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Mo Abudu leads crew to premiere epic film Elesin Oba at TIFF 2022

CEO of EbonyLife Films, Mo Abudu, should be on her way to Toronto, Canada, to lead the curtain call when the epic film that her EbonyLife Films and Netflix co-produced premiere their latest epic

Mo Abudu

CEO of EbonyLife Films, Mo Abudu, should be on her way to Toronto, Canada, to lead the curtain call when the epic film that her EbonyLife Films and Netflix co-produced premiere their latest epic film Elesin Oba, The King’s Horseman, at the Special Section category of the Toronto International Film Festival on September 10.

However, when the film premieres, the writer and director of the film, Biyi Bandele, will not be in attendance. Biyi reportedly died in Lagos last month. His daughter Temi had announced the sudden death of the filmmaker on the filmmaker’s Facebook page.

But Elesin Oba that he helmed is based on real-life events in Nigeria in 1943. It is inspired by true-life events in the Oyo Empire in the 1940s.

In Elesin Oba, the king’s chief horseman succumbs to the lure of beauty and sexual desire on the very evening he is set to die in order to fulfil his lifelong debt of ritual suicide to accompany the dead Alaafin to the realm of the ancestors.

He derails from a very important generational and spiritual transaction. This sets in motion a series of catastrophic consequences, in a spellbinding film of emotions, humour, and tragic role reversals that puts ancient beliefs and customs on trial in an ever increasingly post-modern and Western world.

The original Death and the King’s Horseman was a stage play written by Prof. Wole Soyinka who won Africa’s first Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986.

CEO of the EbonyLife Group and Executive Producer of the film, said, “In filming Elesin Oba, we chose to stay close to the original work, which is already well-known globally as a great example of African drama.

It’s an honour to see this compelling introduction to African thought and tradition on screen. Its the interweaving of European and Yoruba ideals to depict universal themes of cultural responsibility has never been more important than now.”

The film stars Odunlade Adekola, Shaffy Bello and Deyemi Okanlanwon. Also featured are Jenny Stead, Mark Elderkin, Langley Kirkwood, and a special appearance by acting legend Taiwo Ajai-Lycett and Ajoke Silva.