On Sunday, December 10, 2017, famous actress cum film maker, Funke Etti will be launching her new movie, Eji Oworu, and the event promises to be one in town. The movie launch which holds at Time Square Events Centre, Ikeja, Lagos, will surely draw dignitaries from all walks of life, especially the entertainment industry.
ENCOMIUM Weekly had a chat with the talented thespian on Sunday, December 3, 2017, when she was cornered at an event in Oregun, Lagos, and she spoke elaborately on the multi million naira flick and few other issues.
What’s coming out now from the stable of Funke Etti?
What’s coming out now is my new movie, Eji Oworu, which is going to be launched on Sunday, December 10, 2017. It’s taking place at Time Square Event Centre, Ikeja, Lagos. The artiste performing that day is Alhaji Wasiu Alabi Pasuma.
A lot of other artistes have also been billed to thrill at the event. Some of these artistes include Small Doctor, Junoir Boy, Mega 99, Esther Igbekele, Ere Asalatu, Saoti Arewa, 9ice and others.
That means the premiere is surely going to be star studded?
Yes, because a lot of my colleagues in the movie industry, both English and Yoruba genres and also a lot from the music industry. There’re lots of top celebrities from high society, political class other walks of life.
Is there any Ankara aso ebi this time around?
Yes, it’s normal thing in the industry. It’s going to be launching and premiere. The aso ebi is N7,000 per head and it’s already in circulation.
But a lot of people believe that this launching of a thing is just to rake in money from the public and that the movie never see the light of the day at the end of it all. How true is this?
It’s not everybody that does that. As for me, I don’t do such a thing.
I can tell you authoritatively that my movie has been completed already. And it parades a lot of stars. The movie was directed by Murphy Afolabi.
Some of the stars in Eji Oworu include Madam Saje, Digboluja, Wazo, myself (Funke Etti), Murphy Afolabi, Kemi Afolabi, Tubosun Odunsi, Ogogo, Sola Kosoko, Biodun Okeowo, Foluke Daramola, Yomi Fabiyi, Halaa, Odunlade Adekola, Lagata, Regina Chukwu, Tunde Ola Yusus, Lalude and others.
How much did the movie gulp?
It’s a multimillion project. I can’t say exactly how much I spent on it. I don’t want to care about how much but what is important is to give my fans the best. I can’t go low. So, I made sure it’s a very standard movie and that’s why it cost me a lot of money to produce it.
How were you able to produce this multimillion naira movie even when some of your colleagues are no longer producing on account of the poor economic situation of the country and the dwindling nature of the industry at the moment?
I understand what you’re saying. The industry is somehow shaky at the moment. A lot of people are scared of producing quality movies.
But there’s one thing I believe, if your movie is standard, you will surely recoup your money and even make profit from it.
As far as 2009 that I produced my first movie, a lot of fans have been following the trend. They know I will never produce a low quality movie. I believe this new movie will also lead me to greater height. I can’t shoot below standard citing the present market situation as an excuse. I need to improve upon what l have done, not remaining on the same spot.
How many movies have you produced so far?
I have produced five. Eji Oworu is the fifth one.
Why five since 2009?
I don’t rush myself as far as movie production is concerned.
How would you describe the industry generally, especially during this recession?
Things have really changed. It’s not easy at all. Although, we can’t blame the government for everything that’s happening in the industry, all we’re appealing to them for is to change the law against piracy.
With that, I believe the situation of things in the industry will be better.
The issue of N10,000 fine is ridiculous. If the fine is much or penalty is stiffer, piracy will reduce. If a pirate knows he’s likely to die by hanging, he won’t want to go into pirating other people’s jobs any more.
It’s like we’re just working for some people to eat. That’s why you see some actors and actresses having one or two businesses to support themselves.
We learnt you people work back to back to survive now, how true is it?
Yes, but that has been existing for long. But the difference is that back to back then attracted big money. Unlike now when the situation is otherwise. It’s not easy at all.
We also learn marketers are no longer sponsoring movies as they used to …
(Cuts in) yes, you’re right. People are scared of investing in movie just like I have said earlier.
Do you have any man footing the bill for you?
No, I work for my money. The only thing is that I have a good marketer, Timolak, that’s going to sell the movie. He’s new in the business but he’s a very nice and dedicated person. If you do a good movie, you must surely get a good marketer that will collect it from you.
All of them are wise. They don’t just put their money on any how movie but quality one because they know they will make profit on it.
Do you also agree that recession has really affected the industry?
Yes, all the stakeholders including those buying the movies.
What’re the challenges being faced on the preparation for the movie launch?
It has not been easy at all. It’s only God that’s helping me out. Some will just call you they want to buy the ankara and after giving them, you start calling, calling and calling. They keep posting you. So, it has not been easy at all. But I believe for anything that’s going to turn out successful, you must surely face one challenge or the other.
I believe the end shall be well and rewarding.
- Tade Asifat