Monday, 18 May 2009

Around and about Nollywood...

BY Shaibu Husseini
Here is Cannes Film Festival

THE 62nd edition of Cannes International Film Festival opened on Wednesday. The festival became the first international cultural event of the post-war era, when it opened its doors to outsiders on September 20, 1946. It was organised as a non-profit organisation, and managed by a Board of Directors until 1972, when it was taken over by the state. Since inception, the festival has held every year with the exception of 1948, 1950 and 1952. For this edition, French actor, Isabelle Huppert, has been named jury president. The actor is going down into history as the fourth woman to head a panel in six decades of the festival, following the stints of Liv Ullmann, Jeanne Moreau and Françoise Sagan. The festival, which will run from May 13 to 24, is reputed to be one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world.

Akunyuli endorses Africa Audio Visual Awards
THE Africa Audio Visual Awards (TAVA), instituted to improve the audio visual quality of indigenous content has continued to elicit support and endorsement from important stakeholders. The Ministry of Information and Communication recently endorsed the award. The endorsement, according to a statement signed by Stanley Okoronkwo, on behalf of the organisers, was communicated on April 20, 2009. It was gathered that the Minister has promised to attend the event. “You know she is very serious about the national re-branding and the audio visual sector is the most elective vehicle to use to achieve these goals,” Okoronkwo said. In another development, Africa’s Prime Independent Television and Cable Network, DAAR Communications, owners of Africa Independent Television (AIT) and Raypower, has sealed a partnership deal with TAVA organisers. Conceptualised by Videosonic Studios Limited and organised by PRIMAX Global Services Limited, it has as its theme, “Perfect picture, Perfect sound”. The event holds at the Shell Hall, MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos, on July 9. TAVA aims to reward professionals as well encourage them to attain perfection in their areas of specialisation. The different categories of the awards include the Most Outstanding Television Programme, Music Video, Movie, Television house, TV Commercial, Audio Visual Equipment, Institution and Individual. President of the award scheme, Mr. Okey Ogunjiofor, has assured of a hitch free and outstanding event. He said: ‘TAVA will be the benchmark in the nearest possible time.” Nigerian Film Corporation, National Film and Video Censors Board, Association of Movie Producers, Directors Guild of Nigeria, BOB TV, FEPACI, AGN, MPAN and Bisi Olatilo Show, among others, have endorsed it.

Waka pass…
Producer- Amebo A. Amebo
Director- Mr. Gossip
Actors- Nollywood Celebrities

Izoya heads to Cannes
ISAAC Izoya, actor and head Ehizoya Golden Entertainment and Production Company, should be in Cannes, France now. The acclaimed Nigerian cultural ambassador in Germany will be there to shoot a German movie. The producer sent a mail informing us that he will be featuring as a sub-lead in a movie that also stars one of Germany’s veteran actors, Rolf Eden, who is ‘in his 80s’. Izoya also said the shooting, which began in Berlin, also stars actors from different parts of the world. But one waka pass that knows someone, who knows us, thinks we should demand for the final product of the shooting when it is ready. We sensed jealousy as soon as the waka pass mentioned that most times some of this “international starring” (sic) might not go ‘pass playing waka pass’. The fellow meant featuring as ‘extra’. Well, we will wait until the food is ready instead of allowing the aroma to fill us. In the meantime, we think we know Izoya too well to know that he has walked past the level of playing waka pass. True.

Mahmood Ali-Balogun is in Cannes
FILMMAKER and documentarist, Mahmood Ali-Balogun, is also in Cannes for the film festival. His arrival on Wednesday swelled the ranks of Nigerians, who are already there to be part of the world event, which holds yearly in May at the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, in the resort town of Cannes, in the south of France. Beyond enhancing his veteran status Mahmood is also there to conclude discussions he started with Kodak in 2006 on the possibility of partnering with him to produce his feature film Tango with Me. “I am here to hold further and final discussions with them with regards to my proposal to them on providing equipments and post production support for my film Tango with me. I look forward to a good meeting,” he said. Those who are familiar with the story of Tango with me say it has the potential of raising the stakes if well executed. They are hoping that Ali-Balogun will be able to garner a lot of support both at home and abroad to translate his vision to reality.

Nigeria is happening here...
THERE are no visa headaches this time and so officials of the Nigerian Film Corporation made it on time to Cannes to hoist Nigeria’s flag at the global feast. Indeed no one can ignore Nigeria’s stand as it is well laid out with something from verbal to documented information for anyone who walks in. The stand also serves as the catch up point for Nigerian filmmakers and journalists.

Ugbomah won’t be there this year
CHIEF Eddie Ugbomah, OON, called to say he wouldn’t be in Cannes this year. The veteran filmmaker, who was at last year’s edition, said he needed time to work on the building of his Edifosa Movie Academy. So, he is skipping Cannes this year; and would divert the funds into the structure. Waka Pass ran into him last week around the Iganmu area with heaps of books, which he hinted were donated by the Director General of National Theatre, Professor Ahmed Yerima. ‘He donated the books for use at the Edifosa Academy library,’ he disclosed, adding that he has decided to go round to seek support for his dream since most of the mountains have refused to go to Mohammed. Have you observed that Chief now has a popular refrain- ‘arum choru ego’. We asked one waka pass and he said it means ‘my body needs money’ in Igbo. We concur.

We ran into Eucharia Anunobi
POPULAR Nollywood actress Eucharia Anunobi showed up on Facebook minutes after we made up our minds to fund a search party on her. Many will agree that ‘UK’, as she is fondly called, has been missing in action. The last time we checked on her, we were told she had become something of an evangelist and was doing everything possible to seek the kingdom of God first, before every other thing would be added unto her. Good decision if you ask some of her fans. Anyway, the UK that we saw on Facebook appears to us as someone that God has started ‘adding unto’. She was all smiles on the picture she posted and looked really chubby. Honestly, she doesn’t look a bit as someone who once had a hubby that did Ben Johnson on her. She appeared very fresh and friendly (she even sent a message to find out how we were doing), so much so, that we are beginning to think that most of her friend should about now be beating the footpath to her Ikeja home to find out, which God she is worshiping. We are happy for Sister UK and we look forward to an exclusive interview with her soon. We refuse to listen to this waka pass that wants us to find out when the picture we saw on Facebook was taken. He thinks (and we refuse to believe him) that the picture was taken when UK was UK and not when she is ‘You Kay’. I don’t know what that means, but carry go original UK. Any other coinage is a counterfeit.
To God be the Glory.

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