A film based on the 1914 Amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Protectorates into Nigeria is in the offing and it’s going to cost a whopping N1.1bn.
WuzupNigeria gathered on Saturday that the movie is the result of a partnership between a non-governmental organisation, Interfora Initiative, and the Federal Government.
The Project Director, Interfora Initiative, Mr Akin Laniyi, who spoke at the launch of the film’s website, www.nigeria1914.com, on Saturday, said when the project was conceived, it was clear that certain institutions and people had to be brought on board to realise the vision.
According to Laniyi, the project, with the theme ‘Nigeria 1914: Reflecting on the Past, Envisioning a Great Future,’ consists of a documentary and a scripted film, starring Pete Edochie, Joke Silva, Yemi Blaq, Patience Ozokwo, Bimbo Akintola and Nkem Owoh.
“We are looking at a budget of N1.1bn. It is not really a lot when you look at where we are drawing our inspiration from. Australian cost about N40bn. That is extraordinary. We are still a developing country, so we need to keep our budget within what we are capable of doing.
“But in filmmaking, most times, one tends to go beyond the budget. We have started work. We have got a lot of Nollywood actors into This project already. We are hosting what we call the grand unveiling in April. A number of those actors will be there.
“We had researched it for a number of years here in Nigeria and United Kingdom. We have a consultant in France who also came up with some little known facts that ultimately will be revealed in this project.”
Laniyi said the film’s producers believed 2020 was the right time to start telling Nigerians about the project.
“It is a historical epic that would be of great standard anywhere in the world and we’re also working on a documentary as we speak.
“But we believe that the (scripted) film will be more appealing to a broader range of Nigerians especially our youth today, who need to be taught our history, so we are all able to reflect on a lesson or two from the past and be able to make a contribution to better our country,” he added.
The Director-General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation [NTDC], Mr Folorunsho Coker, commended the team behind the film, stated that films had done a great deal in selling what Nigeria has.
Coker, who was represented by the Senior Adviser on Intergovernmental Relations, NTDC, said any country that did not make reference to its past could hardly make progress in the future.
“It is only from the past that you are able to gather where and how you’ve got it right, where mistakes have been made and how you will correct these mistakes.
“The tourism content we have to sell from the events of today is one that cannot be overemphasised because, for us to market Nigeria, which is the main thrust of the NTDC’s job, we must know what we are selling to the outside world and those of us in the country.
“This initiative is one that we cannot overlook at the NTDC in the sense that the history of Nigeria must be told by Nigerians. In a situation where we are told that one Lord Frederick Lugard came after 100 years to join one Niger amalgam Nigeria is still alien to us,” he said.
Similarly, the Executive Director, National Film and Video Censors Board [NFVCB], Mr Adedayo Thomas, said the project was laudable.
Thomas, who was represented by Director, Policy Research and Statistics, NFVCB, expressed the board’s support for the film project.
Thomas said, If you travel anywhere in Africa and even Europe, you see people gather, watching Nigerian movies. Movies are one of the most powerful tools on earth because what a child sees will stick 50 years after; what he has heard may go after a few hours.
“That is why at the censors’ board, a movie is more than a million words. We are solidly behind this project because the ED wants to project the image of this nation to the outside world.
“It is even very good that we are part of the project from conception so that, if there are areas in the script or discourse that can elicit ill feelings, it can be addressed even before it goes into the picture.”
Bollywood, Nollywood good to work in, says Nigerian actress who broke into Indian film industry
Nigerian actress, Kehinde Omisande, believes collaborations between the Nigerian film industry and their Indian counterpart will yield good fruits.
Omisande recently broke into Bollywood after she featured in a Netflix original, ‘Little Things’, an Indian movie.
Though she is yet to work in the Nollywood industry, the actress vowed to contribute her quota to its development.
“I can’t compare both because I haven’t worked in the Nigerian movie industry, but from what I have seen, I think I would prefer to work in my country home’s industry more just because I think it will be easier for me mostly because of the language.
“I don’t understand Hindu, which will make it a little bit hard for me, but all the same, I think both industries are good to work in. I have a better plan for both industries. I will do my best to contribute my quota to the industries. I am committed to impacting greatly to foster the industry especially that of my country by extending qualities that will improve the standard of the industry.”
“I think there are a lot of opportunities. I have an example of someone who has made appearances here which shows that it is possible. I don’t know if it is up to me to foster synergy.
“Hopefully, the authorities or agents or whoever influences both sides can see. I hope it is possible. I think it should be. I will do my best in my way.”
