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Spotlight is on Kemi Adetiba, Izu, Odugbemi, Abba, Jituboh in Paris

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When curtains open on this year’s edition of the annual Nollywood Week Paris Film Festival on Thursday, the spot light would be on five acclaimed Nollywood directors: One, a successful female cinematographer, Kemi Adetiba, and the others- Femi Odugbemi, Izu Ojukwu, Abba Makama and Jay Franklyn Jituboh, who are all very distinguished movie directors.

Five movies with their signature- The Wedding Party by Adetiba; Green White Green by Makama; Gidi Blues by Odugbemi; 76 by Ojukwu; and Dinner by Jituboh- have been selected to compete for the “People’s Choice Award” at the festival, organised by Okada Media, an association based in Paris, France, headed by Serge Noukoué and Nadira Shakur.

The festival, which debuted in 2013, showcases the best of the Nigerian film industry, with the aim of finding a larger audience and more sustainable distribution system for quality films.

The box office movie, The Wedding Party, shows how chaos prevails when a family prepares for a lavish wedding, while 76 is a thrilling drama told from two points of view: that of a pregnant woman, and that of an accused soldier.

Gidi Blues is about two young people (Akin and Nkem), whose story changed forever from a chance meeting, while Green White Green is based on three young artist friends who embark on a roller coaster ride of self-discovery after they decide to make a movie before heading off to college.

Dinner tells the story of how secrets were exposed during a friendly dinner. Celebrity salutes these star makers who would be competing for the prestigious ‘People’s Choice Award,’ sponsored by Angenieux, a leading manufacturers of high quality optic cinema lenses for the broadcast and film industries. The festival ends on May 14.

Kemi Adetiba (The Wedding Party)
BY far one of the most successful female cinematographers, television producer, director and host, Kemi Adetiba’s debut effort as a movie director, The Wedding Party (TWP), is headlining this year’s festival.

Born in Lagos, TWP, which the Law graduate helmed, has earned her a lot of recognition. Her success story did not start with TWP, but as a radio presenter with Rhythm 93.7 FM. She was later to transit from just being a voice on radio to being a television presenter and content producer.

A recipient of several awards and nominations, including the 2015 City People Entertainment award for Best Music Video Director of the Year, Kemi, a product of the New York Film Academy, has signed a number of critically acclaimed music videos, such as More You by the singer, Bez; Ekundayo by TY Bello; Today Na Today by Omawunmi.

She has equally produced and presented several programmes on television, including Studio 53 and Temptation Nigeria and she was for about three seasons, the host of the family dance reality shows, Maltina Dance All. Kemi is director of the short film, Across a Bloodied Ocean and currently runs her production outfit, called K-Alpha.

Femi Odugbemi (Gidi Blues)
A CONSUMMATE filmmaker and quite clearly, a respected voice in the Nigerian arts and culture scene, Femi Odugbemi is an award-winning filmmaker, writer and photographer.

His recent acclaimed film, Gidi Blues, is also headlining the festival in Paris. Co-Founder of the IREP documentary film festival, Femi’s other acclaimed documentary, Bariga Boy won Best Documentary at the 2010 Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA).

He has also received the 2010 Afropop Prize, sponsored by the National Black Programming and Consortium in the United States. Other highlights of his works include Bar Beach Blues (Best Director, Zuma Film Festival 2006), Mama Put (Best Film Abuja International Film Festival 2009), acclaimed documentary, Ibadan- Cradle of Literati (2008), Oriki (2010) and the Chain was Not (2011).

Femi was the founding Producer of Tinsel, MNET Africa’s acclaimed soap opera. He was president of the Independent Television Producers Association of Nigeria (2002-2006) and a juror for the Emmy Awards in New York, the TAVA Awards in Lagos, the African International Film Festival and recently, Head Judge for the Afrinolly Short Film Competition and the prestigious Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards. Femi is Managing Director/Chief Executive of DVWORX Studios, Lagos

Izu Ojukwu (76)
AN accomplished filmmaker, Izu Ojukwu is one of Nigeria’s best movie directors. Films with his signature have earned him awards and recognitions both at home and abroad.

Quietly efficient, his 2006 film, Sitanda, which follows the life stories of an abused wife and a kidnapped child made a slave.  The film received nine nominations and won five awards at the 2007 African Movie Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Nigerian Film. 

Some of Izu’s other movies are Across The Niger (2004), White Waters (2007), La Viva (2009), Nneda (2009) and 76, which earned him the directing crest at this year’s edition of the AMVCA.

Abba Makama (Green White Green)
A YOUNG filmmaker, full of ideas and verve, Abba Makama is the founder of Osiris Film and Entertainment, a group that he said specialises in producing strategies for digital and traditional media.

A trained filmmaker, Abba got fingers pointing at him when in 2010, he wrote, produced and directed a short satire on the Nigerian film industry, called Direc-toh, which got a special mention at the 2010 edition of InShort Film Festival.

In 2014, he directed a documentary about the Nigerian film industry, Nollywood: Something from Nothing, which later premiered on the Al Jazeera documentary channel and was met with overwhelmingly positive reviews.

But the icing on Abba’s career cake came with his helming his first feature film, Green White Green, which is about the most widely travelled film of last year.

It has premiered in several festivals within and outside Nigeria and was one of the eight movies selected to represent Nigeria at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).

Jay Franklyn Jituboh (Dinner)
JAY Franklyn Jituboh’s Dinner is also on the Nollywood Week Paris Film Festival bill. The movie is a dramatic thriller starring some of Nollywood’s bests, such as Kehinde Bankole, Enyinna Nwigwe, Richard Mofe Damijo and Iretiola Doyle.He is director of the short film, Once, selected and screened at the 2015 Durban International Film Festival.


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Kemi Adetiba

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