Nigerian filmmaker Emem Isong, whose movie credits include Special Jollof, Code of Silence and Emotional Crack, has brought an African film industry initiative to Houston, Texas.
The Royal Arts African Centre is a Nigerian government-backed institution that began in Lagos. It offers courses in various aspects of the film industry and recognises talent in acting, screenwriting, directing, editing, costume design and cinematography.
At same time, Isong has launched The African Cultural Film Festival, aka AFFRICUFF, which will also take place in Houston. The film festival is intended to be a vibrant showcase of African cinema, presented annually and featuring diverse perspectives and stories from across the continent. It is due to be held from October 26 to 29 this year.
AFFRICUFF said: “Our vision is to be a global black-and-proud platform celebrating African culture through films, telling its own stories, exalting the values that set us apart, challenging stereotypes and opening the windows of deeper understanding into the richness of our cultural heritage.”
Nigerian-British author Anietie Isong is about to have his novel Radio Sunrise adapted into a film.
Radio Sunrise is a satirical story centring on a Nigerian journalist living and working in Lagos at a government-owned radio station, Radio Sunrise.
The novel explores the many realities of being Nigerian and living in Nigeria, touching on themes such as corruption, militancy, bribery, oppression, bad governance, infidelity and a value system that worships money more than anything else.
It further paints a satirical portrait of post-colonial Nigeria that builds on the legacy of the great African satirist tradition of Ngugi Wa Thiong’o and Ayi Kwei Armah.
The film will be produced by Nigerian filmmaker Emem Isong and directed by Uduak Isong via Lagos-based Closer Pictures. It will star Pere Egbi, Akin Lewis, Maurice Sam, Bimbo Ademoye and Mr Macaroni.
“Happy to announce that we’ll be adapting Anietie Isong’s Radio Sunrise into film. A coproduction between Royal Arts Academy and Closer Pictures. The book is adapted for the screen by Yinka Ogun, Kehinde Joseph and Uduak,” announced Uduak Isong on Instagram.
The next Nigerian International Film Summit (NIFS) is set to take place at the Sierra ballroom in the Marina Del Rey Marriot hotel in Los Angeles on November 3-4.
The two-day event is themed Local Meets Global Demand and will comprise business discussions, panel sessions, networking receptions and numerous speakers who have expertise in various fields.
The main focus of this summit is to critically examine the problems associated with the film business in Nigeria and how it compares to the distribution of Hollywood movies in Nigeria, as well as the Nollywood appeal for international distribution across territories.
The event will also discuss the possibilities, challenges and opportunities surrounding the business of film in Nigeria for international distributors and film investors and how Nollywood is meeting international standards.
Speakers at the event will include Stephanie Linus, CEO of Next Page Productions; Emem Isong, CEO of the Royal Arts Academy; Ken Attoh, CEO of Sparrow Productions; Marie Longai, founder of Restless Global; and Francis Nebot, founder of iFind Distribution.
Also on the speaker list are Fela Oke, founder of Flu3nt; Kene Okwuosa, MD of Filmhouse Cinemas; Craig Shurn, CEO of Part Two Media; Richard Signieski, CEO of Blue Sky; Moses Babatope, MD of Filmone Distribution; and Adedayo Thomas, exec director at the Nigerian Films & Video Censors Board.
Topics to be discussed include Understanding Nigeria Film Business: Facts and figures; Coproducing and Financing with Nigeria; Production Values: How Far Can Nigerian Films Travel? Opportunities and Limitations; and Understanding Theatrical Distribution and Exhibition Opportunities with Nigeria.
“It’s another time to talk less and do more in using our success stories to position the Nigerian Film Industry at the global film business map, attract Investment into the ecosystem and explore every opportunity for increased revenue for Nigerian Independent producers,” said Ijeoma Onah, founder of NIFS.
“So it’s action time. Let’s move forward, let’s use our collective efforts to showcase the huge potentials of film business in Nigeria.”
NIFS is an industry body designed to enable business-driven conversations on the bourgeoning film industry in Nigeria. It is for all those involved already or interested in the business of film in Nigeria.