Nollywood is winning!!
Ok, let me contain my excitement and get right to business.
A few months ago Lagos (well Nollywood sha) was selected by the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) for its City to City platform. According to Cameron Bailey, the Artistic Director of TIFF, “the new cinema of Lagos is bold, exciting and ready to take its place on the International Stage”.
Yesterday the 16th of August, the Lagos line up was announced and 8 movies were selected – Omoni Oboli’s Okafor’s law, Daniel Oriahi’s Taxi Driver (Oko Asewo), Kemi Adetiba’s The Wedding Party, Izu Ojukwu’s 76, Uduak Obong Patrick’s Just Not Married, Steve Gukas’ 93 Days, Abba Makama’s Green White Green and the recently released The Arbitration, directed by Niyi Akinmolayan.
As of today, only three of the movies have hit Nigerian cinemas while the remaining five will have their world premiere at TIFF but if these five are as good as the three we’ve seen, then we’re certain Nollywood will be a hit at the Festival.
Big congratulations are in order for all the cast and crew of the selected films as this is a great milestone for Nollywood. TIFF is a huge platform, one that has premiered and screened Oscar winning/nominated movies such as Silver linings Playbook, Argo, Slumdog Millionaire, Crash amongst several others and this time, we are going to shine bright for the world to see.
It’s the eighth year for the City to City programme, which showcases filmmakers living and working in a selected city, regardless of where their films are set. Cities featured in past programmes include London, Tel Aviv, Istanbul, Buenos Aires, Mumbai, Athens and Seoul.
Also for the first time, the Rising Stars program – which in the past was exclusively for Canadian actors will travel beyond its borders to include two Nigerian stellar actors – O.C. Ukeje and Somkele Idhalama (both Stars in ‘The Arbitration’). The program will feature a range of specialized programming, workshops and seminars including attendance at major events with established Hollywood names we are familiar with.
The duo have both shown in their past and recent works their impeccable acting skills with OC Ukeje being one of the most awarded Nigerian actors currently out there (it doesn’t hurt that homie is the ish). For their work in the Arbitration, they both were able to show us their raw talent and undeniable skill that we’re sure the organizers of TIFF just could not ignore.
City to City will feature an onstage conversation with Kunle Afolayan and actress Genevieve Nnaji, who are both considered as recognizable faces of African cinema.
I’m very much excited about TIFF especially for The Arbitration (Yes, I am bias, sue me) which I saw a few days ago and was blown away by. More so, I’m excited to see the other selections hit Nigerian Cinemas later in the year.
Expect a review for ‘The Arbitration’ soon, but in the interim, drop all you’re doing and go see it! If you have seen it, share your thoughts in the comments section below; but don’t stop there spread the word and take your friends and enemies to go see the movie.