Nigerian production and distribution outfit FilmOne Entertainment has won the award for the highest-grossing cinema company and highest-grossing distributor in Africa for 2021-22.
This award was presented by Comscore, a company that plans, transacts and evaluates media across platforms, at the fifth edition of the META Cinema Forum, held in Dubai this week.
The event was attended by more than 300 key cinema stakeholders from across the Middle East, Africa, the CIS region and Asia.
FilmOne said in a statement: “A big congratulations to our co-founders – group CEO Kene Okwuosa and FilmOne MD Moses Babatope – on the award for highest-grossing cinema company and highest-grossing distributor in Africa. The entire family of Film House Cinemas and FilmOne Nigeria are happy to have you as our bosses.”
The Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) will host the Africa premiere of Black Panther sequel Black Panther: Wakanda Forever in partnership with Nigerian distributor FilmOne Entertainment.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is an upcoming US superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character. It centres on the leaders of the fictional African kingdom of Wakanda as they fight to protect their nation from intervening world powers in the wake of King T’Challa’s death.
Produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, the movie stars Ugandan-born German actor Florence Kasumba and Kenyan-Mexican star Lupita Nyong’o.
The festival, now in its 11th season, is themed Indigenous for Global. It will be held on November 6-7 in Lagos and will explore indigenous content and the key ingredients required to take it to a global audience.
AFRIFF 2022 will have panel discussions including Story Telling: Indigenous for Global, How to Start Your Animation Journey, Film Presentation: How to Pitch Your Film and The African Storytelling Perspective. There will also be movie screenings, masterclasses and workshops.
The event will close with a screening of Almajiri, an African drama produced by Richard Ayodeji Makun, Darlington Abuda and Mabel Makun.
The film is based on true stories and looks at the impact of trafficking and other forms of child slavery and how affects millions of children in Nigeria and other countries. Its cast includes Segun Arinze, Alexx Ekubo, Annie Idibia and Kanayo O Kanayo.
The founder of AFRIFF, Chioma Ude, said: “We are excited and proud to be a part of the premiere of this milestone film here in Africa. This is huge for the continent of Africa as it symbolises further bridging of the gaps between the global film industries.”
Moses Babatope, co-founder and MD of Nigerian production and distribution company FilmOne Entertainment, has been selected as a juror for this year’s 50th International Emmy Awards.
The company said on Instagram: “We congratulate our managing director, Moses Babatope, on his selection to participate as a juror of the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences at the 50th International Emmy Awards competition. Way to go.”
The Emmys will be presented on November 21 in New York City to honour the best television programmes initially produced and aired outside the US.
Global streaming service Netflix has acquired two more Nigerian films through a deal with Nigerian distributor FilmOne Entertainment.
The streamer has picked up 76, which debuts next month, and Sanitation Day, which began streaming this week.
76 is a 2016 Nigerian historical drama directed by Izu Ojukwu and produced by Adonaijah Owiriwa and Izu Ojukwu. It is about history, valour, friendship, betrayal, loyalty and true love and stars Ramsey Nouah, Chidi Mokeme, Rita Dominic and Ibinabo Fiberesima.
Sanitation Day is a 2021 Nigerian crime thriller that follows two police officers who have to identify four perpetrators of a brutal murder on the eve of Sanitation Day. It is produced, written and directed by Seyi Babatope and the cast includes Blossom Chukwujekwu, Elozanam Ogbolu, Charles Inojie and Nse Ikpe-Etim.
Both movies are distributed by television studio FilmOne Entertainment.
“Something to look forward to this week. Sanitation Day is coming to Netflix. Get hyped. We are excited about this Netflix title coming to Netflix this August. Get ready,” said the TV studio on its Instagram page.
Production company FilmOne Entertainment has unveiled four new Nollywood movies that will debut in Nigerian cinemas in the upcoming months.
The movies are The Wait (debuting April 30), Mamba’s Diamond (May 13), Lockdown (May 28) and My Village People (June 11).
The Wait tells the story of diverse people as they face life issues and stars Joke Silva, Nse Ikpe-Etim, Deyemi Okanlawon and Kate Henshaw.
FilmOne Entertainment said on Instagram: “Can you feel the excitement? The Wait movie is in cinemas on the 30th April. Trust us, it is worth the wait.”
Mamba’s Diamond tells the story of two amateur thieves who stumble on an accidental diamond heist. It stars Osas Ighodara, Gabriel Afolayan and Ayo Makun.
Lockdown is produced by David Eruotor and KC Obiajulu, executive produced by Sneeze Films, Micheal Djaba, FilmOne Entertainment, iFactory Live and CEM Media Group, and stars Omotola Jolade, Chioma Akpotha and Tony Umez.
