BY SHAIBU HUSSEINI
WHEN story of the the country’s movie industry, especially in these troubled times of Nollywood, is scripted, the arriva and premiere of Stephanie Onyekachi Okereke’s debut as a writer, producer and director, Through the Glass, will rank as one of the most remarkable developments in recent times. Held at the Silverbird Galleria, Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, Lagos, it had in attendance plenty motion picture practitioners and renowned showbiz personalities. Moviedom caught up with the alumnus of the New York Film Academy and star of some of Nollywood’s remarkable works such as Terror, Private Sin, More Than A Woman, Emotional Cracks, Queen Sheba, Together As One, Taste Of Sin, Diamond Lady, Pretender, Sensational Spy, Deep Love and Strength Of A Woman days after the screening and she shared her thoughts with us.
How was the premiere?
It was successful. A lot of people turned out to see the movie; The hall was filled to the brims. I was really excited. I like to thank all those, who found time to be there for their support. I also like to thank all those, who took time out to see the movie for the little time it was screened at the cinema.
Did you anticipate such a huge crowd?
Not really. But I had hopes that the premiere would turn out well. Honestly, I was so amazed at the crowd, the cheering and their enthusiasm.
What was the turn out like on the days of the public screening?
On the opening day, I was told that we recorded over 300 people in each cinema. That is a huge crowd by screening standards, considering that it is a Nigerian production. I heardI just broke the record of box office attendance; the first Nigerian film to achieve that. I am so excited. It means we are getting somewhere and it means that we can actually do works here that will be termed commercial success.
How much did it cost you to produce the movie?
I think I had a reasonable budget and I’m glad at what I was able to achieve with it. I would just leave it at the fact that it was a reasonable budget. I really can’t put a figure to it, but it was reasonable.
So what next for the movie? Is it going straight to home video or there are other distribution plans in place?
Yes, it will certainly go into DVDs but that will be after theatrical release. So, we are going to exploit the theatres, try television, go into DVDs and exploit other distribution networks.
What are you working on next?
I have jobs lined up, mostly acting jobs. But I’m open to jobs as a writer, producer and directors. I’m saying it loudly now that I will take jobs on all of the above. Currently, we are working on setting up the New York Film Academy coming in Nigeria. We are seriously working on it.
Around and about Nollywood...
AMAA 2010: Call for entries
THE Africa Film Academy invites filmmakers to submit their Feature, Short, and Documentary works for consideration by the 6th AMAA. Each completed entry form must be accompanied by supporting materials listed on the submission forms, including the synopsis of the film, the list of credits, marketing stills of the film, filmographies of the directors and producers, 10 DVD copies of the film and proof of the right to submit. Only films produced and released between December 2008 and December 2009 are eligible for entry. All films must indicate year of copyright. The Academy will not accept any film that exceeds the 120 min run as a feature or a short film that is longer than 50 minutes. There are two major categories of short films and animation. This year, the Academy announced a category for the Best Africa Film in the Diaspora and the Best Diaspora Short Film Awards. The deadline for all submissions is December 30; a late entry deadline is January 7, 2010. Nominations will be announced in Ghana in February 2010. The AMAA will hold on April 10, 2010 and will be televised across the world. Submission forms are downloadable from the AMA-Awards website. For further information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another date for The Figurine
THOSE who missed out of the world premiere of Kunle Afolayan’s The Figurine on October 2 at the Genesis Deluxe Cinemas, Lekki, Lagos and on October 1 at Ozone Cinema have another opportunity to see the movie again. The movie will show in Abuja on October 8 and in Port Harcourt on October 9. Those in London will see the movie when the movie opens at the Odeon Cinemas, London, on October 17. The film is centred around two friends, Femi (Ramsey Nouah) and Sola (Kunle Afolayan), who discover a carved artwork in the forest while on the compulsory National Youth Service Corp scheme in Araromire Village. Against Femi’s advice, Sola picks up the mysterious artwork, which bestows good luck on him. He becomes a successful man with a happy family, but the story changes suddenly after seven years. Things go awry and the two friends and Mona, Sola’s wife, have to contend against unseen forces to get their lives back on track.