On her challenges as a Nigerian in Bollywood, she said,
“As I said earlier, it should be a language barrier. Although in Bollywood movies, they speak the English language, Hindi is their main language. So, as a Nigerian in their midst, it has not been easy and if you watch ‘Little Things’ season three on Netflix, you would see that I spoke little Hindi and luckily for me, my siblings taught me some Hindi words when I came to India, so, when I see them on the script I know what they mean.”
Mercy Aigbe speaks on crushing on 2Baba, first encounter with Sola Sobowale
Nigerian actress, director and businesswoman, Mercy Aigbe, has revealed her first encounter with Nollywood veteran, Sola Sobowale.
According to the 42-year-old, before she got into the industry, she admired Liz Benson and Sola Sobowale; the former for her beauty and the later for the way she interpreted her roles.
However, her first encounter with the Sobowale a.k.a Toyin Tomato ended in tears.
Recounting the first encounter she had with Sobowale, Aigbe said,
“Before I got into the industry, I admired Sola Sobowale because she knows her onions. One day, I got a call to come on set for a movie titled, ‘Ohun Oko So Mi Da’.
“The movie was produced by Aunty Sola and I was shivering when I got to the set. I asked myself, ‘Would I be able to act in the presence of my role model?’ I went to a corner and prayed to God and told myself, ‘This is my opportunity. I shouldn’t allow Aunty Sola overshadow me. I should let my star shine.’
“Unfortunately for me, in that particular scene, I wasn’t meant to talk at all. I acted the role of her husband’s secretary and was dating her husband. She came to my character’s house to warn her. I was not supposed to say anything but I thought that as an up-and-coming actress, she would just kill my ‘star’ if I didn’t say anything. Guess what I did. I gave myself lines. As she was ranting, I was reacting to her rants. When she held me, I put my hands inside her brassiere. She just told the director to end the scene at that point, asking where they found ‘this kind of girl’.”
The ‘77 Bullets’ actress also maintained that she learnt consistency and doggedness from her mother. She added,
“I learnt being dogged from my mum. She is a very strong woman, who never gives up. She is very consistent and hardworking. I believe that whatever one wants to do, one has to keep at it until one succeeds.”
Actress, Mercy Aigbe, has revealed that for a long time, she had a crush on ‘African Queen’ singer, 2baba (formerly 2face Idibia).
Aigbe stated this during the week as a guest on Gbenga Adeyinka’s Instagram Live chat. After Adeyinka played ‘African Queen’ while on the video call, Aigbe said with a broad smile,
“Don’t tell anybody o. For a very long time, I had a crush on 2baba.”
Bollywood actor Ranjit Chowdhry, who appeared in ‘The Office’ and ‘Prison Break’, dies at 65
Famous Bollywood actor, Ranjit Chowdhry, who appeared in two episodes of “The Office and Prison Break has died at the age of 65.
According to local reports, the actor died on Wednesday at a Mumbai hospital after he travelled to his home country from the US several months ago.
Local theatre personality Dolly Thakore told the Orissa Post that Chowdhry suffered a ruptured ulcer on April 14 and was taken to a local hospital, where he died during surgery.
‘He got a ruptured ulcer in the intestine which happened April 14. A physician was called who said he needs to go to the hospital and he was taken to Breach Candy hospital. They operated on him but he died at the hospital yesterday at 4 in the morning,’ Dolly said.
Chowdhry first starred in Indian comedies of the late ’70s and early ’80s before moving to the US. He appeared in two episodes of The Office in season 5 of the NBC sitcom.
In the United States Ranjit is best known for his appearance in Prison Break, Girls, and Law & Order as well as the Last Holiday starring Queen Latifah and the 1990 film Lonely in America among others.
Chowdhry, who has acted in films including ‘Khoobsurat’ and ‘Khatta Meetha’, died in the US on April 15. He was 65.
His half-sister Raell Padamsee made the announcement on social media.
Chowdhry, who was the stepson of theatre personality Alyque Padamsee, acted in films including ‘Khatta Meetha’ and ‘Baton Baton Mein’. He also worked with Deepa Mehta for her 2002 film ‘Bollywood/Hollywood’.
Rahul Khanna, who acted with him in ‘Bollywood/Hollywood’, tweeted:
“Despite his diminutive frame, he was a towering icon of Indian diaspora cinema and a master of his craft. By far, one of the most endearingly quirky and acerbically witty people i have had the pleasure of knowing.”
He was born in Mumbai and grew up with a theatre background. He was an outstanding character actor who could do justice to any role, no matter how quirky or brief.
Acclaimed directors Deepa Mehta and Mira Nair have expressed their condolences and grief at the actor’s death. The remember him as a blazing, maverick talent.
According to a report in English daily, Nair intends to hold a tribute meeting for Chowdhry over Zoom as they are all amidst a coronavirus lockdown.
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