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Love Castle, hits big screen

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Kehinde Bankole

After months of working on the movie, Love Castle, written and produced by Beatrice Funke Ogunmola premiered at the Terra Kulture, Victoria Island, Lagos.

The movie is about Adetutu, who had to leave her husband and daughter back in Houston Texas, United States of America, against her wish and that of her spouse, to become a regent in Nigeria after the demise of her father. The cascading events that follows result in secrets being revealed. Regent Adetutu is trapped in the web of emotions and culture, with deadening taboos staring her in the face.

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Love Castle film is a captivating story of culture interwoven with disability and a long held African culture of silence surrounding taboos.

The movie stars seasoned actors such as Kehinde Bankole, Jide Kososko, Lateef Adedimeji, Zack Orji, Rachel Oniga, Desmond Elliott, Femi Adebayo Salami, Halima Abubakar, Jumoke George, and Beatrice Funke Ogunmola.

According to Ogunmola, she had the concept of Love Castle film for almost a decade before she wrote the first draft of the script in 2018. She added that it took her over one year of several drafts, revisions and researches to finally get the script ready in 2019.

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The US-based producer said she has always wanted to tell a story that introduce Nigerians cultures to people in the US to change negative perceptions. She always wanted to address the ways issues of disability is being treated and change the narrative. She decided to interwoven culture with disability to pass across the message.

Adedimeji, who played Chi Joshua, a swimmer with disability, at the event, said Nigerians would love their culture the more and embrace it after watching the movie.

He said Love Castle is filled with culture and tradition, while the central theme is about being a positive impact to humanity and helping others to be a better person.

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Lead actress, Kehinde Bankole, who played Adetutu, described the story as exciting in an interview she granted at the end of filming her role in Ibadan. “The route the movie producer went in telling this story is different. It’s entertaining; it’s rich in culture. I enjoyed every bit of the filming,” she said.

The late Rachel Oniga, after reading the script, wrote in a WhatsApp message to Ogunmola “This is a wonderful story and well scripted. I am in love with it.” The director of the film, Desmond Elliott, has this to say in his director’s statement, “Culture is well captured in the story. I love the way the story transitioned from Western to Eastern Nigeria.”

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Love Castle was shot in Ibadan Nigeria in November 2019 and in Houston,Texas, USA, in February 2020. The USA filming was completed just two weeks before the pandemic lockdown of 2020 began.

The movie, distributed by Blue Pictures Entertainment, will hit the theatre on September 10.

Love Castle has received six award nominations at Toronto International Nollywood Film Festival (TINFF) 2021 for Best Film Africa, Best Film Nollywood, Best Actress – Africa film: Kehinde Bankole, Best Movie Producer: Beatrice Funke Ogunmola, Best African Female Filmmaker: Beatrice Funke Ogunmola and Best Movie Director – Africa: Desmond Elliott.

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