Monday, February 18, 2013

Around And About Nollywood

Around And About Nollywood

SUNDAY, 17 FEBRUARY 2013 00:00

Berlinale 2013: The clock ticks for celluloid
ACE filmmaker, Tunde Kelani, predicted some years ago that with the advancement in digitisation, it would not be long before making films on celluloid becomes old fashioned.

Kelani reiterated this conviction at the 2011 edition of FESPACO during a discussion on entry requirements for films at Festival of Pan-African Cinema in Ouagadougou otherwise called FESPACO.

Kelani’s assertion came as a result of the insistence of organisers of FESPACO that all entries for its main competition must be on celluloid or should be blown up to that standard — a reason no entry from the core Nollywood practitioner has made the FESPACO official selection list within the last three decades.

Kelani has always argued that the right way to go is digitisation, which gives a much better output than celluloid. His predictions have started playing out and with the advancement in digitisation of the film industry, festival organisers and cinema owners are beginning to face complex technical challenges.

At the ongoing Berlin International Film Festival, otherwise called Berlinale, organisers have admitted facing such challenges. They declared that for the 2013 festival, the number of films screening in the Digital Cinema Package (DCP) format at the Berlinale exceeds 50 per cent for the first time. However, only about eight per cent of the films are still shown in the classic 35mm format. The rest, a total of about 2,500 screenings scheduled during the festival and the European Film Market, are in ‘diverse digital video formats’.

Also, they admitted that the work processes involved in ensuring an optimal screening of the films have changed radically over the past years.

The organisers maintained that all the films submitted in digital formats would first be put through complex testing procedures and, if necessary, converted so they could be played back without any technical glitches.

They, also, said that distribution of the films to the approximately 60 screens of the Berlinale had predominantly been based on a digital transmission system. But to guarantee a consistent technical infrastructure during the festival, and to eliminate compatibility problems, the organisers have to modify many of the venues.

“The demand for digital projectors, high-performance server systems and fast data lines have risen enormously in recent years.

These challenges could not have been met without the support and expertise of several partner companies,” the organisers said.

This year, seven companies – Barco, Kinoton, Doremi, DVS, Dolby, Colt and ARRI – are supporting the festival in the field of digital cinema, as either official partners or suppliers.

In conjunction with Kinoton, Barco has provided this year’s event with high-quality digital cinema projectors for 19 screens as well as overall technical service and support that will ensure audiences the experience of flawless digital cinema projections.

Observers expect that now that the Nigerian movie practitioners are beginning to make films on superior digital format, they should be in Berlin at the next edition in February 2014, even if on the fringes. Festival goers have been asking a lot about Nollywood and its offerings. The cinema of India is in Berlinale, so, they expect that Nollywood, which placed second after India in the UNESCO 2005 survey of movie producing countries in the world, should find a space in Berlin next year.

Tonto Dike, Bukky Wright dazzle in My Life, My Damage

POPULAR actress, Tonto Dike, has a date with history on Friday, March 1. In this era where stars are rated based on how well their movie perform at the cinema, Tonto will be making a cinema debut in a new movie titled, My Life, My Damage.

Observers are of the opinion that if the film crosses the N10 million marks, Tonto would be the first to combine ‘notoriety and commercial viability’.

Sources say Tonto has told close friends that she believes she can break into the circle of actresses, who have had success at the box-office.

The second of the damage trilogy, My Life, My Damage, tackles the effects of drug abuse and its negative consequences.

In the movie, the sultry actress plays a young girl, who travels out of the country with the intention of being a medical doctor. She, however, gets distracted and that’s where the story begins.

“When I read through the script, I instantly got fascinated with it because it portrays what a lot of people go through on a daily basis, especially the subtle way hard drugs becomes a habit,” says Tonto.

“So, many of our youths dabble in hard drugs and end up suffering dearly for it. This movie creates awareness against the menace of hard drugs.”

Bukky Wright is making a comeback in the movie, after a long break off acting. The top cross over actress is also excited about the movie’s forthcoming premiere.

Star actress Uche Jombo, who wrote and produced the movie, has been in Nollywood for quite some time. She has featured in a number of blockbuster movies and has written several home videos including The Celebrity, Games Men Play, Holding Hope and Girls in the Hood.

LIFF Nigeria partners Ecrans Noir Cameroon on festivals

HISTORY was made recently when the Lagos International Film Festival (LIFF) signed a landmark agreement with Ecrans Noir Film Festival of Yaoundé Cameroun.

The agreement centres on the exchange of ideas, strategies and other essentials necessary for a festival to survive in the 21st century.

