Directing

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…

Micheal AMA Psalmist wants you to stop talking and start shooting

Micheal ‘AMA Psalmist’ Akinrogunde first burst onto the scene after emerging as one of the winners of the 2017 Accelerate Filmmaker’s Project with his short film, Penance. A stunning win as the best short film at the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards was quickly followed by a Film Gala award win organized by Filmhouse cinemas in collaboration with Moet and Chandon. The rest, they say, is history. Michael’s story is an example for young, aspiring filmmakers in Nigeria to look to for encouragement and inspiration . Festivals, awards, training platforms and labs are viable pathways to fame and relevance.  The young filmmaker must look to exploit opportunities as they continue to show up. Filmkaku got a chance to chat with Michael after a bit of ‘hounding’, thanks to his busy schedule. Do read the conversation: Filmkaku: Can you share how and why you got into filmmaking? Micheal AMA Psalmist: I…

How C.J. Obasi Conquered Nollywood conventions with a Zero Budget Film

C.J. Obasi has built a reputation in the film industry for his total commitment to the New Nollywood aesthetic, bound by the bold manifesto of his collective, the Surreal 16. He is also prominent writer, sharing writing credits in Living In Bondage and Lionheart respectively. With his Mami Wata project securing funding from international partners, getting representation from the global talent  CAA and most recently, getting signed up to the Netflix Original African series slate of directors, Obasi is surely one of the most exciting filmmakers out of Africa in recent times. His films include Ojuju, O Town and Hello Rain. A film festival favourite, his zero budget Zombie film “Ojuju” won the Best film award at the African International Film Festival (Afriff) and got him the Trailblazer of the Year award in March 2015, at the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCA). It is also regarded as one of…

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…

The Artist that inspires Abba Makama

Director Abba Makama has created some of the most visually and thematically interesting films in Africa in recent times thanks in part to the art that inspires him. Dodorowsky, as he’s fondly called, is regarded as one of the freshest African voices, making a killing at major film festivals like Toronto International Film Festival(Tiff), twice now, with his films Green White Green and The Lost Okoroshi. Along with CJ Obasi and Michael Gouken of the Surreal 16 collective, his unique brand of storytelling combines elements of/from masquerades, dreamscapes, art, music, dance and more importantly, his greatest inspiration, Alejandro Jodorowksy, a Chilean-French Artist, who has worked as a screenwriter, a poet, a playwright, an essayist, a film and theater director and producer, an actor, a film editor, a comic writer, a musician and composer, a philosopher, a puppeteer, a mime, a psychologist and psychoanalyst, a draughtsman, a painter, a sculptor,…

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…

Dami Orimogunje on Creating a Distinct Style

“I’d like to be for cinema what Shakespeare was for theatre,Marx for politics & Freud for psychology.” Every filmmaker is influenced by some other filmmaker in diverse forms, whether that’s by picking up a style of dialogue, an approach to art direction, pacing, cinematography or music. And usually, this subtle transference is usually obvious enough to make some form of connection. With several short films and a feature film in post, Damilola Orimogunje is mastering his own style, drawing heavily from his favourite filmmakers. Constantly referencing Asian auteurs, Orimogunje’s handle on the visual language of cinema shines through with projects like Mo and Losing My Religion. Not to limit his abilities to his visual brilliance, Orimogunje’s writing is also impressively distinct, unlike his peers, writing simple stories with serious themes, unburdened by the need to subscribe to the romantic comedy staple of Nollywood. Film Kaku sat down with Dami…

How Jade Osiberu Uses Colour to Create Mood

If your colour choices are just incidental, you’re probably using your colours wrongly.  Award winning director and producer, Jade Osiberu, is one of the most exciting storytellers in the Nigerian film industry. Emerging from Ndani TV and subsequently debuting strongly on the cinema scene with Isoken, a lushly executed drama that was well received by audiences and critics alike, Osiberu has shown a commitment to an aesthetic arrangement based on bold colour choices. Spanish painter Pablo Picasso once said that colours, like features, follow the changes of emotions. This appears to be the underlying philosophy behind Jade’s artistic intentions. Credited as production designer on her projects, she retains a direct control on the colours that appear on screen, a quality often associated with auteurs. Her work so far has been largely restricted to drama and romance, deeply rooted in Lagos pop-culture: With Gidi up, she burst onto the scene, telling…

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