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Nigerian feature, Eyimofe to show at 70th Berlin International Film Festival

Eyimofe (This Is My Desire) will have its world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival. Directed by twin brothers Arie and Chuko Esiri, it will be shown at the forum section of the festival, whose 70th edition holds next month.

Presented by GDN Studios, the film was written by Chuko Esiri and produced by Melissa Adeyemo. The film, which has Maiden Alex Ibru, Toke Alex Ibru, Olorogun Oskar Ibru, Kayode Akindele and Ifeoma Esiri as executive producers, was a 2018 Purple List Award winner and one of 10 projects chosen for last year’s IFP Narrative Lab in New York.

Wholly financed by Nigerian investors and shot on 16mm across Lagos State, Eyimofe is a diptych that tells the story of two people’s quest for what they believe will be a better life in Europe.

Described as the alternate migrant tale Eyimofe approaches a much-discussed topic from a new perspective: one in which you get to know who the people caught in raids and rescued from the sea are, and their dreams and desires.

It stars Jude Akuwudike, Tomiwa Edun, Temi Ami-Williams, Cynthia Ebijie, Chioma Omeruah and Jacob Alexander.Arseni Khachaturan is the director of photography while Taisa Malouf handled production design with Daniel Obasi handling costume; Andrew Stephen Lee (editor) and Akin Adebowale was in charge of music.

One of the ‘big three’ festivals alongside Cannes and Venice, Nigeria has a history at the Berlinale beginning with Hungarian director, Andre Libik’s 1962 documentary, The Ancestors. Produced by the Ministry of Information the documentary highlighted ancestral worship in Nigeria and won the Silver Bear.

In 2018, Chuko and Adamu Halilu were the first Nigerian filmmakers to screen at the festival. Chuko Esiri’s Besida played in the short film section and Adamu Halilu’s 1976 feature Shaihu Umar, which was restored with the support of the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC), and German Embassy Abuja, played in the forum. An adaptation of Sir Tafawa Balewa’s 1955 novella, Halilu’s film was the first Hausa feature produced by the Federal Film Unit Kaduna.

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