This is for Empress Njamah
SOMEONE said we should report your ‘estranged lover boy’ Timaya to you. The fellow said he could prove it even in the courts at The Hague that the Egberi Papa One has been cheating on you. The waka pass swore that he saw your Timaya ‘exchanging tongues’ (meaning: dem dey kiss) with one fair complexioned lady who drives a bage coloured Sorento jeep. The fellow touched the soil and pointed up (meaning: him swear) that the love scene happened at the airport last week Friday when Timaya returned from a performance in Abuja. To further make us believe him, the fellow showed us the shot he captured on his camera phone. Waka pass actually saw someone that resembles Timaya, in a black jacket on black pants, moving towards the lady. Their heads ‘joined at some point ‘ before ‘our camera phone’ Timaya took his seat in front of the Sorento. Did I hear someone say that we need forensic experts to say what they were doing when their heads joined?
Here is ION Film Festival
ORGANISERS of the international touring film festival — ION International Film Festival (www.ionfilmfestival.com) — have confirmed that the festival will still hold in Port Harcourt between December 9 and 12. Dubbed ION International Film Festival Port Harcourt 09, the touring film festival, which moves every year to a new location around the globe in an effort to promote global awareness, peace and unity, will make its debut in Africa with this edition. The festival had been staged in Los Angeles in 2007, Dubai in 2008. It is expected to move to Istanbul in 2010. ION launched the call for entries in 12 official categories on April 1. The organisers announced last week that they have opened entries for filmmakers, students, lovers of films from Nigeria, who wish to participate in its workshops to apply from October 1 to 30. Workshops, according to the organisers, are free of charge. However, interested participants will pay a registration fee of N2,500. The organisers said there would be 15 people per workshop and that application is on-line. Also, the organisers named Julie Dash as the facilitator for Screenwriting, while Kennard Ramsey, John Demps and Brenda Doby-Flewellyn will facilitate Sound Composition, Digital Cinematography, Lighting and Art Direction and Budgetting, financing and networking respectively. Information on the festival can be sourced at www.omcomm.org and www.ionfilmfest.com.
Abuja Film Festival gets new date
THE 6th Abuja International Film Festival now holds from October 27 to 30. It was earlier scheduled for September 22 and 25. According to a statement signed by the Festival Manager, Ebiere Ajibola Bodude, the shift in date will not affect the programming, as it will afford the organisers ample time to plan for the event. The venues of the festival are Musa Yar’Adua Centre and Bolingo Hotel, Abuja. So far, 211 film entries have been received of which 43 are from Nigeria. This year, the festival capacity building segment will launch the Filmmaker Talent Hunt Academy, a four-day master class on filmmaking for aspiring and established filmmakers. The newly instituted Nollywood Achievement Award will also be giving to 15 individuals, among them is the late Muyideen Alade Aromire.
MEIFF Black Pearl Awards nominees
THE Middle East International Film Festival (MEIFF) has unveiled the feature-length narratives and documentaries that will compete for Black Pearl Awards worth over $1 million during the upcoming Festival. Presented by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage, this year’s MEIFF will run from October 8 to 17. Peter Scarlet, the festival’s new Executive Director, said, “a film festival’s competition selections are the heart of its programme, and we’re extremely proud to have assembled such a strong slate, especially with half these competing titles coming from the Middle East and North Africa, and the filmmakers who made them having an opportunity to have their work judged alongside work from the rest of the world. It’s also extremely encouraging that eleven films in each of these competitions are by filmmakers making their first or second work.” Scarlet, Teresa Cavina, Kellen Quinn, Rasha Salti and Intishal al-Timimi, supported by a group of international programme consultants, made the selections. MEIFF’S Narrative Feature Competition comprises 18 films, including two world premieres, Son of Babylon (Ibn Babil) by Mohamed Al-Daradji (Iraq) and True Colours (Bil Awan Al Tabiyya) by Oussama Fawzi (Egypt), and one international premiere (screening for the first time outside its country of production), Cooking With Stella by Dilip Mehta (Canada). Another film in the narrative competition, The Traveler (Al Mosafer), a debut film written and directed by Ahmed Maher, and starring Omar Sharif, Khaled El Nabawy and Lebanese singing star Celine Abdel Nour in her first major film role, will be screened at the opening night gala. Most of the 14 other titles screening in the Narrative Feature Competition are being shown for the first time in the Middle East.
