Sunday, 10th December 2023

Around and about moviedom in one week

By Shaibu Husseini
18 November 2023   |   2:37 am
Since her arrival in the United States to commence her assignment as the 2023 Global Artist in Residence at the African Studies Centre (ASC) and the Department of Afro-American and African Studies (DAAS) at the University of Michigan in the United States...

It’s the third week of an eventful month in moviedom and some practitioners are already in the news for the right and wrong reasons…


Actress Omowunmi Dada Shares Good Tidings From Michigan
Since her arrival in the United States to commence her assignment as the 2023 Global Artist in Residence at the African Studies Centre (ASC) and the Department of Afro-American and African Studies (DAAS) at the University of Michigan in the United States, award-winning actress, Omowunmi Dada, has been sharing pictures on her social media platforms of her new role as an artiste in residence in Michigan almost on a daily basis. In this role, Omowunmi, star of the critically acclaimed movie, Oloture and others have been collaborating with DAAS language instructors to create audio-visual tools for teaching African languages. The images and videos have shared so far shows that the actress has been actively engaging with the University of Michigan campus community, local schools, and students of all levels in Southeast Michigan. The creative arts graduate of the University of Lagos has so far had speaking engagements and events aimed at promoting cultural interchange and learning. The busy actress is scheduled to have more engagements where she is expected to educate the next generation about Nigerian culture and Nollywood filmmaking. Moviedom can only wish Omawunmi, the very best in Michigan.

Femi Odugbemi

A Panel On Scripting in Nollywood For Femi Odugbemi At 60
The Committee For Relevant Arts (CORA) on Thursday, at the Freedom Park, Lagos, hosted a panel discussion on the challenges of scripting in Nollywood to honour the content producer and quintessential storyteller, Femi Odugbemi, who clocked the diamond age of 60 in May. The panel held at the sidelines of the ongoing 2023 edition of the Lagos Book and Arts Festival, which ends tomorrow. Dubbed, The Storyteller As An Evangelist of Cultural Recentering: A Celebration of Femi Odugbemi At 60, CORA got two eminent Nollywood personalities —President of the Directors Guild of Nigeria, Dr. Victor Okah, and President of the Scriptwriters Guild of Nigeria, Yinka Ogun, to do justice to the session. Moderated by the culture journalist and communication scholar, Dr. Shaibu Husseini, the panellists all agreed that there are challenges in scripting in Nollywood and they proffered solutions, one of which is the need for more capacity building for screen writers. There was also a suggestion that writers must collaborate if they must eliminate the seeming gaps in scripting in Nollywood. A point that was reinforced by the celebrant Odugbemi who in his remarks reiterated his position that a creative producer must be conscious of the cultural and environmental universe of his or her work to gain relevance and acceptability in the global market. The evening closed with a showcase of some of Odugbemi’s films including his 2009 documentary, Bariga Boys and the 2009 documentary, titled, Ibadan.

An Alpha For Bolanle Austen-Peters biopic ‘Funmilayo’
BOLANLE Austen-Peters’ effort on the biopic on relentless activism of Madam Funmilayo Ransome Kuti, titled, Funmilayo, has earned the movie an alpha from the jury of the 2023 Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF). The biopic won the Oronto Douglas Best Feature Film award at the just concluded 12th edition of the AFRIFF. The biopic, which stars actors such as Kehinde Bankole, Omowunmi Dada and Joke Jacobs follows Funmilayo Ransome Kuti’s story as she confronts oppression from both colonial and traditional rulers, leading up to the establishment of the Abeokuta Women’s Union. The movie also won the best screenplay award for ace screenwriter, Tunde Babalola. Submitted for consideration by Oscar Selection Committee (NOSC) for the best international film of the Academy awards, it, however, lost to C.J Obasi’s Mami Wata as Nigeria’s entry. Other AFRIFF award winners include, I Do Not Come To You By Chance, produced by Genevieve Nnaji, which bagged the Audience Choice Award and Best International Feature, which went to Brothers, Directed by Darkhan Tulegenov.

Nigeria’s C. J Obasi Secure Hollywood Management Deal
NOLLYWOOD has received the very cheery news that the Gotham Group, an American production company, has signed Nigerian filmmaker C.J. Obasi, whose latest feature, Mami Wata, is Nigeria’s entry for Best International Feature Film consideration for the 96th Academy Awards. The company is reputed to have partnered with big studio companies such as 20th Century Fox and Universal Studios, and has worked on projects such as, The Spiderwick Chronicles and The Maze Runner franchise. This is a welcome development for Obasi, whose Mami Wata has featured in over 25 internationally acclaimed film festivals including, Sundance Film Festival and FESPACO and still counting. Obasi’s previous credits include, Ojuju (2014), O-Town (2015), Hello, Rain (2018) and Juju Stories (2021), an anthology film directed by the Surreal1 Collective, which won the Boccalino D’oro Award for Best Film at Locarno.


Veteran actor, Hanks Anuku Trends Again…
VETERAN Nollywood actor, Hanks Anuku, is back on the trending list again after being spotted at a fueling station in Asaba engaging in a conversation that has raised concerns on social media about the state of his mental health. Recall that concerns over the actor’s mental health were raised last year after the actor appeared in a viral video looking tattered. Although the actor released a video later to debunk the story that he was in a bad shape, this recent viral video have got fans concerned again. In the video, the actor could be heard uttering words that were difficult to piece together. But just this Thursday, the actor shared a video on Instagram where he was calling on the Delta State government and Nigerians to support him financially as he has tried his best to uphold his status as an entertainer. “I thank you all fans and my governor Sheriff (Oborevwori). I have tried my best to uphold my status as an entertainer, so its good to let you all know what I am going through,” the actor said, adding, “I have a family and will love to get all the help from you all. Dropping my account details nothing is ever too small.”

Shanty Town, Underbelly, Herdsmen Battle For BON Award 2023
THE 2023 television series created by Xavier Ighorodje, Chichi Nworah and produced by Chinenye Nworah, titled, Shanty Town, which explores the themes of love, betrayal and survival in a harsh and unforgiving environment, titled, Underbelly and Toka Mcbaror’s Herdsmen about herdsmen and farmers clash in Northern Nigeria topped the nomination list of the 2023 edition of the Seun Oloketuyi’s led Best of Nollywood awards. While Shanty Town was nominated in 15 of the 29 categories of the awards, Herdsmen secured 11 nominations while Underbelly grabbed 11 nominations as well. Shanty Town, which starred prominent actors such as, Chidi Mokeme, Ini Edo, Nse Ikpe-Etim and Sola Sobowale was nominated in categories such as Best Social Message, Special Effect, Sound, Best Use of Costume, Best Actor in an English Movie (Chidi Mokeme), and Best Actress in an English Movie (Ini Edo). Herdsmen was nominated in the Best Social Message, Special Effect, Production Design, and Movie of the Year categories among others while Underbelly features in categories like Special Effect, and Movie of the Year. Other movies that were nominated include, Asa, Ifedichie, Square One, and The Other One. This year’s edition of the BON Awards is scheduled for December 22, 2023.