distribution is a key being while keeping abreast of ever shifting concern for every industry. Distribution, dynamics of the operating environment.” he noted, is the real arena for competitive She stressed the commitment of the NFVCB action. towards “creating the enabling environment for the industry to continue to flourish and Various papers from industry practitioners blossom, contributing to the nation’s GDP and academics were presented during to the benefit of all.” the conference. The National Copyrights The NFVCB Director General welcomed both the establishment of the Nollywood Studies Centre and the organisation of the conference itself. According to her, “the Nollywood Centre and this derivative conference on movie distribution are, no doubt,
Commission (NCC) was also represented in the person of Barrister Chris Nkwocha, the Zonal Director of the NCC’s Lagos office. The event ended with a cocktail a raffle draw. The main prize for the raffle draw was donated by Microsoft, one of the main sponsors of the event.
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N E W S
Genevieve Nnaji announces 18 year old aspiring actress, Bola Suru as winner of “Act The Part” online contest Genevieve Nnaji has announced the winner of the “Act the part” online contest, which kicked off three weeks ago as 18y ear old aspiring actress, Bola Suru. Bola, a university admission seeker exhibited undeniable acting skills which shot her to the frontline in the contest amidst thousands of contestants who sent in videos re-enacting a role from a Nollywood movie of their choice. The young aspiring actress could not contain her joy when she received the news. “I have practically been praying about this since I emerged one of the three finalists. My sister actually found out about the competition and encouraged me to be a part of it. I am so excited about this”, says Bola. “Genevieve inspires me so much and I really can’t wait to meet her and ask all the many questions I need answers to as it concerns acting as a career”, she adds excitedly. From the numerous entries received for the contest, three acts made it through the tough selection process and were announced as finalists last week: Bola Suru, Michael Akan and Chioma Okoye. Bola emerged winner via popular votes. Bola came tops for re-enacting a role from the movie, Broken Heart; Michael’s re-enactment of his role from the movie Ije, which features Genevieve Nnaji earned him the second position while Chioma came third for her role from the movie Mirror Boy. The Amstel Malta brand ambassador, Genevieve Nnaji also expressed her delight over the passionate participation from her fans. “I started off my career at the age of eight, so seeing young talents very keen about what they do gives me so much pleasure because I can relate to that really well. I’m very thankful to Amstel Malta for this amazing opportunity and I look forward to meeting Bola Suru. We are definitely going to have a fun day together”. she said.
As winner of the competition, Bola will spend a fun filled day with the superstar actress and also win a fab makeover courtesy of Amstel Malta. TEXT AND PHOTOS: COURTESY OF BHM MEDIA
18 14 “The girl child ought to know she is important to the equation“
BAYRAY MCNWIZU BY EBUNOLUWA MORDI
ou recently were on stage playing the role of Sidi in The Lion and the Jewel, what was that like?
Sidi in modern times would be your typical next door girl who is very popular and attractive... all the girls want to be like her and every man would love to date her. She is young, very jovial and so you don’t realise early enough that she is a troublemaker because she is very likeable. In the play, Lakunle wants to spend the rest of his life with her or so it seems, and Baroka the Baaleof the town wants to make her his last wife at his old age. This is repulsive to her as well as the repression and and unfair laws imposed on women at that time and while no one is speaking out against this, Sidi bears it brazenly, howbeit in moments of vanity. It was very very intense and rigorous playing this character. I think she is quite a talkative (laughs) but I secretly enjoyed it. Shh! Don’t tell anyone.
Do you read a lot of Soyinka’s work?
I did as a secondary school student and in the University. I guess I was subtly miffed that others were studying a course I would have loved to do, Theatre Arts. His plays always intrigued me. I always felt like I was at a circus enjoying myself whenever I read his plays.
What was the performance like and the audience response?
Performance was amazing! Raw energy, enthusiasm, team work, amazing cast and a powerful director. The audience could hear us and they joined the ride, laughed at the jokes and felt our individual pain. I felt like I was in two worlds at the same time, you know what I mean?
Congrats on getting to host the BON nominations party. How did you get that?
Magic! Hahahaha! Thank you very much. And I say many thanks to the organisers of BON Awards for choosing me from a list of amazing actors to host the ever sizzling BON Awards Nominations unveil ceremony in Rivers State. It feels good.
What does it feel like to no longer be a ‘newbie’ in the industry?
In terms of energy, I still feel like a newbie! My energy is like Lucozade mehn! I always think I can do as much and even more. Ideas, concentration and interpretation are fresh! It’s cool. But in terms of no longer being a starter, it feels great. I’ve had the pleasure of making amazing friends, colleagues and mentors in the industry who have built me into a brand. I owe it all to God and them.
How do you balance motherhood and your career? I do. We all can do anything if we put our minds to it.
Aside acting what else are you passionate about?
Asides acting, I’m very passionate about writing. It’s quite funny, I’m a talkative in my head and when I write but when I need to speak, I speak few words. Perhaps, I’m from Venus (laughs).
Steadily, more celebrities are getting involved in charity work, what is your take on this?
It’s a good thing and I applaud their efforts and pray they achieve even better results. Celebrities and people who are famous for being really good at what they do become some sort of social priests, engaging the world in change and being that medium through which their sphere of contact and the world can be better. And you must agree, Nigeria needs good change.
What is the focus of your charity work?
The girl child. She ought to know she is important to the equation, has distinct abilities and believe she is a phenomenal woman right now and always as the great Maya Angelou would say. We are taking the ‘Girls’ Rock’ project to primary and secondary schools, first, to the rural areas where these girls feel helpless and are more susceptible to abuse. We would like to show them that there is another way to be and it starts with their pretty little minds.
Tell us more about the ‘Girls’ Rock’ project.
I’m glad you asked. We always make it an exciting circus for these kids and while they have quite an amusing short attention span I noticed that excursions work like magic with them. Educative excursions like meeting with notable female leaders, celebrities and role models who in turn tell them their grass to grace stories. People can also support the initiative by engaging their kids or other kids with with the right words. Tell her how important she is, listen to her, spend time with her, pass on wisdom to her... these kids are always listening and imitating you anyways, so you might as well, try or be conscious about doing the right things. You would agree that it would be much more pleasant if the next generation had fewer issues to deal with. It is important. Good change, however little, is change all the same... is progress.
What in your opinion would plague the next generation of this country the most?
