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Encomiums herald Afolayan’s riveting mystery thriller The CEO 


Kunle Afolayan, Mr. Authur of Airfrance, Seun Soyinka, Art Director Pat Nebo, Wole Ojo and Line Producer of the CEO movie Bose Oshin at the Press Screening of the CEO movie due for world premiere on June 1st aboard an airfrance plane

Kunle Afolayan, Mr. Authur of Airfrance, Seun Soyinka, Art Director Pat Nebo, Wole Ojo and Line Producer of the CEO movie Bose Oshin at the Press Screening of the CEO movie due for world premiere on June 1st aboard an airfrance plane

Kunle Afolayan’s the CEO is ready. The award-winning filmmaker, who has been working on the production in the last one year, showed about 45 minutes of the one hour 20minutes film to a select group comprising journalists, partners and the movies key sponsors. The idea was to allow guest to have a feel of what to expect when the film finally hit the screen, but by the time the projectionist tapped the stop button, guest that were attracted to the press screening which held at the Silverbird Cinema, City Mall, Alausa, Ikeja, wanted to see more from the Pan African film, which pooled its cast from countries such as, Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Benin Republic, Ivory Coast and Morocco among others.

Though, what they saw was 45 minutes, comments after the screening pointed to the fact that Afolayan who has made four other successful films, including October 1, has another blockbuster movie in his hands. “It is well made. Riveting and engaging,’’ says Gerrald Orji, a journalist. “I totally enjoyed it. “

Afolayan described The CEO as “an experiment to develop value for Africa cinema,” saying, “this is something that I am very passionate about.

This all started as a kid, every time I see the pictures of my father and his contemporaries at film festivals. It became a concern, as I have not seen any film from neighbouring African countries brought to Nigeria for screening; hence there is a gap between pan-African countries.

The CEO is an experiment that I hope will do the magic. The original cast was Nigeria, Togo, Ghana and one Francophone cast. But after my trip to Egypt, it became an eye opener after meeting with colleagues, where we had a co-production meeting.”

He also said, “apart from Nigeria where the cinema is expanding, we are also targeting a huge market for this film in other African countries.

Take for example, South Africa, which has close to 500 cinemas. If my films could screen in 200 South African cinemas, it would be great, as this is what cinema distribution can do to the success of a filmmaker. If we can lock down Africa, then we do not need Hollywood.”

On plans to release the film, Afolayan revealed that it will first be premiered aboard an Air-France trip to Paris on June 1, and thereafter, the film will headline the prestigious NollywoodWeek Paris, a film festival organised by the French-based association, Okada Media, headed by Serge Noukoué and Nadira Shakur. According to Afolayan,“Come June 1, we shall be having the first-of-its-kind premiere of The CEO aboard Air France to Paris, France.

This special premiere will begin with a Red Carpet show at the Check-In Counter at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport. There shall be the best of media coverage from partners such as Africa magic, Silverbird Television and other broadcast and print media who have shown us tremendous support from the past.

For our sponsors, partners, the cast and crew of The CEO and those accredited to attend NollywoodWeek Paris, the fun continues with a Cocktail Party at the Boarding Gate. We will run a red carpet into the plane. Thereafter, the movie will be screened onboard the plane where other passengers will partake in the show. It is going to be a complete event show with the usual razzmatazz. Just imagine an After Party happening 35,000ft to 40,000ft above the sea level.”

Corroborating Afolayan’s disclosure on the premiere, Commercial Manager, Air France/KLM Arthur Dieffenthaler noted that there had never been an in-flight premiere of such, even in Hollywood or Bollywood. The initiative, according to him represents some of the big ideas that Air France/KLM and Afolayan’s Golden Effects Company stand for. He disclosed that this is the first time a Nigerian film will be shot at the Charles De Gaulle Airport, Paris, France, expressing optimism that the partnership will go on for a long time.

Some of the top dignitaries expected as part of the in-flight premiere are the Minister of Culture and Tourism, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwumi Ambode, Commercial Manager, Air France/KLM Arthur Dieffenthaler and Acting Managing Director of Bank of Industry, Mr. Waheed Olagunju. Others are officials of DStv, Peugeot Automobile, Adron Homes and Properties, Inagbe Grand Resorts and Leisure as well as several notable filmmakers and actors in Nollywood.

The impressive cast of The CEO who will also be joining the flight in Lagos include, Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter and entertainer from Benin Republic, Angélique Kidjo; Haitan actor and model Jimmy Jean-Louis; consummate actor, Wale Ojo; French-Ivorian actress and model, Aurelie Eliam; South African actor and presenter, Nicolaos Panagiotopoulos; Nigerian actress, Kemi Lala Akindoju; Moroccan star, Fatim Layachi; Kenyan actor Peter King, Nigerian actress, Hilda Dokubo as well as Nigerian singer, Adekunle Gold and Moroccan Afrobian artiste, Ahmed Soultan who made cameo appearances in the film.

Also, Afolayan revealed that the film would be distributed in Nigeria by Silverbird Cinema. Other schedules for The CEO include a Lagos Premiere scheduled for July 10, 2016, to be followed by Cinema Release on July 15.

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