Producer- Amebo A. Amebo
Director- Mr. Gossip
Actors- Nollywood Celebrities
Emmanuel Ogugua’s headache
FOUNDING President — Non elected — of the Nigerian Actors Guild (NAG) and one of those believed to have installed Kanayo O. Kanayo as chairman of the Central Caretaker Committee of Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) in interim capacity sat pensively at the upper section of the O’jez the other day as stakeholders clicked glass cups to celebrate Segun Arinze’s emergence as the third elected President of the association. Ogugua, as one waka pass hinted, sat through the reception and occasionally engaged in banters. They said he nodded each time ‘Presido’ Segun Arinze sued for peace and understanding in his quest to return the associatio to the path of greatness. In fact, one waka pass said he was surprised that he didn’t storm out of that impromptu reception for Arinze aware that Segun couldn’t have been elected when KOK ‘that they installed’ was still holding forth and was planning to hold election in December. Anyway, we identified a fellow that engaged the gangling and hefty Ogugua in a long banter and what he claimed was Ogugua’s headache would be enough to make KOK and his interim executives vacate the AGN secretariat they ‘invaded’ at the peak of the crisis in the association. We will keep the main gbedu off print but just mention that one of Ogugua’s headaches, as we were told, was ‘how to settle KOK so he doesn’t feel bruised and used’. And we laughed and asked Ogugua: ‘So, how come the BOT of which he is a member, that can sack and install, now find it difficult to settle?”Bros, Emma, our lines are open.
Abubakar Yakubu declares asset
ONE waka pass buzzed us and it was the newly elected Public Relations Officer of the AGN Abubakar Yakubu that was the item. The fellow hinted that the actor’s image-maker has lately been riding in different cars. We didn’t know why that should border anyone but we gave the gist a second thought when the fellow said something that suggested that the actor and show host has been doing that as a way of declaring his asset. I mean before dem talk say na AGN money him take buy the cars abi? To God be the Glory.
The Tarzan Monologues at Terra Kulture
FROM today and on all Sundays this month at 3pm and 6pm, the play The Tarzan Monologues will run at the Terra Kulture, Tiamiyu Savage Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.The play stars such popular names in theatre as Bimbo Manuel, O.C. Ukeje, Kenneth Uphopho, Kunle Adeyoola, Paul Alumona, Precious Anyanwu and Kanayo Okani among others.
The Tarzan Monologues, written and directed by Wole Oguntokun, is a dramatic compilation of monologues that touch on many of the issues troubling humanity as a whole and men in particular. It is the world as seen through the eyes of men and is Some of these issues include money; women; sex; erectile dysfunction; sexual abuse; religion; pressure; sterility; virginity; infant mortality; job loss; relationships; old age; marriage and infidelity.
It underscores a tendency for many to take the emotions and states of mind of men for granted, forgetting that a stoic-male front and impassive mien often hide many traumatic experiences, fears and doubts. However it also creates a balance by emphasising the triumph of the male spirit.
The Monologue titles include King of my Country; Jack Gowon’s Mother; Bullets; Impecunity; E get as e be; The First Time; The Emasculation of Hercules; Heart Break; Me, My Girl, Her Pastor and The Church; The Purse Strings; Open Letter to my Father; Powerful Sexy Grey; The Knowing; The New Model; Mama Na Boy!; Test Run; A Man’s guide to living; The Father; Anatomy of a Woman; A Man’s World; The Ready-Made Man and Other stories; 6 Myths about Marriage; Hadijat; The Immigrant; Local Boy; Self Deceit (or retirement); Defilement; Pimp My Bride; and The Lone Traveller.