That’s quite deep. Hmm! In my opinion, the disconnect in the family. It’s where it all begins; it’s where our teachers, Presidents, Ministers and celebrities come from. It’s the same mindset they are groomed by. Do they apply it to world affairs? So, it’s a thing of concern.
Nudity or piracy, which is a greater threat to the future of Nollywood? Piracy.
Do you think the government is doing enough for the industry?
Yes, they are now. Things are steadily getting better between the two. New structures have been approved and practitioners are enjoying new benefits – all as a result of assistance by the government. It’s good.
Who would you love to act with? Tyler Perry.
What is you ideal meal for breakfast? Bread and avocado pear!
19 “ Tell her how
important she is, listen to her, spend time with her, pass on wisdom to her... these kids are always listening and imitating you anyways, so you might as well, try or be conscious about doing th e right things. You would agree, it would be much pleasant if the next generation had fewer issues to deal with.
What was the most challenging role you ever played?
A nagging pregnant woman! Gosh! Some women do have it rough (laughs) my heart goes out to them. I felt like I was going to explode with all those emotions of worthlessness and hormonal imbalance!
What keeps you up at night?
My lines! Hahahaha! Getting each nuance right. These days...it’s #bringbackourgirls. Can you imagine it’s more than a 100 days?
If you were to switch lives with any Nollywood actor/actress, who would it be? Tchidi Chikere.
What was the last Nollywood movie you saw in the cinema? Lagos Cougars.
If you were to be a car which would it be? Aston Martin.
Words [of wisdom] for the listening ear? You only live once.
What next should we expect from you this year?
You should expect from me, better entertainment and styletitude this year! PHOTO: COURTESY OF BAYRAY MCNWIZU
photo N E W S
Linda Ejiofor with the ladies
DOWRY CAST MEET THEIR FANS Harr y Dor gu and M
Dowry cast and fans ch
eji and Wana Udoban
Q and A with
Ojuju, how did you come about the name?
I felt that if zombies begin rampaging a slum/ghetto somewhere in Lagos, the inhabitants would hardly use the name zombie for it. I felt Ojuju was a more realistic name, as regards the phenomenon and how it affects the lowbrow dwellers.
BY EBUNOLUWA MORDI
Where did the inspiration for the movie come from?
It’s funny because I never put much thought to the idea of writing a screenplay such as Ojuju. I was visiting a friend in this cut off and tightknit community, which later became the location for almost the entire shoot. The geography of the area is such that there is only one entry which is also the exit out of the place. They also have one primary source of water. In the course of my visits to the area, it didn’t take too long for ideas to start popping into my head. And I started asking myself questions such as: What would happen if their only source of water was contaminated? And contaminated by what? How would they escape? What if the only exit was blocked by flesh thirsty zombies or in this case, ojujus? By answering those questions, as well as observing the real life characters existing in that environment going about their daily routine – these formed the basis for the inspiration behind making Ojuju.
How long did it take you to write the script?
I had the first draft ready in three or four days. Crazy, right? Well, I had basically all the material I needed from that environment. From the one entry/exit, to the only source of water, to the colorful characters I saw there everyday. The script pretty much wrote itself.
How were you able to secure funding for the shoot?
We weren’t able to secure funding as is often the case in our industry especially for new filmmakers. So we ended up funding the entire film among ourselves (my co-producer Oge Ugwu, partner Benjamin Stockton and myself). Also, from savings here and favours there.
“WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF THEIR ONLY SOURCE OF WATER WAS CONTAMINATED? AND CONTAMINATED BY
WHAT? HOW WOULD THEY ESCAPE? WHAT IF THE ONLY EXIT WAS BLOCKED BY FLESH THIRSTY ZOMBIES OR IN THIS CASE, OJUJUS?
would and editing as an editor would. I say this because as much as we can describe ourselves as writers/directors et al, truth is you Oge and I casted Gabriel Afolayan, Paul Utomi, Meg Otanwa and really can’t be both at the same time (in practice, I mean). The Kelechi Udegbe right off the bat. They were simply actors we easiest way to explain it would be to say that each art form has its wanted to work with on the project. Then we held an audition in mode of expression. And it’s not the same for everyone. For me, November last year in Surulere. It was well attended and we were able to cast some of the other actors from there. I wanted relatively I’m very visceral in writing. I don’t always have it all figured it out in fresh faces; people who would bring a certain depth of authenticity my head but the process is like a self-exorcism of some sort. Same goes with directing and editing. The more I reach in, the further the to a film primarily set in a ghetto. depths expand. Much like an unending abyss. It’s a sad and happy experience at the same time. You work on a film, and in the end the How long were you on set for? film works on you. We’re on set for about twelve days and working for as long as eighteen hours a day. Remember, we were shooting on a real When can we expect to see the movie? location. Real people live there. As soon as the novelty of having You’ll see it before the year runs out. That’s the much I can say for a film crew film around your neighbourhood wears out, trust me, they want you out of their hair, pronto! But they were lovely people. now. Very tolerant.
What was the casting process like?
Describe your experience directing the movie?
Directing comes with its challenges, obviously. Even more so directing a film in Nigeria. But once you can maneuver through the hurdles and find your rhythm, you just keep sailing. Maybe not as smooth a sail as you would like but it’s a sail, nonetheless, and you love it. It was awesome. I had a great cast and crew. Maybe not the most known names but definitely the cream of the crop. Aces in my book.
What message do you have for the viewers or is it more ‘art for art’ sake?
Well, I am an artist, and so yes, in that regard, my motivation for creating anything is for art. But that being said, in Ojuju, we find that underneath the entertainment and artistic factor is an underlining message, which goes thus – if we don’t take care of our environment, the results can be disastrous.
How do you remain creative with a fresh eye after wearing the hat of writer, director and editor?
Well, writing, directing and editing are all forms of expression. I approach each writing as a writer would, directing as a director
Do you plan to go to cinema or straight to DVD or online?
We plan to go all the way but we’re just riding the tides. We’ll let the people decide.
How rewarding has it been setting up Fiery Film Company?
Well, it’s been a dream come true. We’re still so far from the destination but we’re getting there one step at a time. Financially rewarding? Well, it pays the bills. Spiritually and emotionally? No reward can compare.
What advice do you have for people interested in joining the industry?
