Isaac Ayodeji

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What these Screenwriters think about Nigerian Sitcoms

Situational Comedies (Sitcoms) used to be built around small communities of unilateral characters embroiled in everyday situations, employing slapstick actions and reactions to evoke laughter from the audience (or laugh tracks). But over the years, there’s been an expansion to accommodate more nuanced characters, less cartoonish contexts and subtle social commentary that has seen the genre expand into something more than half an hour of laughing exercise.  This evolution isn’t as defined in the Nigerian context but it is there. A study of comic tentpoles over the years like Papa Ajasco, Fuji house of commotion, Face to Face, Jenifa’s Diary and The Johnsons illustrate the gradual nuancing of characters, situations and contexts that’s consistent with what gives these days. To dive deeper into the state of sitcoms in Nigeria, Filmkaku interviewed Africa Ukoh, Anthony Kehinde Joseph, Debola Ogunshina and Taiwo Egunjobi for their views on what is and isn’t working for…

Dami Orimogunje reveals his favourite films

With films like Family, Mo and Losing my Religion, Dami Orimogunje has shown his fine taste in cinema, referencing obvious influences in his personal project from a diverse appreciation of global cinema. When Filmkaku spoke with him about his work, he expectedly punctuated some of his points with references to his favourite films listed below. The cumulative total reflects a deep interest in foreign language dramas, usually about couples facing external and internal crises. Amour by Michael Haneke This German film tells the story of an Octogenarian couple, George and Anne grappling with a debilitating stroke. Slated as a painful and personal drama, Orimogunje references this film more than any other film as an example of simple but powerful storytelling. Check our trailer here Ida by Pawel Pawlikoski Set in 1962 Poland, Ida is about a young woman about to take vows as a nun when she learns from her…

Six Fundraising Tips for Young Filmmakers from the Director of Payday

The year was 2018. Nollywood finally got wind of the impending arrival of Payday, a different kind of comedy, after winning big at the International Festival of Detective Films and Television in Moscow, Russia. Even more striking was that the director, Cheta Chukwu, was a relative unknown at the time of the film’s release. Critics praised the fresh attempt at humour, the cinematography, the creatively arrogant use of colours and a timely introduction into a relatively new world. Cheta’s sudden ascent into mainstream Nigerian cinema is one of many good examples available for upcoming filmmakers to study.  Prior to the big break, Cheta was the archetypal young filmmaker: passionate, energetic and swelling with big ideas to stun the industry.  All that prevented an actualization of his big dreams was money. He’d gone from door to door, armed with his ideas and infectious energy, pitching ideas endlessly but it mostly ended…

Six Filmmaking Tips from Imoh Umoren

At a special BAFTA: A Life in Pictures Event, Ridley Scott told filmmakers present that they had no excuses not to go out and make a movie. He cited the availability of modern technologies as 70% of previously daunting barriers eliminated. Typical of the average Nigerian filmmaker, it is easy to assume that the context over there is different from ours by pointing out to the familiar mitigating factors, but the truth remains that there has never been a better time for the Nigerian filmmaker to make a film. Cameras of different types are available just about everywhere. Even better, the average smart phone can conveniently shoot and as well edit films. Film Kaku recently had an interview with Nigerian Filmmaker, Imoh Umoren, where his filmmaking journey was discussed. The director of Children of Mud, The Herbert Macaulay Affair and Dear Bayo certainly knows a lot about working your way…

What Yemi Amodu’s Owo Eje teaches us about Storytelling

It’s common knowledge that the whodunit-mystery genre is undergoing a low-key revival on big screens lately. First there was Kenneth Branagh’s Murder On the Orient Express (2017) followed by Kyle Newacheck’s Murder Mystery (2019) on Netflix, Rian Johnson’s critically acclaimed crowd pleaser Knives out (2019) and a forthcoming Death on the Nile (2020) adaptation. Back home, we had Catch.er by Walt Banger released in 2017 to favourable reviews. Even within our indigenous movie circuits, Yoruba especially, there’s been an interesting resurgence of uniformed policemen with coloured character traits trying to make sense of mysterious murder cases. But before all these (the mysterious demise of the genre and the gradual resurgence), there was Owo Eje, a murder mystery movie directed by Yemi Amodu and released in 2005, that caused quite a stir within the Yoruba audience. Adapted from a Kola Akinlade novel published in 1976, Owo Eje retains elements fans of…

The Herbert Macaulay Affair director discusses Storytelling. 

Films are very difficult art forms to make. Period films are an even more difficult turf to negotiate. The problems range from fund raising, researching the story and fact-checking to avoid historical inaccuracies, scouting for fitting locations, wardrobe and much more. And in a country like ours riddled with atypical structures and narratives, the problems are bound to be even more. It’s for this reason the historical period genre has been largely ignored by Nigerian filmmakers. The sour experiences of the few that have dabbled into it in the past are enough to deter filmmakers. But not Imoh Umoren, the director of The Herbert Macaulay Affair. Imoh belongs to the recent upsurge of counter-cultural Nigerian filmmakers looking to rewrite the narrative in the country by venturing and rooting themselves in new genres. A look at his filmography reveals a daring tendency to experiment. The artistic roving eventually took him to…

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