Nigerian movie Citation has won Best International Film at the eighth annual National Film Awards, held in London this week.
The 2020 film beat other candidates including Spider-Man: No Way Home, No Time to Die, Don’t Look Up, People Just Do Nothing: Big in Japan, The Harder They Fall, King Richard, I Care a Lot and Spencer.
The film was also nominated in the Best Drama category, eventually losing out to UK title Save the Cinema. Citation star Temiloluwa Otedola was also nominated in the Best Newcomer and Best Performance categories, which were won on the night by Olive Tennant (Belfast) and Craig Fairbrass (A Violent Man) respectively.
Citation was written by Tunde Babalola and directed by Kunle Afolayan. It follows the story of a student (Otedola) who speaks out after a university professor attempts to rape her, and the reaction of the university to the claims. The cast also includes Jimmy Jean-Louis, Bukunmi Oluwashina and Gabriel Afolayan.
Responding to the win, Otedola said on Instagram: “It’s not just about ourselves but on behalf of the African continent, so this is one for Nollywood and one for more movies across Africa.”
The National Film Awards is an annual awards ceremony that celebrates the achievements of established and independent filmmakers, actors, casting directors, production companies and crew who make up the motion picture industry.
Global streaming platform Netflix is adding more Nollywood content to its service, after signing deals with Nigerian producers and distributors for one drama series and three films.
The films include Kunle Afolayan’s Citation, which will launch on November 6 exclusively and globally on Netflix. It follows the story of a young postgraduate student who experiences sexual harassment from a lecturer and stars Ini Edo, Joke Silva, Temi Otedola, Gabrie Afolayan and Adjetey Anang.
The movie King of Boys 2 will also debut in 2021. It follows a businesswoman and crime boss who is drawn into a power struggle that threatens all she holds dear. It stars Richard Mofe Damijo, Sola Sobowale, Nse Ikpe Etim and Efe Iwara and is the sequel to director Kemi Adetiba’s 2018 crime thriller King of Boys.
Young-adult series Far From Home, produced by Lagos prodco Inkblot Productions, will also launch on the service.
The six-episode series, created by Chinaza Onuzo and Dami Elebe, follows the story of a charismatic teenager and talented artist form a poor family. His dreams suddenly appear within reach when a prestigious scholarship to the most exclusive school in the country catapults him into the luxurious world of Nigeria’s top 1%.
The series will be directed by Chinaza Onuzo, Tope Oshin and Niyi Akinmolayan and will star Funke Akindele.
Onuzo said: “We are thrilled to be partnering with the Netflix team to tell the story of Nigerian youth on a global scale. We cannot wait to share with the world what it feels like to grow up in one of the most dynamic countries on the planet.”
The next film from renowned Nollywood filmmaker Kunle Afolayan will be released in theatres in August, with an SVoD deal also in the bag.
Drama film Citation will be available on Netflix by the end of the year following its cinema release in August.
The college drama centres on a female postgraduate student who is sexually harassed by a lecturer in a sex-for-grades scenario. Afolayan said the aim of the film was to empower women.
While the coronavirus pandemic affected production of Citation, the producers were able to conclude principal photography before the lockdown, Afolayan said.
“Thankfully, we were able to complete the shooting of the film. We also started post-production before the Covid-19 pandemic started and we already have a cut. But because of the lockdown, things have slowed down,” he added.
Citation stars Temi Otedola alongside Haitian-French actor and model Jimmy Jean Louis, Sadiq Daba, Joke Silva, Gabriel Afolayan, Ini Edo, Toyin Bifarin and a host of others.
Afolayan’s credits include Yoruba movie The Figurine: Araromire and Phone Swap.