If it’s your dream, then go for it. But only if it’s your dream. Don’t be distracted by all the razzle dazzle. As cliché as this may sound – things are not always as it seems. So be sure it’s your dream and not someone else’s dream and once you’re sure, go for it and never stop. Keep pushing. No one’s gonna give you a chance in this world not if you don’t take it. PHOTO: COURTESY OF C.J. OBASI
NOLLY POP BY INNOCENT EKEJIUBA
1. When will October 1 be released? 2. What award did October 1 at the end of 2013? 3. When was Gidi Up premiered? 4. Mention two actors who featured in Gidi Up and Dowry. 5. Who directed ’76?
Up Close and Personal with
Victor Sanchez Aghahowa GROWING UP
My childhood was rather dramatic but at the same time, we were not the worst we knew. It wasn’t harder than most and it wasn’t easier than most.
FIRST FILM EXPERIENCE
My first experience was working on the film Letters to a Stranger which I wrote and worked on as assistant director. That was my first experience on a proper production.
I am inspired by the need to explore the underside of things that we consider commonplace. And as concerns TV, I miss seeing the community effect TV has. The building of communities around a TV show and seeing how we can get the magic back or build it from scratch.
6. What was dropped from the title of ’76? 7. Who acquired the movie rights to produce Americanah? 8. When will the next edition of Lights, Camera, Africa Film Festival hold?
I am currently working on the second series of Dowry. I have another show in pre-production and a series of shorts called Five. Lol. I’m always busy.
MOST MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE ON SET
There have been so many; several first days working with screen legends and times when cast members go above and beyond the call of duty because they believed in what I was trying to create. Every day I sit behind the monitor and watch an actor morph into a character and forces me to feel even more than what I did when I prepped the scene. That’s always memorable.
In the early days, I did have a few actors and producers try to test me because I was rather young when I started out as a director. I kind of understand and find it amusing but the age glass ceiling is an interesting thing. There’s also the issue of creating business models in an enviroment where none exists. This has been the fuel for all innovation, so in all adversity, there is always the opportunity to change the game and the rules that existed before.
Femi Odugbemi, Joss Whedon, J.J. Abrams, Chuck Lorre and Yinka Ogun.
9. What is the theme of the next edition of Lights, Camera, Africa Film Festival?
The day I finally shoot a movie with R.M.D. will be a lifelong dream. Lol! We’ve worked together before but not on a film.
I WISH I DIRECTED...
Buried by Rodrigo Cortes.
10. When was the book Auteuring Nollywood: Critical Perspectives on THE FIGURINE released?
I would learn to collaborate more and learn how not to get sucked into ‘tunnel vision mode’ when I’m working.
Be yourself. Have a plan. Hone your skills to some level on your own before you step in. Keep an open mind and no, you don’t know everything, so, be willing to learn – everything. INTERVIEW: EBUNOLUWA MORDI PHOTO: PATRICK EDWARDS PHOTOGRAPHY
REVIEWS Title: Lagos Cougars Genre: Trailer Director: Desmond Elliot Year: 2013
The title alone – Lagos Cougars – is bound to tickle the interest of even the most sceptical Nollywood fan. Cougars are basically older women who date (or prey on) younger men. While ‘cougarism’ is more popular in the Western world, it also exists in Nigeria but it is more coded. For me, I wanted to see how a Lagos cougar would behave. Would she openly flaunt it or hide it from her friends? Was she doing it out of love or lust? These were some of the questions going through my mind as I watched the trailer. From the opening scene, you are let in on the action; somebody wants blood. “If I lay my hands on Lawrence…I will kill him” is what we first hear. As the trailer progresses, we see young boys and women old enough to be their mothers basically loving and fighting themselves. There are a lot of things going on between the different characters. For example, there is a scene where an African American woman is saying she will go to Africa to collect her $5000. We also have extracts of dialogues pieced together with a lot of action. On their own, the dialogues help to tell some parts of the story but together as a whole, they don’t work. In this case, less would have been more. As is fast becoming the trend in Nollywood, this trailer has elements of key dramatic moments such as kissing, touching, slapping, fighting and over the top acting. Considering the fact that we have scenes of some African American ladies talking to each other, hip-hop music or even Nigerian pop music would have easily sufficed. Instead, we are given a country music soundtrack.
Towards the end, the names of the actors appear on screen in quick succession. This works for people who know their Nollywood actors but for newcomers, it would have been nice to see their names as their characters appear for the first time. The final scene which comes after a graphic design of Lagos Cougars shows the African American ladies talking about a guy promising “Gucci bag, Fendi” should have been totally omitted. Better to have ended with something with more punch from one of the cougars preferably. Verdict – You would enjoy watching Lagos Cougars if you want some ‘Naija’ drama, a good laugh with the girls and a lot of hot eye candy. - ISABELLA AKINSEYE
Title: The Rise of the Eagles Genre: Documentary Director: Biola Kazeem Year: 2014 For a documentary shoot at the wake of the world cup and a time when the frenzy of football had fallen on all, this documentary is exceptionally lifeless. The lifelessness is not for the lack of an interesting story or the lack of well-informed interviewees, but rather it comes from the narrator. It goes without saying that the narrator is meant to be the life of a documentary, but where our narrator had a very good voice, he refused to utilise it. He thereby inadvertently made the documentary slur. Aside that, the documentary is fun to watch and very informative. - INNOCENT EKEJIUBA
Title: The Day They Came Genre: Short film Director: Genesis Williams Year: 2013
The Day They Came is mind-blowing. Why? It makes you wonder why no one harnessed talents like this and if this was made with zero budget, what would an actual budget produce? The short film doesn’t have much of a story to it. No. We all know that the concept of robotic aliens isn’t particularly novel. This is just a sci-fi that showcases the ability of Nigerian CGI designers. Notably, there were some unacceptable things in the short film (we see cars in flames without burning) but whatever error this work has is pardonable considering that there was no budget. - INNOCENT EKEJIUBA Title: The Number One Fan Genre: Feature film Director: Moses Inwang Year: 2014 Pretty faces, beautiful sets, celebrity razzmatazz and funny accents characterise Juliet Ibrahim’s debut production – The Number One Fan. Add poor acting, average directing, inconsistent lighting choices and hilarity to the mix and you have pretty much summed up the whole movie. Ayo Makun aka Ay does not do much too help than make a joke of his character as a police detective and invariably, the movie. An emergency back story is introduced to bring the film to an end leaving some of the major issues unresolved. A mix of melodramatic and comedic moments, unfortunately, did not make for exciting viewing. - ISABELLA AKINSEYE Title: Make a Move Genre: Feature film Director: Genesis Williams Year: 2014 AMBO winner Ivie Okujaiye’s debut as a producer Make a Move was met with very high expectations. Unfortunately, the movie disappoints with its averagely choreographed sequences, script loopholes and unconvincing acting by most of the cast which make Ivie and Tina Mba look like they’re trying too hard. Tuface and Omawumi don’t really do more than just make an appearance which requires them to be themselves. The lighting, set design and costume could have done with some improvement. On a positive note though, the movie makes a case against domestic abuse. For Ivie, it’s one step forward, two steps back. - ISABELLA AKINSEYE
Title: Darkside Genre: Feature Film Director: Bayo Alawiye Year: 2013
ing, it just won’t sit right in one’s head, but hey! I thought to blame it on her roles in Yoruba films, as direct translation from English to Yoruba might sound right to anyone, but alas, she isn’t a popular Yoruba actress, so maybe, the blame goes to the scriptwriter, right?
