Monday, 22 June 2009

Around and about Nollywood...

A scene from Iphigenia finds Ayelala staged at the Lagos State University on June 4 and 5. The play was directed by Shina Ayodele
UNVEILED: Television and Audio Visual award
The maiden edition of the television and audio visual award (TAVA)managed by Okey Ogunjiofor’s Videosonic Limited was presented to the at a colourful ceremony held at O’jez, Surulere, Lagos, during the week. Okey assured that the award scheme would be the benchmark for other awards. Ogunjiofor, who is popular as Paulo, a role he played in the phenomenal Living in Bondage, said it would be a yearly event created to honour outstanding indigenous films, music video, television productions, commercials and general programmes as well as the most creative performers, outstanding television houses and audio-visual equipment. TAVA has as its main theme, Perfect Pictures, Perfect Sound.

NFI courts San Francisco Art Institute
THE National Film Institute (NFI), Jos, is set to partner with the San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI), United States, in the area of manpower development and skill acquisition. This is in response to the progress recorded at NFI, in terms of infrastructural development, training and capacity building for both students and motion picture professionals in the last four years. In a letter to Afolabi Adesanya, managing director, Nigerian Film Corporation, (NFC), who incidentally is an alumnus of the San Francisco institute, signed by Chris Bratton; NFC was commended for the various transformational developments it has undertaken to strengthen the film industry in Nigeria. Bratton, who is president of the San Francisco Institute, said, his school has designed its programmes to include broad approaches to old, new and emerging technologies as well as embracing the diversittes of film practices across the world. Alumni of SFAI in Nigeria include Wole Coker (NTA’s ETV), and Bayo Oyekan (NTA, Abeokuta) .The NFC, Bratton said, is strategically placed within the African continent to be approached for partnership, which has already taken off with film schools and agencies in Mexico, France and China.
…An Ambassadoral embrace
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Ambassador to Israel, Mr. Dada Olisa has commended NFC for its efforts in ensuring that Nigerians at home and in Diaspora are parts of the development process of the nation through film business. Olisa said this when he visited Afolabi Adesanya, MD, NFC in Abuja, recently. The Ambassador said the Nigerian community and friends of Nigeria in Israel are looking ahead to the hosting of the Nigerian Art, Culture and Film Week scheduled for Tel-Aviv, August, 2009. He assured all those who have indicated interest to participate in the programme of the Embassy’s support.
Responding, Adesanya said that the film week will no doubt strengthen international relationships and the acceptance of Nigerian cultural products in that region of the world. He assured the ambassador that motion picture professionals would be duly mobilised to attend the event –– an initiative of Mrs. Janet, wife of the Ambassador. Movies preselected for the programme include; The White Handkerchief and Arugba by Tunde Kelani; Izu Chukwu’s White Waters, and Talking Drums by Kayode Ibisankale. Others are Hafsah by Sani Muazu and Wakara by Ahmad Sarari.

NFC commissions projects
GOVERNOR Jonah David Jang of Plateau State and Information and Communication Minister, Professor Dora Akunyili, during the week, commissioned three completed projects at the National Film Institute Jos. They are the Administrative Block, the Sound Stage Complex and the 350 Terrace Seat Auditorium. The commissioning on June 12 brings to five the number of new facilities built to boost learning at the nation’s premier film institute within the last four years. Recall that during SHOOT! 2008, the three in one Cyber cafĂ©/Bookshop/Canteen as well as the Still Photography Laboratory were commissioned. While the Administrative block will provide the needed office accommodation for the increasing number of academic and non-academic staff of the Institute, the 350 terrace seat auditorium will serve as a Lecture Hall and for the screening of students’ films. The Sound Stage complex will provide facilities for pre-production, production and post-production of films, movies and television commercials. Similarly, the newly completed structures/buildings will provide the needed facilities for the corporation’s yearly professional training workshop – SHOOT! This year’s edition of SHOOT! is scheduled for July 20 – 24, 2009 at the Film Institute in Jos.

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

Has there been a change of guard at AGN?
WE were startled… no… fear gripped us during the week when one waka pass hinted that there may have been a change of guard at the Actors Guild of Nigeria. The waka pass, who called us from the Ikeja area of Lagos, hinged his suspicion on the fact that he saw the AGN official car with registration number AGN 1 with someone ‘perching comfortably’ at the owner’s corner. He swore that the person did not look like the President Ejike Asiegbu, who is the only person authorised to sit at that owner’s corner. In fact, our fear heightened until we pulled a call through to ‘Ejyke’ Oga Presido to confirm the development. Until we got through, we believed the account of this waka pass that is loyal to Ejyke, but you know —‘The man just wan taste and see how the seat dey sweat (sic).

Leo has been trying us
SOMEONE who knows someone, who knows the star of Labista and other movies, Leo Mezie, called last week to mention that the fair skinned actor was ‘direly’ (sic) interested in talking to Moviedom. We gathered that the actor who once mentioned to us that he was ‘quarter to quitting bachelorhood’ was pissed off that even as close as we were to him, we allowed a waka pass to mistake someone for him. Recall one ‘before-before’ story about Leo visiting a LASU campus as if he was on the faculty. Although the ‘court man’, who stood in defence for Leo, said he could not rule out the fact that the actor –– who was raised in Ikeja and Mushin –– can visit LASU, he insisted as though he was actually handed down the brief that the Leo he knows cannot be the same person the waka pass has been seeing on LASU campus. Anyway, we have been trying oga Leo too to hear his own side of the case. So, Oga Leo over.

Ajebo’s new way
THOSE who coined the saying ‘One road does not enter the market’ probably have Steve Eboh (a.k.a Ajebo) in mind. We were wondering how the producer of one of the longest running Nollywood film, The Concubine (the movie as at the last edit is still nine hours long) has been surviving since he seldom act in movies and has not been able to get anyone to touch his lengthy film until someone hinted that the actor and embattled member of the AGN –– has taken up a brief as a media consultant to an institution in the South East. They even say that the brief is the reason why Ajebo as he is fondly called has been smiling from post to post even in the face of ‘acting meltdown’ orchestrated by the reported and indeed prolonged battle between him and the acting caliphate. Anyway, we hear that Ajebo has been ‘declaring things’ every now and then at the popular artistes hangout, Ojez. One waka pass said we should please help tell Ajebo to allow the ‘things’ trickle down to people like him who stood by him ()Ajebo) when the acting caliphate took him on. True, anyone who stands by anyone that is in contention with the caliphate needs to be compensated. Caliphate? Sey na for my mouth you wan hear say Jim Iyke don win grammy?
To God be the Glory.

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