Isaac Ayodeji

10 Posts Back Home

Diji Aderogba and the Beauties of Collaboration

Scooping the NollywoodWeek Prix Du Public (Audience award) at the recently concluded Nollywood festival in Paris, About a Boy is shaping up to be one of the surprises of the year. FilmKaku caught up with director of the moment Diji Aderogba to talk about his big influences and next steps. FilmKaku: Congratulations on your win at Nollywood Week Film Festival for About a boy. Diji Aderogba: Thank you. FK: For the benefit of those who haven’t seen the film yet, could you go in a bit into why you wanted to tell this story? DA: The film is basically about mental health. Particularly, childhood mental health issues that linger till adulthood. The story serves as an awareness campaign on the aforementioned issues. It centers on a writer who believes he can escape his situation by indulging in distractions. The film attempts to mirror the resultant struggle. FK: Would you say…

Chukwu Martin, the Artist with many faces

Martin Chukwu calls himself a masquerade. Resident beneath all the layers is a form flexible enough to satisfy diverse artistic needs. There are acting credits, published essays, film reviews, short film directions and an incoming feature. For many, this is confusion and chaos, the proverbial curse of one skilled at many trades. For Martin, it’s different. It’s raw talent, expressed in ways that appear infinite. Film Kaku had a chat with the artist. The conversation has been transcribed and edited for publication.  Film Kaku: You’re an actor, a writer and a film director. You’re also the founder of a very influential film club. Was there a specific time in your life that was most crucial to shaping your love of cinema? Martin Chukwu: My love for cinema can be traced to a lineup of images from my past. Seeing films in Brother Taye’s TV repair shop with the other kids…

The Watchlist: Michael Omonua’s favourite films

Michael Omonua is a Nigerian film director and writer. He received his BA in Film Production at the University College of the Creative Arts, in Farnham, Surrey, and has since gone on to write and direct short films in both the United Kingdom and Nigeria. He premiered his debut feature film, The Man Who Cuts Tattoos, at the London Film Festival to acclaim from critics globally. His most recent offering, Rehearsal, a biting satiric short film inspired by the theatricality of church sermons, featured in the Berlinale Shorts Competition 2021. The critically acclaimed director walks us through the films that have exposed him to the beauty of cinema. Flirt  A 1995 coming of age drama film written and directed by Hal Hartley. It tells the story of a lover who has to choose whether to commit to a partner who is returning home. This situation is played out in different…

Michael Omonua talks Nollywood, Memories and Eavesdropping on Diner conversations

Michael Omonua’s acute interest in existential topics grounded in the Nigerian reality and the states of the human condition colour his filmography.  Loop count and Brood spotlights the concept of memory and its malleability. Yahoo boy provides an intimate look into a single day out of many tumultuous days in the lives of struggling internet fraudsters. Bleed feeds jarring insights into the illicit body parts trading network in Lagos. Rehearsal, a Berlinale 2021 selection, casts a sharp satiric gaze on religion. The Man Who Cuts Tattoos, his debut feature length effort released in 2019 , treats love, pain and sacrifice with the tattoo culture of an understudied ethnic group as rich context. With screenings all over the world, Michael Omonua’s somewhat idiosyncratic style is proof that the world is ready for African stories told in whatever style or form. Film Kaku interviewed Michael to gain extra insights into his work and…

“The Beauty of Modern Entertainment is in Offering Something Fresh”: An Interview with Adekunle “Nodash” Adejuyigbe

From writer/director/producer Adekunle “Nodash” Adejuyigbe, Delivery Boy tells a bold, forthright and heartbreakingly ominous story of sizzling rage as a tool for seeking closure. Amir (played by Jamil Ibrahim) is broken after years of sexual abuse at the hands of an older Muslim scholar tasked with guidance and protection. A transfer to a camp for young Islamic scholars confirms a switch to the dark side and when he ends up on the street as a stony, knife-wielding vagrant, he kicks into actions plans to punish the man behind his pain.  During this 1-on-1 interview with Film Kaku, filmmaker Adekunle Adejuyigbe talked about arriving Lagos as a green filmmaker, how years honing his craft in TV eased the multitasking Delivery Boy demanded, the importance of trainings, festivals and global validation, the definition of African Storytelling and what he plans to do next. Filmkaku: There’s been talk about your reputation as a…