Darkside from the stables of Alawiye productions is a story of betrayal, greed and desperation. Bankole Daniels is a self acclaimed billionaire, who doesn’t really care about the people around him. After a run-in with a blind man who has premonition tendencies, his life takes a turn for the better. Bayo Alawiye plays Bankole Daniels, a hard boss that elicits more fear from his staff than loyalty. He works hard and doesn’t have enough time for his wife or notices her craving for a life without him. He looses his sight in an unforeseen accident and the true nature of his wife and that of his friend comes to bare. Bayo’s performance as a hard worker, horrid boss and distant husband is weak and in dire need of training, an acting coach or better still, a performance enhancer. He lacks the grooming as well as cockiness that comes with being a rich billionaire businessman. As far as being blind is concerned, it was quiet easy for Bayo to adapt to being blind, I’m not asking for the whole process he went through when he became blind but for someone who grew up with his sight, it was so easy for him to adapt to not seeing at all and his excitement on being able to see was so overwhelming that I actually missed it.
As for Kayode, Deola’s lover and Bankole’s friend played by Joseph Benjamin as well as Sheila played by Uru Eke, they both performed averagely. Joseph’s roles have become mundane and monotonous; I believe he can play being a two-timing lover in his sleep. He gave nothing to his character except his foolishness and bowing to the every whim of being a lover to his friend’s wife. Uru on the other hand maintained her composure and did as she was instructed. She seemed all put together and manipulative that it became clear fast that she was pulled in to be a distraction in the plot of the production. On his second role, which is the directorial one, Bayo wasn’t
Deola played by Slyvia Udeogu, was the butt of all the jokes cracked while watching the movie. She seemed more anxious to make out with Kayode played by Joseph Benjamin than give us a performance to write about. Easily coerced and determined to see the end
The movie title Darkside, gave this suspense-thriller feeling like some character would head towards a bad bend, fall off a very high cliff or just hit a horrid streak just like Keanu Reeves in the 1997 movie, Devil’s Advocate although nothing of the sort happened in this production.” too shabby. From findings, Bayo is the director behind popular hit TV franchise Who Wants to be a Millionaire and a few other reality series. Although, it’s one thing to direct a reality series and another one to direct a feature film, I give him kudos for the use of those cameras used in cars, as we saw all actors in the vehicle at once as against the camera man having the Herculean task of ensuring all characters are in one shot. There was no other outstanding camera angles or those shots that wowed one, but there is promise in Mr Alawiye’s sojourn and we want to believe it will only get better. As it relates to the script, I must commend Tijani as there was a hint of suspense that made one stay on to watch till the very last scene, however, with all plans or in this case script, there is need for powerful execution/acting to make it stand out.
of her husband made her predictable, what I didn’t predict though was her grammar. There were obvious sentences that even in read-
The movie title Darkside, gave this suspense-thriller feeling like some character would head towards a bad bend, fall off a very high cliff or just hit a horrid streak just like Keanu Reeves in the 1997 movie, Devil’s Advocate although nothing of the sort happened in this production. - EFETURI DOGHUDJE
26TALENT ONINTERVIEW THE RISE: ADEBIMPE ADEBAMBO CREATIVE BEGINNINGS
I attended Maryhill Convent School, Idi-Ape and it was really an enabling environment with green lawns, hedges, trees, quaint buildings and a convent. They also took us out on excursion during the holidays and we were always encouraged to learn something new and they encouraged us to read. All these develop your imagination as a child. At Federal Government Girls College,Benin City, I learnt about other cultures and people as we always had cultural festivals and interacted with other students from all over Nigeria. I studied General Art for my National Diploma at the Ibadan Polytechnic and specialised in Painting at the Yaba College of Technology.
Bimpe (pictured) in between Kunle Afolayan and Kemi Lala Akindoju on the set of Extremely! My mother comes from a lineage of creative women and Tunde Kelani’s Dazzling Mirage. she was no different. She knew we loved cartoons in the newspapers, so, she encouraged us to always cut out our favourite carThe first draft had the female lead character having like forty wardtoons and make scrapbooks of them. My father was great at storyrobe changes and this isn’t Devil wears Prada o! I was happy when telling, loved music and liked to sing. He was actually in our church it was reviewed. I loaned some of the clothes from some of my choir with my youngest sister before he passed away. designer friends and also bought from them, begged for some and made some of the clothes and special accessories from my ROLE MODELS Beampeh label. There is a Kenyan designer friend whose jewellery I Internationally I like Kaiser Karl Lagerfeld’s work at Chanel and also used. I bought clothes and some accessories from high street Fendi, Miuccia Prada at Prada and Miu Miu, Consuelo Castigloni stores as well. at Marni, bad boys Marc Jacobs and John Galliano and Dries Van Noten.