The CEO of LIFF Madu C. Chikwendu revealed that the partnership followed long years of meeting with Ecrena Noir on the need for a partnership that would provide opportunities for cinema professionals of both countries to network and exchange ideas.

“We have been discussing with Ecrans Noir for years and in the course of several visits to Cameroun, I became convinced that this partnership is not only necessary and feasible, but has become a desirable moral imperative,” Chikwendu said.

For the Delegue General of Ecrans Noir, Filmmaker Bassek Ba Khobio, the linguistic, cultural historical and geographical affinity between Nigeria and Cameroun has made the partnership compelling.

A statement from LIFF secretariat signed by Ms Hope Nwachukwu indicated that the partners would address the media at the Pan-African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

The 2013 LIFF, according to the statement, holds from July 3 to 7 in Lagos, with the theme, New Nollywood, New Partnerships.

The statement also indicated that entries have been opened and would be accepted in the features, shorts, documentaries, animation and student films categories.

The final date for submission of entries is Wednesday, May 15. Organisers say they expect the 2013 edition to target the screening of over 365 exciting titles.

At the 2012 edition, a five-man jury, headed by filmmaker and scholar, Dr. Dul Johnson, awarded the grand prize (The Golden Camel) to Larry Zuoka’s The Revenge Of Bullet.

Zuoka also won Best Director. Leading man, Joseph Okoro, carted away Best Actor while Nollywood diva, Ebube Nwagbo, won Best Actress.

LIFF started in 1996 as the National Conference on Entertainment. In 2005, it transformed into Africa Video Expo AVEX.
In line with global best practices, the event was rebranded in 2006 as International Film Festival.

In February 2012, LIFF launched a second festival, Leap International Film Festival (October 25-27, 2013) in the South Eastern city of Aba, a major distribution centre for Nollywood movies, becoming the first Nigerian company to organise two film festivals under the single LIFF Festivals Group. Information on the festival can be sourced at

Miss Safety launches short film…signs costume deal

MISS Safety International Nigeria, Juliet Ofodile, will launch a short film on safety come March 20. Produced by Madu Chikwendu’s Kraftman Productions, the film, which focuses on road signs, will be available on DVDs. It will be given to different road users around the country.

According to the queen: “I was inspired by the general lack of awareness about road signs in the country. A lot of road users do not understand the significance of something as simple as say Zebra crossing. With the increasing importance of the visual medium, we feel it’s very important to take advantage of this and produce a film that can talk to people and enhance consciousness about safety on the road.”

The occasion will also be an opportunity to launch the special Miss Safety Air Fresheners and Stickers, which carry different safety messages. This is in line with the vision of the Pageant, which is basically designed to crate awareness about issues of safety in all its ramifications.

In a related development, Kraftman Productions, organisers of Miss Safety Beauty Pageant has signed an exclusive deal with Lagos-based designer, Matedo Couture.

The deal ensures that Matedo Couture exclusively and exquisitely clothes Miss Safety. The deal also covers the two runners-up, Miss Safety Eros (Amaka Nwakalor); and Miss Safety Unitate (Ifeyinwa Edozie).

For Ms Mary Tonye Edoso, head, Matedo Couture: “We are very proud to be associated with such a worthwhile brand that is enriching the society and transforming our world.”

Filmmaker, Madu C. Chikwendu, founded the pageant in 2012. The inaugural coronation Ball took place on December 9 with a third-year student of the University of Lagos, Miss Juliet Ofodile, beating other ladies to clinch the coveted crown.

Incentive for advertisers from WAPTV

WAPTV has announced an advert bonanza, which will enable businessmen and women to advertise on the station at an affordable price and for a limited period.

According to Wale Adenuga Jnr., MD, wapTV, “the bonanza will benefit small-scale businesses, as well as entrepreneurs, by enabling them shoot and air their TV adverts on wapTV at a very affordable rate and then profit from the nationwide exposure given to their products and services.”

Since its debut on October 1, last year, wapTV, has grown to be one of the most popular digital TV channels in the country due to its programmes, which include past and fresh episodes of Superstory, Thislife, Papa Ajasco & Company, Nnena & Friends, Odd World and Binta, My Daughter as well as the best selection of Nigerian movies, soaps, music and comedies, which cut across different age groups.

Located in Ajao Estate off Airport Road, Lagos, wapTV is available on StarTimes Channel 222 Lagos, Abuja, Ibadan, Kaduna, Aba , Port Harcourt, Kano, Benin, Onitsha , Jos, Ilorin, Yola, Markudi, Uyo, Sokoto, and Enugu as well as on StarTimesMobile in some states.

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