Tag Archives: Charles Okpaleke

Play Network to dramatise 1993 plane hijack

The story of Nigeria’s 1993 plane hijack is to be turned into a feature film called Hijack ’93.

Charles Okpaleke

The news was revealed by Play Network CEO Charles Okpaleke, who said that Nigerian storytellers should focus on Nigerian stories, both classics and real-life events, and turn them into feature films.

In 1993, four Nigerian teenagers, angry at events that followed the June 12 elections, hijacked a Nigerian Airways plane that was heading to Abuja from Lagos.

According to Okpaleke, the story will be based on accounts from the four hijackers.

“Since history was taken away from our Nigerian curriculum, we leave our kids with little to no knowledge about their past heroes, about the ‘villains,’ about the country that was and everything that has led to the Nigeria that is,” he said.

“We decided to take this responsibility upon ourselves, lest stories like that of King Jaja of Opobo – which we are currently in the phase of pre-production – the Nigerian Airways flight hijack, and many more, be forgotten.

“Two years ago, we interviewed three out of the four young Nigerians who hijacked athe plane in Nigeria in 1993 to protest the annulment of the June 12 elections. These young, brave, patriotic Nigerians were in their early 20s, and after they got arrested, went to prison for over a decade at such a prime moment in their lives.”

Okpaleke added that auditions for the film will begin next month, via Play Network. Hijack ’93 is being produced in partnership with the British Film Institute and the British government.

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Play Network, Native Media set up JV

Award-winning Nigerian production company Play Network Studios and television and film production company Native Media TV have unveiled a joint venture called The Film Academy.

Charles Okpaleke

The Film Academy is intended to be a one-stop shop for everything film and television in Africa. The plan is to combine Nollywood with in-depth research and advanced technology to create a hub where all stakeholders in the Nigerian movie industry can engage, develop and harness skills through networking and merit alone.

Charles Okpaleke, CEO of Play Network Africa, and Rogers Ofime, CEO of Native Media TV, said in a statement on Instagram: “This project is determined to bring together all stakeholders across the supply chain, from top to bottom. We are beyond excited at the prospects the film academy holds and welcome you to join us. Together, we will advance the foundation that has already been set, we will innovate and join forces, and we will build a Nollywood that will make us prouder than ever before.”

Play Network Studios is the company behind Nigerian movies Living In Bondage: Breaking Free, Rattlesnake: The Ahanna Story and Nneka the Pretty Serpent, while Native Media TV has produced films such as Mugabe, Colore, Hotel Majestic, Bridges and Conversations in Transit.

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The Milkmaid, Rattle Snake get BON nods

The Milkmaid and Rattle Snake

Hausa-language thriller The Milkmaid and Nigerian action film Rattle Snake have received a total of 14 nominations for the 2021 edition of the Best of Nollywood (BON) Awards.

The news was revealed by the organisers of the award at a dinner party held this week in Lagos, Nigeria.

The nominations are in categories including Best Actor in a Leading Role, Most Promising Actress of the Year, Best Actress in a Leading Role, Best Use of Costume in a Movie and Movie with the Best Soundtrack.

The Milkmaid is produced and directed by Desmond Ovbiagele and deals with insurgency, especially as it affects women and children in sub-Saharan Africa.

Rattle Snake is executive produced by Charles Okpaleke, directed by Ramsey Nouah and is a remake of the 1995 Nigerian classic action thriller film Rattlesnake, which was directed by Amaka Igwe. It tells the story of a young man (played by Stan Nze) who assembles a group called The Armadas to carry out a series of spectacular heists.

Regarding the nominations, Ovbiagele told Content Nigeria: “We are very grateful to God for the recognition of The Milkmaid across several award categories at BON 2021 Awards. It is a testament to the efforts, talents and sacrifices of a fantastic cast and crew, and an inspiration to continue aiming to push the boundaries of what is achievable creatively and technically in Nigerian cinema.”

“Thank you BON for all the nominations, we are deeply honoured. Congratulations to all the nominees representing the Nigerian movie industry and to the cast and crew of Rattle Snake: The Ahanna Story,” said Play Network Studios, the Nigerian production company behind the movie, on Instagram.

The BON Awards is an annual film event presented by Best of Nollywood Magazine honouring outstanding achievement in the Nigerian movie industry.

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Play Network to remake Diamond Ring

Nigerian production company Play Network Studios has acquired the intellectual property rights to remake Diamond Ring, the classic Nollywood movie from 1998.

Charles Okpaleke

The thriller, directed by Tade Ogidan, tells the story of a young, spoiled child who is sent to university by his parents and later a gang while on campus. It stars Richard Mofe Damijo, Teju Babyface, Sola Sobowale and Bukky Ajayi.

“We’ve just acquired the intellectual property rights to this Nollywood classic, and we can’t be happier. This would be a remake and not a sequel. This might probably be the last movie under the Play Network Nostalgic collection. Coming soon to your screens,” said Charles Okpaleke, CEO of Play Network Africa, parent company of Play Network Studios.

The production company was also behind Nigerian movies such as Living in Bondage: Breaking Free (2019), which was exec produced by Okpaleke, as well as Nollywood remakes Rattlesnake: The Ahanna Story and Nneka The Pretty Serpent.

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