MEMORABLE ON SET MOMENTS
The first day on set, after we wrapped up, I asked TK how the BREAKING INTO NOLLYWOOD clothes fared and then I get an affectionate pat on my shorn head. I completely hated the whole Nollywood thing with shoddy proHe said, “Very nice Bimpe!” It was really encouraging and motivatductions and all that especially as I knew they could do much bet- ing. Another memorable experience was when a door fell on my ter. I started by going for a conference on Nollywood organised by leg while we were filming in Abeokuta. Although it didn’t break the School of Media and Communication of the Pan Atlantic Uniwhich I thank God for, I was in great pain but I was so well cared for versity some years ago and then I started getting invitations to the by everyone that it was tear inducing. monthly filmmakers forum. It was when attending one of such I had the opportunity of meeting Tunde Kelani in person and I told him ALL WORK AND SOME PLAY… that I was a fan of his work and would love to be involved in his Camping at La Campaigne Tropicana Resort was work and great next project if the opportunity arises. Watching classics like Sound fun as I love nature and beaches.The owner of the resort threw a of Music, My Fair Lady and Pride and Prejudice and recently, Devil party for us in TK’s honour and there was a commemorative bonfire Wears Prada, I dreamt of working as a costumier on the film set of which many people danced round. It was the day we also reached a great production. When I sent him an email and he asked me to the 100th slate which TK called the Palmwine slate instead of the come over for a meeting I didn’t even know I was going to end up usual Champagne slate and so it was really memorable. Also, a being the costumier of Dazzling Mirage. I had sent him my body night club scene that was filmed had Sean Tizzle perform live. of work and would have been even happy if I just dressed the lead female but the rest as they say is history!
I haven’t watched many so I can’t say I have been so inspired but I loved the costumes in Arugba and The Figurine.
COSTUMING THE CAST OF DAZZLING MIRAGE
It is my debut so I was hyperventilating as I wanted to put my best foot forward. I also knew TK’s style was unique as he always wants to promote our culture which resonated with me. It wasn’t an epic so I had to find a way of making the clothes contemporary but at the same time bearing stamps of our culture. The script had so many interesting scenes that I was excited about: a fashion show, a traditional Yoruba wedding scene, Yoruba naming ceremony and many others. All these kept me turbo charged as it was quite a rich story.
CREATIVITY WEDS BUDGET
Expect a world class production done with a modest budget with memorable everything! It’s a love story centred around sickle cell. It’s a human story that we can all relate to and it’s likely to be a tear jerker, so people, get your Kleenex handy. You will also smile and laugh as it’s not all sorrow and tears. I can’t wait to see the movie myself!
Working on my Beampeh label and a forthcoming exhibition. I am looking forward to costuming a music video of cerebral quality with a touch of our culture. I would also like to work on a stage production with a great story.
It will be great if there is better funding and I would love to see piracy eradicated like small pox!
Hmm...the marriage was something else! The only thing I didn’t do INTERVIEW: EBUNOLUWA MORDI was to steal! TK told me his budget which was very reasonable but I PHOTOS: COURTESY OF ADEBIMPE ADEBAMBO really wanted to go to town plus the scriptwriter was on a roll!
A day in the life of…
Anthony Monjaro A typical day, whoa! Well, I start with my prayers for guidance first thing when I wake up. Then I like to listen to motivational audio in the morning; Les Brown, Tony Robins and the late Zig Ziglar. My favourite will have to be As A Man Thinketh by James T. Allen. I think everyone should either read the book or listen to the audio; it is powerful. I could listen to it everyday for weeks because every time I listen to it, it inspires something new in me. Now depending on if I am working on a TV/film project, then I tend to focus on either my character at the time and master my dialogue and scene breakdown. If I am not working, I am busy working on the plan for my new company that I hope to start pretty soon. I will say I am always doing something but one or the other will be a typical day. STORY: ISABELLA AKINSEYE PHOTO: COURTESY OF ANTHONY MONJARO
“Nollywood is big“ Marc-André Schmachtel BY OLUWAYOMI OLUSHOLA Afro beat, suya and sun were the three words Marc-Andre Schmachtel, the director of Goethe-Institut Nigeria chose to describe himself in Nigeria. But his sojourn in Nigeria has not been only about enjoying the sun in the daytime and eating suya at night while enjoying the groovy rhythm of afro beat, his job in Nigeria involves promoting German culture which sometimes, is through film screenings. According to Schmachtel, film screening is an easy medium that is easily set up and only requires the audience to react. He further adds that the Goethe-Institut’s interest in music and film in Nigeria is a way to create platforms which encourage inclusive dialogue. “We engage the audience by translating the German culture on screen,” he says. “But it is not only German culture, we always strive for a collaboration with the host country. So we have films from Nigerians as well as Germans screened.” For Goethe-Institut, film screenings especially documentary have always provided opportunities to discuss issues in society. By screening Nigerian and German films, everyone who attends has the opportunity to take a peek under the hood and discuss the two societies individually and in comparison. People can also share skills and learn from each other’s work. Furthermore, Goethe-Institut is supporting Lagos Film Society which aims to screen independent films which might not have a chance at the box office. The society will also serveas an informal filmmaking forum. Schmachtel believes Nollywood is big and wants to engage the industry, just as he has the hopes that in the nearest future there would be an art-house which would screen independent and artistic films. In earnest, Goethe-Institut regularly organises workshops for performance artistes, filmmakers and writers. “A mini ARV workshop which lasted one week was organised last year in April for eight Nollywood producers. The workshop proved beneficial and intense for the participants who had to attend by 9am every day and leave by 8pm. Despite all the traffic, nobody turned up late or left early. It shows that we are definitely filling a gap. We intend to organise another workshop next year.” Another intiative of Goethe-Institut is the Moving Africa mobility programme. Under this programme, Goethe-Institut has proposed to send a Nigerian filmmaker to Dakar. In addition, the organisation also hopes to introduce a quarterly cultural review magazine – digital and print. It will feature short stories, poems, intellectual content, film reviews and music reviews with a strong focus on Nigeria. This magazine would be targeted at readers in Lagos and Abuja primarily but the digital version will be accessible by a global audience. In preparation for the launche, a training will be organised to put together the team who will run the magazine independently. For this lover of egwusi and garri who has worked in Nigeria for almost four years, “the endless possibilities of cultural work in Nigeria is endearing and enjoyable” enough to spur him to stay on forever. He is fascinated to see how all the different Nigerian cultures work as a whole. He also admits “a deep respect for Nigerian artistry.“ Beyond the call of duty at the office, Schmachtel enjoys reading and listening to music. He also still finds time to go out and do a bit of sports for recreation. PHOTO: COURTESY OF MARC-ANDRÉ SCHMACHTEL
Juliet Ibrahim premieres The Number One Fan in Nigeria Ghollywood actress turned producer premiered her film The Number One Fan at the Silverbird Galleria in Lagos on 4 July 2014. The star studded event drew a host of celebrities as well as members of the cast and crew. Mofe Duncan, Julius Agwu, Gbenro Ajibade, Bryan Okwara, Ushbebe, AY, Sonia Ibrahim and Enyinna Nwigwe joined Ibrahim as she showcased her debut film as a producer to the Nigerian audience. Ibrahim also features as the lead actress alongside Yemi Blaq, Ay Makun, Majid Michel, Sonia Ibrahim and others.
