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Nigerian feature film, Eyimofe goes to BFI London Film Festival

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A scene from the film Eyimofe

Having successfully premiered at the 70th Berlin International Film Festival in February, Nigerian feature film, Eyimofe (This is my desire) has been selected for the 2020 BFI London Film Festival, which opens on October 7 and runs through October 18, 2020.

A GDN Studios production, the 114 minutes film directed by the duo of Arie and Chuko Esiri, with Melissa Adeyemo as a producer, will open on Sunday, October 11 at 15:50 BST, and runs till Wednesday, October 14, 2020, at 15 BST. Eyimofe will feature alongside 57 other films unveiled in the full programme for this year’s physical-virtual hybrid edition of the film festival.

Set in Lagos, Nigeria, Eyimofe, a two-chapter film, follows the stories of Mofe (Jude Akuwudike), a factory technician, and Rosa (Temi Ami-Williams), a hairdresser, on their quest for what they believe will be a better life on foreign shores.

A passport, photos and a visa form recurring elements. The characters’ misfortunes are part of their everyday life and they are sketching out the need to leave Nigeria at the same time. At the bottom of the socio-economic ladder, status, money, gender, skin colour and family structures are inextricably connected. The longing for another life is but one thread in this complex mesh, a promise that floats above things at once near and far away.

The film parades the likes of Jude Akuwudike, Tomiwa Edun, Temi Ami-Williams, Cynthia Ebije, Sadiq Daba, Tomiwa Edun, Jacobs Alexander, Chioma ‘Chigul’ Omeruah and others.

Meanwhile, Pixar’s Soul and Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland starring Frances McDormand join Steve McQueen’s festival opener Mangrove and Francis Lee’s closer Ammonite as the four cinema-only titles, playing at select venues across the country during the festival.

However, a further 10 titles will play both in cinemas and via the festival’s online platform. These include Phyllida Lloyd’s Sundance 2020 premiere Herself, about a young mother who fights back against a broken housing system; Thomas Vinterberg’s Cannes 2020 selection Another Round; and Bassam Tariq’s Berlin 2020 feature Mogul Mowgli starring Riz Ahmed.

Harry Macqueen’s Supernova starring Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci will also play in cinemas and online; as will Aleem Khan’s BBC Films and BFI-backed title After Love, and Christian Petzold’s Berlin 2020 Competition title Undine.

The remaining 44 features will play as virtual premieres, each with an introduction and/or Q&A from filmmakers and festival programmers. The format for the virtual premieres was established in July this year, with each premiere playing at a set time.

This year, the festival is maintaining the thematic strands it has used in previous editions, with the 10 for this year being: Love, Debate, Laugh, Dare, Cult, Journey, Create, Experimenta, Family, and Treasures.

Commenting, Tricia Tuttle, BFI London Film Festival director, said, “We’ve been so encouraged by the adventurousness of filmmakers and rights holders, the unwavering support of our collaborators and the spirit of unity and experimentation.

“We have accelerated so many of our longer-term plans in just a few months – especially our desire to offer audiences across the UK greater access to the LFF. We all want to be back in cinemas, seeing films on the big screen, together, immersed. But we also want to keep seeing new cinematic storytelling from all parts of the world, hearing different voices and perspectives; this version of LFF delivers on both of those aims.”

On his part, the CEO of BFI, Ben Roberts, said, “Although it’s been born out of the crisis, this year’s edition of the LFF will be our most accessible yet,” added Ben Roberts, BFI CEO. Thanks to the many talented and dedicated teams across the BFI, and the encouragement of our partners and industry colleagues – we have shaped a festival that suggests a future for bringing filmmakers and film lovers together.”

Recently, the festival unveiled LFF Expanded, its new virtual reality strand, which will screen 22 VR works via a dedicated virtual exhibition space called The Expanse. Also, 36 short films will play as part of the programme, across six genre categories.

The LFF industry programme will be announced later this month; it will again include the two-day Production Finance Market, as a fully online offering from October 12-13.


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