My Village People is a dark comedy set in the world of African folklore. It is written by Bovi Ugboma, directed by Niyi Akinmolayan and stars Rachael Oniga, Sophie Alakija, Charles Inojie and Nkem Owoh.
Nigerian production and distribution company FilmOne Entertainment has signed a content distribution deal with American entertainment conglomerate Disney.
The agreement reaffirms Disney’s commitment to the West African cinema market and covers titles from all Disney studio divisions, including Pixar, Marvel Studios, Walt Disney Pictures, Blue Sky Pictures, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Lucasfilm, 20th Century Studios and Searchlight Pictures.
It also makes FilmOne Entertainment the sole distributor of Disney-owned films in Nigeria, Ghana and Liberia, giving it titles including Mulan, The New Mutants, The King’s Man, Death on the Nile, Black Widow, Soul, Free Guy, The Last Duel and Eternals.
Moses Babatope, co-founder of FilmOne, said: “It is a major career highlight that we’re able to get the world’s biggest movie studio as a partner. What the deal means is that we are exclusive marketers and distributors of Disney titles in the English-speaking West African countries that have studio-licensed cinemas. We will distribute the films to all those cinemas in the territory.
Christine Camerer, senior VP and country manager for Africa at Disney, added: “With their in-depth knowledge of the region and expertise in bringing theatrical releases to fans, we are thrilled to welcome FilmOne as our distribution partner for this territory.”
Babatope said the partnership could lead to future collaborations involving largely African content.
“It’s true that a lot of the content we will be distributing is from other parts of the world, but if we are able to demonstrate that we are accountable and transparent, there will be room to attract future investments involving content from this region.”
In 2019, FilmOne Entertainment signed a deal with Chinese media giant Huahua to co-produce the first major Chinese-Nigerian film, 30 days in China. The firm has also distributed and produced Nigerian box-office hits such as The Wedding Party and New Money.
A sequel to 1996 Nollywood crime drama movie Domitila is set to make its debut in cinemas in 2021.
The new feature be coproduced by FilmOne Entertainment, Zeb Ejiro Productions and Omoni Oboli’s Dioni Visions.
It will follow the adventures of a young woman, called Domitila, who accidentally witnesses the mysterious death of a politician. With law enforcement on her and her friends’ trail, she decides to go to any lengths to prove her innocence.
Zeb Ejiro, director of the original, said: “When we first made Domitila, it was a story inspired by societal challenges that have, over time, proven to not only be [relevant] to the 1990s but trans-generational. And so, in recognition of its relevance in these times, we have decided to make a sequel to the story, factoring in recent socio-cultural advancements.”
FilmOne Entertainment co-founders Kene Okwuosa and Moses Babatope said: “We are happy to once again bring magic to the big screen by producing this breathtaking movie. In Domitila, we have identified an entertaining and artistic masterpiece that would appeal to different generations of film lovers.”
Oboli, the sequel’s creative director, added: “When I was a teenager, I auditioned for Domitilla but I didn’t get a part; perhaps, I was too tiny. Today, I’m proud to be one of the stars, executive producers, producer and creative director of the sequel. It’s going to be a very exciting ride and I can’t wait.”
The 1996 film starred Anne Njemanze, Sandra Achums, Kate Henshaw and Enebeli Elebuwa. Production of the sequel is set to kick off later this year.
Nigeria’s FilmOne Entertainment has begun production on the first film set to be backed by the US$1m fund it launched with China’s Huahua Media and South Africa’s Empire Entertainment in December.
Moses Babatope, co-founder of the producer and distributor, said that Kambili: The Whole 30 Yards, directed by Kayode Kasum, is the first coproduction between China and South Africa and the first of eight to 10 films the fund will co-finance.
The romantic comedy, one of the first full productions undertaken by FilmOne in a bid to create more inspiring Nollywood content, was written by Isioma Ogbaji and follows a young woman’s efforts to get married before she turns 30.
The film stars Jide Kene Achufusi, Elvina Ibru, Vanessa Akpofure, Uzor Arukwe, Koye Kekere-Ekun, Sharoon Ooja, Mawuli Gavor and Toyin Abraham.
“The global appetite for Nigerian content is growing,” said Babatope, adding that FilmOne is developing two more high-end projects.
Greenland is about a young soccer player who follows the treacherous human trafficking route to reach Europe and Darling Biliqis is a romantic drama based on a myth about the biblical Queen of Sheba.
Babatope believes both films will have broad international appeal and could hit the festival circuit in 2021. “We believe that we are going to have an Oscar contender,” he said.
Kambili: The Whole 30 Yards opens in cinemas on June 12.