ROW 1 (L - R) Juliet Ibrahim; Ushbebe; Sonia Ibrahim; Bryan Okwara. ROW 2 (L -R) A.Y. Makun and presenter; Members of the cast of The Number One Fan and guests. ROW 3 (L - R) Guest; Teni; Juliet Ibrahim, Sonia Ibrahim and guest. PHOTOS: COURTESY OF MVP
“Sensitive skin is as much psoraisis, as it is a triumph of the human spirit” Wana Udobang
There are few people in this world who are comfortable with discussing their illness with the world especially when it is a skin related ailment. Furthermore, there are less persons who really identify with these stories even when they are not theirs; identifying with them to the extent of taking it upon themselves to share the stories as if the burden has always been theirs to bear. Wana Udobang popularly known as Wana Wana is one of such persons who take it upon themselves to enlighten the world on afflictions that affect others and the love needed by the afflicted.
the heart and connect with the humanity in their stories” was self funded by the persons involved. Wana Wana wrote and produced while Jituboh shot, directed and edited. Only sound was paid for with Glory coming in as a generous willing subject. Wana Wana’s vision for the project was to create the awareness that not all skin conditions are caused by dirt, neither are they all contagious. She set out to inspire people living with whatever type of condition or even insecurity to live their lives and push boundaries despite what the world thinks or how they are conceived. She blames this on huge ignorance and the almost none existent awareness about psoriasis and other autoimmune and skin conditions.
Since the release of the documentary, people with lupus, polymyostisis, eczema, acute dermatitis, and vitiligo, have opened up to Wana Wana on how difficult it has been to deal with unsavoury comments, awkward stares and the excessive prescriptions they are Wana Wana is a “broadcaster, writer, poet, culture curator, amazgiven (even when some of the people who recommend do so in ing cook and all round jolly person” who decided to venture into filmmaking with a documentary on psoriasis. The push came when good faith). When asked of the response received from the docshe watched Restrepo by the late Tim Hitherington and Sebastian umentary, she said, “It has been overwhelming, I have even cried because people have shared their experiences and limitations living Junger. She was inspired by the intimacy of the story and the fact with other medical conditions.” that it doesn’t just follow the politics of war but the lives of the soldiers involved. Having an affinity for human interest stories, she Wana Wana also expressed deep felt feelings for persons whose contacted Glory, a friend of hers who had psoriasis and discussed personalities have been altered by things like this. This, she the possibility of telling her story. claimed, is heart-breaking. She went on to explain that the change Wana Wana’s experience as a journalist guided the production from in personality is “because you are constantly teased and bullied and it beats every ounce of self-confidence out of you.” She added conception in February 2014 to completion in July 2014. In the university, she majored in audio documentary production and had that someone asked her why she didn’t make the documentary ten always tilted towards human interest stories, sound art and exper- years earlier. For this documentary fillmaker, “Sensitive skin, is as imental audio. Wana Wana, who considers interviewing people as much about psoriasis as it is a triumph of the human spirit. I also one of her favourite things drove the storytelling in the documen- hope it is the beginning of more research into other kinds or illtary while Jay Franklyn Jituboh brought his professional and tech- nesses and hopefully finding a cure someday.” nical skills as a filmmaker. Her desire not to make the documentary just another awareness video, but rather build the story around the For Wana Wana, the next step in her new found career as a docuprism of friendship made subjective story telling acceptable to her. mentary maker is the shooting of another documentary that will Along with the help of Jituboh, the treatment of story was written focus on grief. This will precede a series of “experimental shorts to with a participatory observer type situation going on so as to cre- be released online called Room 313.” She is also writing a short film at the moment as well but intends to take it one project at a time ate a deeper emotional connection. She, however, admits leaving most of the technical decisions to Jituboh in terms of visual direc- as she still has her hands full with radio, blogging, art promotion, poetry and “doesn’t want to collapse from being overworked.” tion and editing. INTERVIEW: OLUWAYOMI OLUSHOLA The story which was born out of her belief that “everyone has an important story to tell if we are patient and intuitive enough to find PHOTO: COURTESY OF WANA UDOBANG ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
“Super heroes are the closest thing people have to gods like those in folklores and stories of ancient Obas“ Nosa Igbinedion As a child, Nosa Igbinedion enjoyed listening to stories of African gods and watching super heroes on screen. Over time, he saw a matrimonial bed for both. Myriad questions flooded his mind. What is the difference between Sango and Thor? What makes it possible for the Western world to have super heroes while Africans doesn’t? And why can’t we have ours? With these questions begging for answers, Igbinedion set out to make an African super hero film titled Oya: The Rise of the Orisha.
ness about the project and raise funds for the feature length film, “ explains Igbinedion. In addition, “we also hope to produce a web and TV series to raise the profile of Oya: The Rise of the Orisha.” So far, so good, the response and feedback have been amazing. Various actors have already showed the willingness to feature in the film that would cost north of £500,000. The finance for the short film which cost £5,000 was raised through crowdsourcing. The success of the short film is further proof that thereis an audience for superhero movies in Nigeria.“All things being equal, Igbinedion hopes to begin pre-production by this August/September while shooting will commence by March 2015. The movie should be ready by December 2015,” says an excited Igbinedion.
Igbinedion started writing scripts as a child which ultimately led him to a career in filmmaking. Shortly after graduationg from university, his film won the best short film at the 2009 BFM awards. Since then, he has produced music videos which have been broadcast nationally in the UK on major channels. He does admit that Speaking about his inspiration, this filmmaker credits “oral story telling. Stories of gods and ancient Obas I producing short films has helped him to build up his skills and brand as a filmmaker. heard as a child.” He believes that young people will be able to relate to it. He adds, Tired of just making films for the the audience, Igbinedion decided “Super heroes are the closest thing people to make a film for himself; one that would unite his love for Nigeri- have today to gods like those in the folkan folklore with the magical powers of a super hero. And that was lores and stories of ancient Obas.” how Oya: The Rise of the Orisha was birthed. The short film has INTERVIEW: EBUNOLUWA MORDI already enjoyed good reviews and viewership. It screened at the Matatu Film Festival and its trailer already has over one hundred PHOTO: COURTESY OF NOSA thousand views. The aim of the short film is to “help create aware- IGBINEDION
5 Nigerian books we would love to see on the big screen BY INNOCENT EKEJIUBA
TITLE: Things Fall Apart, No Longer at Ease and Arrow of God AUTHOR: Chinua Achebe PUBLISHER: Heinemann Things Fall Apart along with No Longer at Ease and Arrow of God has all the markings of a great movie trilogy. Written by one of Africa’s brightest minds, Things Fall Apart is also on the list of top 50 books of all time. The main reason this would be lovely as a movie especially a trilogy is to see how improved the treatment of the story of Things Fall Apart would be from the first time it was filmed for TV (Pete Edochie was outstanding in that anyway) and also to see how our filmmakers will make the connection between all three books.
