The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) recently announced ‘The City to City: Lagos lineup’ for its annual City to City program curated by Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director of TIFF.
“Vital, complex and inspiring, Lagos is entirely unique,” said Bailey, in a prior press conference, when asked about why TIFF was zeroing in on Lagos, Nigeria.
“The city of Fela Kuti’s music has also given birth to one of the world’s most vibrant film industries. The 1,000 low-budget features ‘Nollywood’ produces each year generate about $1 billion in box office. Now, from that commercial hotbed, a new generation of filmmakers is emerging to both advance and challenge Nollywood. Bigger budgets, greater artistic ambition — the new cinema of Lagos is bold, exciting, and ready to take its place on the international stage. We’re excited to share the creativity of this remarkable city’s filmmakers with TIFF audiences in September.”
This year marks the eight year for the City to City programme which showcases filmmakers living and working in a selected city, regardless of where their films are set. Cities featured in past programmes include London, Tel Aviv, Istanbul, Buenos Aires, Mumbai, Athens and Seoul.
TIFF will be held September 8 to 18, 2016.
Below are the eight selected Nollywood movies that made the cut.
1. The Wedding Party
Everyone knows that there ain’t no party like a Nigerian wedding party…
Especially when you throw in an insecure virgin bride, a reformed playboy groom, two overbearing mothers who can’t stand each other, one philandering husband, a high-strung wedding planner, the invasion of unruly village gatecrashers, a thief on the loose, a best man with a flash drive full of secrets, a sexy ex with vengeance on her mind, two loyal bridesmaids ready to go to war, and a brother seeking his father’s approval. It’s a hilarious melting pot of potential disaster.
Written by playwright Tosin Otudeko and Kemi Adetiba, ‘The Wedding Party’ is an ELFIKE Film Collective production – a first of its kind initiative designed to raise the bar in African storytelling. A collaboration of Africa’s leading powerhouses – EbonyLife Films, FilmOne Distribution, Koga Studios and Inkblot Productions. The Executive producers include Mo Abudu, Moses Babatope, Chris Jeyibo and Naz Onuzo.
In this charming caper comedy, a bright but broke undergrad striving to escape the slums gets in over his head when his modest criminal enterprise goes a bit too far.
Director | Uduak-Obong Patrick
Executive Producer | Morten Foght
Producer | Judith Audu
Cinematographer | Oluseyi Asurf Amuwa, Fayo Segun Festus
Cast | Judith Audu, Stan Nze, Rotimi Salami, Roland Obutu, Brutus Richard
3. Okafor’s Law
Director | Omoni Oboli
Executive Producer | Omoni Oboli
Producer | Omoni Oboli
Cinematographer | Yinka Edward
Cast | Omoni Oboli, Blossom Chukwujekwu, Ufuoma McDermott, Toyin Aimakhu, Richard Mofe Damijo, Ken Erics, Gabriel Afolayan, Halima Abubakar, Mary Lazarus, Yvonne Jegede, Betty Iraboh, Uche Nnaji
4. Taxi Driver – Oko Ashewo (husband of a prostitute)
A small-town mechanic turned chauffeur for the mob gets caught up in the troubles of a beautiful sex worker, in this Scorsese-meets-Nollywood crime comedy that transforms the fast-paced and vibrant city of Lagos into an expressionistic film noir metropolis.
Director | Daniel Emeke Oriahi
Executive Producer | Daniel Emeke Oriahi, Moses Babatope, Kene Mkparu, Kene Okwuosa, Ayobami Macaulay, Kemi Balogun, August Udoh
Producer | Daniel Emeke Oriahi, Don Omope, Ayobami Macaulay
Cinematographer | Akpe Ododoru
Cast | Femi Jacobs, Ijeoma Grace Agu, Odunlade Adekola, Afeez (Saka) Oyetoro
5. The Arbitration
TIFF Rising Stars OC Ukeje and Somkele Iyamah-Idhalama join a stellar cast of Nollywood heavyweights in this whip-smart courtroom drama about lust, betrayal, and the price of ambition.
Director | Niyi Akinmolayan
Executive Producer | Naz Onuzo, Omotayo Adeola, Zulu Oyibo, Kene Okwuosa
Producer | Naz Onuzo, Omotayo Adeola, Zulu Oyibo
Cinematographer | Richard Mabiaku
Cast | O.C Ukeje, Adesua Etomi, Iretiola Doyle, Somkele Iyamah-Idhalama, Sola Fosudo
Bimbo Akintola, Danny Glover and TIFF Rising Star Somkele Iyamah-Idhalama star in director Steve Gukas’ riveting real-life thriller about courageous health-care workers in Lagos battling the Ebola outbreak of 2014.
Director |Steve Gukas
Executive Producer |Dotun Olakunri, Bolanle Austen-Peters, Steve Gukas
Producer |Dotun Olakunri, Bolanle Austen-Peters, Steve Gukas, Pemon Rami
Cinematographer | Yinka Edward
Cast |Danny Glover, Bimbo Akintola, Somkele Idhalama, Tim Reid, Alastair Mackenzie, Keppy Ekpenyong
Nollywood superstars Ramsey Nouah, Rita Dominic, and Chidi Mokeme headline this gripping drama set against the backdrop of the attempted 1976 military coup against the government of General Murtala Mohammed.
Director | Izu Ojukwu
Executive Producer | Adonijah Owiriwa, Tonye T.J.T. Princewill
Producer | Izu Ojukwu, Adonijah Owiriwa
Cinematographer |Yinka Edward
Cast | Ramsey Nouah, Rita Dominic, Chidi Mokeme, Ibinabo F iberisima, Larry Williams, Adonija Owiriwa, Daniel K. Daniel, Memry Savanhu, Pat Nebo, Debo Oguns, Adams Shuaibu
8. Green White Green
A group of young bohemian artists hang out and search for direction in their lives in the stagnant months leading up to the beginning of their university studies, in this richly textured and frequently funny look at Lagos’ new generation.
Director |Abba Makama
Executive Producer |Rimini Makama
Producer |Abba Makama
Cinematographer |Segun Oladimeji
Cast |Ifeanyi Dike, Jamal Ibrahim, Samuel Robinson, Crystabel Goddy, Okey Uzeoshi, Bimbo Manuel, Eric Didie, Donatus Ekwuazi, Donald Jonah, Meg Otanwa, Abubakar Yakubu, Dabis Christopher, Omoye Uzamere