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.