TITLE: Joys of Motherhood AUTHOR: Buchi Emecheta PUBLISHER: Allison & Busby
TITLE: Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives AUTHOR: Lola Soneyin PUBLISHER: Cassava Republic Now, who wouldn’t want Lola Shoneyin is one to see a movie about the writer who threw all cautions to the wind and Joys of Motherhood, or rather the ironical lack of wrote a very sensational book that treats amongst joy in motherhood? others the theme of Buchi Emecheta’s novel lesbianism. Secret Lives has been described as a of Baba Segi’s Wives semi autobiography of properly describes the the writer’s life, but be that true or not, the book new age of Nigerian writers; an age where the stands as one of the most moving and cathar- uncomfortable is comtic books ever written by fortable and no limits are placed. Nothing is a Nigerian. Do you want your audience to identify too sacred. An age of with and feel the pain of immense enlightenment and fearless confrontayour protagonist? Then film Joys of Motherhood. tion of seldom discussed The story telling is terrific societal ills. It is only appropriate that Nollywood and the characters are the everyday persons we flows seamlessly into this age with Shoneyin’s see around us dealing masterpiece. with the issues of life.
TITLE: Waiting for an Angel AUTHOR: Helon Habila PUBLISHER: Cassava Republic
TITLE: Farad AUTHOR: Emmanuel Iduma PUBLISHER: Parresia
Do you remember Quentin Tarrantino’s Pulp Fiction? Well, in Waiting for an Angel, we have the Nigerian match. The scene progression would be interesting to watch and the monologues would also be captivating. Habila’s approach to the book is one that I find extremely amazing and the fusion of fiction and facts (faction) should play out well on the screen. Yes, it would also serve as a bit of history lesson for some. All your favourite themes are treated here. Expect military brutality and love as a tool of redemption with Nigerian flavour.
Reading Farad was like watching images float across my face from the details to the stories. The insightfulness and the cluelessness of the characters in the book was so beautifully merged that it passes a basic message of life across to readers. More often than not, writers burden a single character with all the answers to the mysteries of their work, but Emmanuel Iduma did not have to do this rather he allowed the electricity of the first story run through the whole book while seemingly making everything look separate from each other.
Xolile Tshabalala unveiled as Goodwill Ambassador of the 2014 Africa International Film Festival South African actress and natural hair beauty advocate, Xolile Tshabalala has been unveiled as the Goodwill Ambassador of the 4th edition of the Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF). The star of Mnet’s Jacobs Cross and SABC1’s soap, Generation, alongside Nollywood actress Rita Dominic, will be the ambassadors for the festival.
“When Chioma Ude, the founder of AFRIFF, called me, I had no choice but to jump at the offer-perhaps, it is also because it’s woman power. Yes, the festival is being run by an amazing woman. So, I feel excited about an opportunity for me to share my experience and belief about the beauty of Africa. More importantly, I am excited because it will also offer the opportunity to show that AFRIFF has demonstrated that she can hold a film festival equal to internationally acclaimed festivals,” she said. Tshabalala met with the AFRIFF team during the 2014 Durban International Film Festival (DIFF), where she held talks with the Project Director, Afie Braimoh and the Artistic Director, Keith Shiri. The actress, whose short film, Through Her Eyes, screened at DIFF, was excited to join the team, having been eager to lend her voice to projects that promote Africa. “I’m very excited as an artiste and as a female filmmaker. Also, as an African, I am so happy about anything that brings Africa together and puts us on the world map. I’m overwhelmed with joy for being a part of the AFRIFF team,” she said to reporters at the festival. The 4th edition of AFRIFF will run from November 9 to 1+6 at the popular Tinapa Business Resort in Calabar, Cross River State. The event will feature daily film screenings, workshops, master classes, exhibitions, film premieres, glamorous opening and closing ceremonies. It will round off with an award night that will celebrate winning film entries as well as their cast and crew. - OLUWAYOMI OLUSHOLA
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IN FILMHOUSE CINEMAS THIS AUGUST Single Married and Complicated Opens 1 August 2014 -------------------------------Half of A Yellow Sun Opens 1 August 2014 -------------------------------Blind Promises Opens 22 August 2014
OUT ON DVD Potomanto, which won Shirley Frimpong-Manso the 2014 AMAA for Achievement in Editing is now available on DVD. The movie features the legendary Olu Jacobs, alongside Yvonne Okoro, AdjeteyAnang, Marie Humbert, Mikki Osei-Berko and many more. Angry about being cheated on, ex police officer Adane sets out to take his pound of flesh when he employs his skills to catching women who cheat on their men.
The star studded Elvis Chucks flick, Honeymoon Hotel which premiered in cinemas on Valentineâ€™s Day this year has now been released on DVD. Featuring actors from Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa, the movie revolves around the story of a couple who face multiple challenges on their way to matrimony. Hlomla Dandala, Martha Ankomah, Xolile Tshabalala, Beverly Naya and Vanentia Otto star in the movie.
NEW OMO FAST ACTION TRADE LAUNCH Nollywood actress, Ronke Ojo, flanked by Unilever team during the market activation
READY TO GO ...but still time for a goup picture,,,
PARTY TIME! Music, dancing and OMO fun!
