– Film-makers share thoughts on the stand-out movies of the year
2015 was an exciting year for Nigeria’s motion picture industry, Nollywood as movie lovers were treated to some quality productions.
From Genevieve Nnaji’s Road to Yesterday, Fifty, to Taxi Driver, Falling and the four-man cast The Visit – the audience were wowed!
But which movies stood out in the year and what should the audience expect in 2016, ENCOMIUM Weekly spoke with some film-makers, and insiders in the industry.
Chinaza Onuzo – Producer
His words, Fifty. It showed that we could build a product and market it and they will come out in numbers.
Road to Yesterday. We love the fact that Genevieve came back and her fans came with her.
Taxi Driver. I loved the mainstream indigenous language film. We’ve had too few of these. The cinematography was also a special treat.
The Visit, a movie of wit and acting brilliance carried by four-strong performances and good writing.
“Of course, I’m not allowed to mention my own films The Department and Out of Luck but the audience reaction to both was gratifying.
On what to expect in 2016, he added, “In 2016 we hope to keep telling Nigerian stories that resonate with our audience.”
Isioma Osaje, Talent manager and associate producer
According to her, “In no particular order; Fifty for its amazing cinematography. The picture looked almost edible – crisp and clear. Also, first time a Nollywood movie has been marketed properly.
Gbomo Gbomo Express. Adventurous take on film making; the director and cinematographers were not afraid to try new things.
Falling – This story had heart. The main actors delivered beautifully.
The Visit. Four people in a film, two hours long and no dull moment. Best ensemble performance ever. All four actors were terrific and brilliant.
Road to Yesterday is artsy and out of the box film. I like the risk the director took with this story.
Out of Luck – This is a film for the people. It was such a fantastic cinematic experience. It kept the audience engaged from start to finish, commenting, laughing and screaming.
First Lady – I think this was Alex Ekubo’s best performance ever.
“Taxi Driver (Oko Ashewo). 90 percent of the film happens at night and in a moving car. Terrific job from the cinematography and lightning department.
LunchTime Heroes is a nice family film. The children in it did very well and have a future in Nollywood.
A Soldier’s Story – Very nice special effects, makeup and a brave attempt at special effects and graphics”.
Charles Novia – Producer and Director
The producer and director shared his thoughts on what the movie audience can look forward to in 2016, “In the movie sector in 2016, the demarcation between the Asaba-esque kind of movies (movies with a particular hue and bandwagon content produced in the Asaba hub) and the so-called ‘New Nollywood’ (movies with improved production values and cinema distribution) would be much visible.
With the New Nollywood movies being mostly more of hype than type (gross earnings being negligible compared to the production budget) because of inadequate distribution structures and the exasperating impatience of the cinema houses towards Nollywood movies with regards to scheduling and listings, the indices might not change much.
We would have more interesting movies at the cinemas and more competitive movies in the awards circuit but how the producers grin in public whilst getting all the adulations compared to their balance sheet is left for conjecture. Hopefully, new cinema outlets by the present players in the cinema distribution chain would help us all out.
“Curiously though, a lot of producers will switch to producing television series and programmes in 2016. With the success of Africa Magic in giving the viewers original productions such as Hotel Majestic, many top movie producers are presently challenged to invest more on television productions.
It’s more profitable and returns are sure and steady and there is a demand for such by the viewers. Nigeria has gradually accepted the American-styled Season programming and with viewing habits changing, this new slant would be prominent in 2016 on the Nigerian airwaves.”
Nike Fagbule – Publicist and Talent Manager
The publicist and talent manager named Out of Luck, The Visit, and Road to Yesterday among the movies that thrilled in 2015.
Her words, The Visit. Great gilm, great concept; it was totally on point. I love all the characters in the movie. Everyone held his own. Almost forgot it was a four-man cast film.
Out Of Luck is another nice movie, one of the best I saw in 2015. The lead characters, Tope Tedela, Femi Branch and Linda Ejiofor killed it.
Fifty. The publicity and marketing for this film was top notch. The picture was clear and Lagos scenery was to die for. Great acting by Iretiola Doyle.
Road to Yesterday. Genevieve’s comeback movie, the last 15 minutes was revealing.
Falling – This is a love story extraordinaire; the female lead, Adesua Etomi told the story with her body and soul. The chemistry amongst characters was good.”