5 Invaluable Resources for Nigerian Screenwriters

A screenwriter’s journey to mastery isn’t without its fair share of ups and downs. The hours, months and years of obsessively watching and re-watching movies, poring over screenplays and books, listening to podcasts and lectures. All in a bid to get better in an ultra-competitive field with largely unpredictable markers for success. From story development to structure, theme to dialogue, genre conventions to character, there’s quite a lot for the screenwriter to grapple with. The peculiarity of the Nigerian context comes with its specific problems: the unfortunate disregard for the craft, the absence of platforms to encourage training of writers, the accessibility of job opportunities, financial viability and many more. The Nigerian screenwriter is left to adopt self-learning to grow, survive and remain relevant. He/She is forced to hunt for and sift through numerous resources available online: Articles, downloadable e-books, video essays and many more. Most are flawed, subjectively designed…

Kayode Kasum On Sugar Rush and How Mentorship Shaped Him.

It was late last year. Swivelling news on social media about a certain comedy film that had people rushing to the cinemas in droves. Sugar Rush, it was called. The poster won the first war with its sugary colours that had sweet-toothed fans running wild. Then came the cast list studded with our favourite Nollywood stars, the coy immersion into a notoriously difficult Nigerian PC, the aggression of the marketing and the elegance of the entire package. People fell off their chairs in laughter, had tears in their eyes, as they wrestled comedy in the darkness of our cinema halls. Then came the overwhelming positive reports, the interesting comments about disappearing cars, the explosions, the blonde, Yoruba-speaking villain waving off bullets like gnats and the brilliant word of mouth marketing that ensured millions were piling. Box office records were shattered in no time. And soon, it was clear for all…

A Love Letter to Daniel Oriahi’s Sylvia: On Creating Moments, by Damola Layonu

I recently watched an analysis of Zack Snyder’s work which broke down some of its arguable inadequacies, most prominently displayed in the box office behemoth: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Video essayist, Evan Puschak, who runs the delightfully illuminating YouTube channel, Nerdwriter, simplified it by criticizing the director’s “obsession with moments at the expense of scenes”. This prompted a re-watch of the film (truth be told, I wasn’t fond of it the first time around) and I have to say, Puschak is right. Between the slow-motion montages and highly emotional touch-points of the film, there’s little in the way of world-building, character-building, or any kind of building. I’m not here to question Snyder’s competence as a director. The existence of films like Watchmen, Man of Steel and 300 alone crowns him forever as one of my faves and let’s face it, the man can employ a slow-mo action like no other. But I…

Creating Scores with Film and Television Composer Ava Momoh

Film and Music are longstanding allies in the business of serving emotions to audiences around the world. While it’s no simple task to piece a film that captures the intricacies of the human condition together, fitting in the right sounds with effective emotive intentions is just as daunting. Pooling from the timeless compositions of the symphonic cohort of Hans Zimmer, Danny Elfman, John Wiliams, John Carpenter, Ennio Morricone, to the latest endeavours of Brian Tyler, Ramin Djawadi, Ludwig Goransson et. al, film scores are instrumental (pun intended) in affecting the dramatic underscore of films. Now, drawing from the reins of the greats is Ava Momoh, a self-named Nigerian film composer, with a burgeoning career spanning over a decade. On both film and TV, Ava has scored for a number of movies and has worked with reputable movie producers and directors. His filmography is constantly expanding, with a repertoire of work…

A Love Letter to Genevieve Nnaji’s Lionheart by Damola Layonu

Genevieve Nnaji’s Lionheart first made waves when it was announced as a Netflix Nigerian original, and naturally, there were differing opinions on its quality and whether it deserved to be so courted. This debate intensified when it became Nigeria’s first ever submission for the Oscars’ Best International Film category, but the film truly earned global phenomenal status when it was disqualified for failing to fulfill the criteria of being shot “primarily in a language other than English”. Fans of the film both at home and abroad, including famously, renowned filmmaker, Ava DuVernay,rushed to the film’s defence and criticized the Academy’s decision. https://youtu.be/v45GprEyM7U This is not a review of Lionheart. Not only is it far too late in the day to attempt this, but it flies in the face of my personal values as a distributor, film-lover, and aspiring filmmaker. I must allocate my time wisely, thus I’ve committed to writing only on that which…

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