Nollywood stars storm Lagos market for new OMO Fast Action detergent activation Nollywood stars lent their support to the market activation of the new OMO Fast Action Detergent which took place on 17 July 2014. Among the stars were Ronke Oke, Odunlade Adekola, Femi Adebayo, Afonja Olaniyi (Sanyeri), Mercy Aigbe, Muyiwa Ademola and Fausat Balogun. One of the Nollywood celebrities present, Muyiwa Ademola said, “No other detergent removes stains faster than New OMO Fast Action detergent.“ The stars who were dressed in the traditional colours of the OMO brand – red, blue and white, took part in the trade launch where the new product was unveiled to retailers in the open market. Speaking during an interactive session with one of the consumers in the market, Abiodun Akingbade said, “I’ve been using OMO detergent for so long, and it has never disappointed me. Now with the launch of this New OMO Fast Action that is promising improved wash experience, I will definitely use it more and more.“ - EBUNOLUWA MORDI
Nollywood needs a more focused leadership
“We need to have a more focused, more responsive, more reactive leadership in Nollywood.” This was stated by the popular actor, Kanayo O. Kanayo (KOK), while speaking at the July edition of the Filmmakers’ Forum of the Nollywood Studies Centre of the School of Media and Communication. The session which was centred on reviewing the actor’s years in Nollywood, was titled “From Living in Bondage to Apaye: 22 Years of Plying the Thespian’s Trade.” KOK took members of the audience down history lane as he spoke about the development of the industry. In responding to a question on leadership in the Nigerian film industry, he decried the lack of trust and togetherness in the industry today. Looking back to the early days of the industry, he agreed that “there was no leadership, but there was love. People trusted each other then,” he said. However, “mistrust crept in, lack of confidence… a whole lot of stuff,” such that people tend to be more focused on looking for a means of gaining for themselves and not for the industry. He went on to add that collaboration and partnerships are the only way to overcome this, but there needs to be a return to the camaraderie that existed in the early years of the industry. KOK spoke about those early years and his entry into what were the beginnings of the industry. “Were we jobless before 1992?” he asked rhetorically. Not at all, he added, explaining that he and the other early entrants into the then budding Nollywood had already spent quite a few years working in television productions such as Ripples and Checkmate. According to KOK, he began working with the television in 1982. His first role came in 1984 when he appeared on New Masquerade. This was followed by many other opportunities that opened to him during his television years and which he made the most of. The subsequent move to video film came as a natural transition. The move “was not seen as anything big. It was just in the normal line of things.” However, “Living in Bondage opened the vistas of opportunities. Before then, there was nothing to be talked about.” He narrated that the selling point, which captured the audience’s attention, was to put on screen the kind of story people had always heard about but never seen. People had always heard of human ritual sacrifices and secret societies, but Living in Bondage was the first time that it was being put on screen in that way. The fact that the language of the film was also in “good Igbo dialect” was an added clincher. That film, KOK stated, established at that time some of the elements of what a good film set up should be. He went on to salute the enterprise of the private citizens who got involved financially, without fully understanding the film business. The traders that provided the funds that facilitated film production, he said, should be commended. They were quick to provide the money and showed a lot of trust in the filmmakers. Unfortunately, some of the filmmakers, taking advantage of the trust imposed in them by the traders/producers and their ignorance of filmmaking issues, eventually began to dupe them. This led to the advent of the filmmaking marketer because, to avoid being cheated, they went into filmmaking on their own account. KOK then spoke about some of the key stages in the growth of Nollywood. Some of the notable moments he spoke about include the rise of the guilds (as from 1999) and the recess that was declared in the industry in 2002. He also spoke about the problems of creating the structures and sub-structures that the industry requires for its development. He noted, however, that the resolution of such problems lies with the private sector and not with the government. He criticised the excessive dalliance that practitioners of the industry were tending towards with the government. “If Nollywood must survive, it must get out of government business!” What the industry requires from government, he said, is not welfare packages handed out to delegations but access – access to locations, equipment, uniforms, etc., to facilitate shoots. With reference to the difficulties the filmmaker faces in getting funding from financial institutions, he stressed that, “The industry must be built. It is very important. We need to localise or indigenise the collateral thing for movie making.” It is a real challenge, he said, to ask filmmakers to provide collateral in the form of buildings because they do not possess such properties. The Forum ended with a cocktail during which members of the audience were able to interact on a one-on-one basis with KOK. STORY: IKECHUKWU OBIAYA FOR THE NOLLYWOOD STUDIES CENTRE PHOTO: EMMANUEL PAUL
AWARD NEWS Bayray McNwizu set to host 2014 Best of Nollywood Awards nominations party
AMBO winner, Bayray McNwizu is the host of this year’s Best of Nollywood Awards (BON) nominations party scheduled to hold on 1 August 2014 in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. According to McNwizu,“I am excited about my choice as host of the nominees’ unveil because the BON Awards has grown to become one of Nigeria’s biggest awards ceremonies for practitioners in the movie industry and it is a great honour to be singled out as anchor for one of the most important days in the annual calendar of Nollywood.” The executive producer of BON Awards, Seun Oloketuyi, revealed that the event would be broadcast live on select terrestrial television stations. He said, “We are happy to announce that after several months of screening, our screeners committee have finished a critical part of their work. So, on 1st of August, we shall unveil to the world which movies and moviemakers, stars and stakeholders have outdone their contemporaries in the year under review.” The nominees’ unveil, a wholly media event, Oloketuyi said would have as special guest of honour, the First Lady of Rivers State, Lady Judith Amaechi, and she would be joined by Niran Adedokun, Chairman of the Jury of the BON Awards, to announce the nominees. Speaking on the choice of the hosts for the 2014 BON Awards which comes up on the 4th of October in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Oloketuyi said, “I can conveniently tell you is that we have an exciting and multitalented pair that transcends different audiences and expectations. Importantly, we have chosen a pair that would give us a great awards night.” - EBUNOLUWA MORDI
Being Mrs Elliot bags 11 nominations at 2014 NAFCA Omoni Oboli’s directorial debut, Being Mrs Elliot, which was the opening film at the 2014 Nollywood Week Paris Film Festival has bagged 11 nominations at 2014 NAFCA (African Oscars). The annual event which is now in its fourth year will take place in California, USA. Speaking on her nomination, Oboli said, “Getting 11 nominations at the NAFCA is a big boost because it is my first movie. Perhaps, my New York Film Academy education is paying off. It goes to show that people are aware of what we do and appreciate us; let’s hope we come home with the 11 awards.” The categories include Best Film, Best Drama, Best Comedy, Best Screenplay, Best Editing, Best Costume, Best Actor In A Lead Role, Best Actress In A Lead Role, Best Actor In A Supporting Role, Best Actress In A Supporting Role, and Best Director. -EBUNOLUWA MORDI