Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Michelle... Adamawa girl on the shooting turf


MICHELLE Bello, the young filmmaker from Adamawa State, whose debut movie, Small Boy, won two awards at the 2009 African Movie Academy Award (AMAA 2009), will be part of the Federal Government delegation to the Israeli Film Festival. A graduate of Mass Communication, who specialises in Visual Media, she is the daughter of respected arts promoter, Mrs. Sylva Bello, of the Masoma Foundation. Moviedom caught up with the pretty Michelle at the just held Lagos International Film Festival, where she spoke about her career and life...

Small Boy and the AMAA Award
It was amazing. I was in shock throughout the awards ceremony. I never thought my first feature film would receive so much attention. I give thanks to God.


I was inspired by Will Smith’s film The Pursuit of Happyness. I thought the industry needed an inspiring film.

The Experience
The whole experience was fun, but challenging. I got to work with a great cast and crew. We had a few runs with Area Boys and production cost escalating! Outside that we didn’t experience any major disaster. As for Small Boy, all that I was thinking about was telling the story; hoping people would like it. I was excited to have shot my first film with a complete Nigerian cast and crew.

Funding the film
Funds came from my family and my savings. It was a big risk doing this film, but at the end of the day; it paid off. I am currently looking for distributors in Nigeria and abroad. The world premiere of Small Boy was in Los Angeles at the American Black Film Festival. It has been screened in Kenya and going to be shown in Israel at the end of the month. The movie had a good reaction at the festivals. They were excited to see a Nigerian story told in a different way.

Michelle Bello
Michelle Bello is a young filmmaker from Adamawa State. I attended Corona Primary School, Victoria Island, Lagos, before leaving for the UK at eight to attend boarding school. I left the UK for an American University in Washington DC, to study Mass Communication specializing in Visual Media.

The industry is going through some problems at the moment, but I have faith that it will get better. There are a lot of young and upcoming filmmakers wanting to make a difference in the industry. You will see quite a few changes over the next few years that will take the industry to the next level.

Thinking of a sequel to ‘Small Boy’?
No, I am not making any Part II or III. I am currently working on my second film. Also we are launching the film directory website in October 2009, which will feature the directory online, entertainment news, interviews, events, jobs and chat rooms among others. The website is all about creating a film community and coming together for a common goal of taking the industry to greater heights.

Your passion
My passion is in film and that’s why I went to study it. I’m a visual person and I love expressing myself through this medium. My role models are Spike Lee, Tyler Perry, Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Copolla. I get my inspiration from God. In my free time I like going to the cinema, hanging out with friends and sleeping. My favourite meal is rice, chicken, stew and plantain. I listen to gospel, blues, jazz and a bit of pop. I like detective books. I love guessing the end of stories. I am not married.

Around and about Nollywood...

And they released the acting Chief Pete Edochie

Kidnapped actor Chief Pete Edochie, M.O.N was released — three days after he was abducted by unidentified hoodlums at Nkpor, near Onitsha. The broadcaster and star of the television adaptation of Chinua Achebe’s epic novel ‘Things Fall Apart’ united with his family at about 1.25pm on Tuesday. Though it was widely reported by a section of the media that his abductors had demanded for a N10m ransom for his release; the actor refuted the claims stressing that he was treated like a father. Asked if he was maltreated in any way, Edochie said the men treated him like an elderstatesman. According to him, they merely wanted an opportunity to tell the world why they were in the business.

Preparation for Abuja Film Fest hot up

Organisers of the yearly Abuja Film Festival say they are ready to stage the sixth edition of the programme. President of the festival, Fidelis Duker, disclosed during the week that the festival is still open for sponsorship and endorsements. He said that as part of the activities for the 6th edition of the event scheduled for September 22 – 25, 2009, at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre, and the Cyprian Ekwensi Cultural Centre, both in Abuja, the late Muyideen Alade Aromire, one of the pioneers of Nollywood would be honoured for the production of Ekun, a Yoruba language film that was shot in 1987. The release of this film, according to Duker signaled the beginning of the era of films being made on video formats. Duker further noted that ‘available records show that several films were released before the highly celebrated Living In Bondage of 1992 by Chief Kenneth Nnebue, who had also shot several home videos such as Aje Ni Iya Mi. Aromire until his death was the founder and CEO of Yotomi Television, an indigenous Yoruba Cable, which was another pioneering effort.
Also to be honoured at the festival is the Film, “Iyawo Alhaji”, which was incidentally the first home video film to be classified by the National Film and Video Censors Board. A Nollywood Achievement Award has been created as a yearly package of the festival to honour stakeholders in the industry, who have contributed to the development of the sector. The comprehensive list of awardees will be unveiled at a world press conference that will herald the festival.

Befitting burial rites for Remi Abiola

The Prince Jide Kosoko led Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (ANTP) has hinted that the association is planning a befitting burial ceremony for the actress and wife of the deceased acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 election, Remi Abiola. The actress who is popular as ‘Auntie Remi’ reportedly died in a New York hospital about three Wednesdays ago, after a protracted illness. Believed to be in her late 40s, Auntie Remi reportedly gave up after attempts by medical experts to revive her from coma failed. She shot into public reckoning as a sub-lead actress in one of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) rested drama series Memorial Hospital. She lived delightfully, the role of the dutiful nurse until the programme was wrested after several quarters on air. Friendly and down to earth, Auntie Remi featured in a number of Yoruba language home movies, a reason — she — was nominated in 2008 by the now defunct New York-based publication,The Third Eye, for an award of excellence alongside other prominent Yoruba language actors and actresses. After the award, she stayed back in the US and sources said she was doing “well and had adjusted very well to life, in Yankee before her death. Mr. Kunle Alabi, her colleague on Memorial Hospital drama series described her death as ‘a major shock.” Chairman of the Lagos State Chapter of the National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP) Mufu Onifade described the news of her death as ‘a rude shock’. The President of the Association of Nigerian Theatre Practitioners (ANTP), Jide Kosoko disclosed that there would be a gathering of all members of ANTP in her honour on a date that would soon be announced. Kosoko also stated that the association is reaching out to members and well meaning Nigerians to be part of the burial activities.
Time to register for SHOOT 2010
Preparations have already begun for the 2010 edition of SHOOT! The focus will be on “Towards Digital Migration”. Interested Filmmakers, Film Students, Practitioners, Stakeholders and other enthusiasts can visit the website www.nigfilmcorp.com, or e-mail, md_nfc@hotmail.com for on line registration and enquiries. The edition takes place at the National Film Institute, Jos from July 19 – 23, 2010. This year’s edition with the theme “REEL LIFE, REAL SOUND” lasted five days, from Monday July 20 – 24, at the same venue.

WAKA PASS Producer- Amebo A. Amebo Director- Mr. Gossip Actors- Nollywood Celebrities
The Fear of Kidnapping ...
It took the abduction of Chief Pete Edochie, for some practitioners to realise that if those boys could pick up a whole chief — who is a chief in real life and a chief in movies — then other persons in Nollywood ‘are nobodies (sic)’. Indeed for the better part of this week, some popular actors, especially those who are fair skinned and hefty, have been moving around with their eyes wide opened. While some have engaged body builders as guards for the time being, others have vowed not to accept any job that will take them around the South-South and South East zones even if they are paid upfront. We won’t mention name o, but one waka pass who is a top celebrity told us that he wished he was the one that was abducted. Hear the yeye reason he gave: ‘I for use am test how popular I dey’. Msshhh. Not to only test how popular… na dat time you for know how easy peson dey die. Abi u wan take yorself compare Uncle Pete wey no dey die for movie?

Mildred Okwo saw it coming
The news of the abduction of Pete Edochie got to artiste manager, Mildred Okwo, in far away Jos, Plateau State. The producer was in Jos managing the actress, Rita Dominic, when the news reached her that those who consider themselves the unrecognized fans of the actor wanted him for temporary autograph signing ceremony. Anyway the news did not shake the director of the movie, 30 days at all, neither did it shake the sterling Rita. Okwo told someone who knows one waka pass that we know that she saw this coming a long time ago (about four years back) and she had taken necessary steps to guard against abduction in any form. In fact, we hear that only the late Head of State General Sanni Abacha — in the estimation of one waka pass — boasts of the kind of security network that Okwo puts around Rita. The waka pass insists that the security is so water tight that even some artiste managers abroad have been consulting Okwo, for some lessons on managing an artiste in a hostile environment. Sis, abeg we go charge landing charge wen dey come ooooo! To God be the Glory.

No comments:

Post a Comment