Showing posts with label Oscars. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Oscars. Show all posts

Friday, June 10, 2011

Viva Riva, Beyond the Nollywood Fever and Palaver



Viva Riva, Beyond the Nollywood Fever and Palaver


This weekend as the Congolese gangster thriller Viva Riva opens in theatres in Los Angeles, U.S.A, it should be a wakeup call to Nollywood that what matters most is not the quantity of your movies, but the quality in Art and craft of filmmaking beyond the get-rich-quick syndrome of churning out cheap home videos of Nigerian comedies and tragedies from Idumota to Onitsha.

When Djo Tunda Wa Munga’s "Viva Riva" beat the best Nollywood movies at the 2011 African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA), many of the Nigerian filmmakers were humbled. But how many of them learnt the real lessons of the event? They preferred to rush back to their business as usual in Nollywood and having premieres of their amateurish flicks at the Silverbird Cinemas where their posing and posturing on the local red carpet is the best they have been able to achieve so far, while the man from the war torn Democratic Republic of the Congo has gone ahead of them to make history with his "Viva Riva" as the first Congolese feature to find distribution in the U.S. I wonder if any Nollywood flick has achieved that. And Congo where French is the main official language, plus four official indigenous languages: Kikongo, Lingala, Swahili and Tshiluba from “400 different tribes with 400 different ways of thinking. And, there are more than 200 ‘living’ languages,” according to Munga, with no acting schools and no "Congowood". In fact for most members of the cast, it was their first film credit.


Chineze Anyaene

Is it not amazing that the best film from Nollywood is "IJÉ the Journey", a New York Film Academy thesis feature film by Chineze Anyaene who has won 12 awards, including the Golden Ace Award at Las Vegas International Film Festival and the Melvin Van Peeples Award at the San Francisco Black Film Festival. In fact she even claimed that "IJÉ the Journey is the first standard Nigerian made Hollywood film" and do you blame her when like most people Nollywood is being mistaken as the best we can boast of from the Nigerian film industry since majority of our youths and even journalists are ignorant of the history of filmmaking in Nigeria and never knew that "Palaver" was the first Nigerian film shot in Jos, Plateau State, in 1904. But "IJÉ the Journey" is just one of the best Hollywood standard features done by Nigerian filmmakers who were making fantastic world class films for the cinema in the 1970s and 1980s. From Dr. Ola Balogun to Afolabi Adesanya and other notable veterans of the Nigerian cinema now mistakenly erroneously and ambiguously dubbed “Nollywood”. And I have already addressed this in my previous articles on Nollywood, so there is no need to over flog it again.

The once popular cinema culture is gradually being revived by Ben Murray-Bruce through his expanding Silverbird Cinemas and others building new cinemas all over Nigeria. And the real filmmakers are now redefining Nollywood by taking up the challenge of making features that can compete with the best in the world.
Majority of them have gone through the New York Film Academy. Faruk Lasaki, Kunle Afolayan, Stephanie Okereke, Chineze Anyaene, Chika Anadu and others who are going to take Nigerian films to compete with the best at the Cannes, Oscars and other major centres of the film world. But we need to address the problem of intellectual ignorance and professional arrogance plaguing Nollywood.



Many of the stakeholders are doing more harm than good to Nollywood by engaging in activities questioning the dignity and leadership of the Nigerian film industry.
They have also dragged their associations into partisan politics and promoting cash-for-vote and cash-for-news coverage sharp practices with many of them rubbishing and tarnishing the public image of the Nigerian film industry.

Piracy is still rampant and counterfeiting is being practiced by notable Nollywood stars who have been accused of copyright infringements like the desperate but futile attempts by a faction of Nollywood producers to hijack the duly registered Eko International Film Festival with the unethical support of their accomplices in public office.

My personal experience is quite revealing in the case of the counterfeiting of Eko International Film Festival by the mercenaries in Nollywood who have been abusing and misusing their professional associations for their greed and ego trips. But I have dismissed them since they have been found wanting in facing the real business of filmmaking and raking up ethnic differences and tribalism in their primordial divide and rule tactics to cause north-south dichotomy and east-west dichotomy in Nollywood when what matters most is promoting what is best for the Nigerian film industry and giving the necessary cooperation and support to those with the best intentions for the advancement of Nollywood, no matter your state of origin, in fact no matter where the person comes from, even from the moon or mars.

Only backward and narrow-minded people would be banging their office desk and going round the bend over why an Igbo should be the owner of a film festival in Lagos with the Yoruba name of "Eko"?
Would they also go bananas that my popular pen name "Orikinla" is Yoruba, because I am Igbo or question why I created "Òmó Iya Osùn" the mystical girl in "Boy Adam Floats Headless In The Thames"? Of course they are ignorant of the fact that my father grew up among the Yoruba Ijebus of Ogun State in the western region of Nigeria, became a Babalawo versed in Ifa Divination, was also an Ogun priest with an Ogun shrine in Obalende on the Lagos Island and was a prominent member of the Ogboni society. And he brought me up with deep knowledge of the mythology and mysticism of the Yoruba culture and religion until he passed on. I knew enough to be the first Nigerian artist to mount an installation of Ogun shrine and Opon Ifa in an Art exhibition hosted by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung on the campus of the University of Lagos in 1992, based on my late father’s paraphernalia of Ogun worship and Prof. Wande Abimbola’s book on Ifa Divination.

The search for knowledge knows no boundaries.
Before Oduduwa there was Ifa. And before Adam, our lord Jesus Christ existed and still existing as explained in the book of John 1:1 of the Holy Bible.

Only ignorant, uneducated and uninformed people will question why two Igbo men should be the founder and owner of Eko International Film Festival in Lagos or anywhere else in the world. Anyone could have been the founder, owner or whatever. What matters is not who discovered or founded a property, but how beneficial it is to you and me, regardless of class, colour, creed, tribe or race.

In conclusion, may I advise all the stakeholders, aficionados and well wishers of the Nigerian film industry to look beyond their local competition in Nollywood, put aside their evil greed and foolish pride and let us do our best to support whatever will benefit Nigeria and the rest of the world.


~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Nollywood missing as Hollywood and Bollywood shine at 64th Cannes Film Festival



Sleeping Beauty, starring Emily Browning, is one of 20 films up for the coverted Palme D'or. 64th Cannes Film Festival video © 2011 Reuters Entertainment.


As Hollywood and Bollywood stars shine at the premiere of the sexual drama "Sleeping Beauty" the toast of the Cannes Film Festival, nothing to show from Nollywood the so called second largest movie industry in the world.

The celebrated movie stars from Hollywood, Bollywood and other notable film industries from other countries are participating and competing for the coveted prizes and other attractions of the film festival. Nigeria has a pavilion at the festival, but no Nollywood movie is in competition or even out of competition.

Nollywood stars are simply unknown here.
Just appearing on the CNN or being mentioned on the Oprah Winfrey Show will make Nigerians go gaga, but what really counts is breaking the ice and making heads turn at the Cannes or Oscars and not at the Silverbird Galleria in Lagos city, Nigeria. Our Nollywood stars need to aim at shattering the highest glass ceiling as South African stars have done for decades by winning Oscars. Cinematographer Ted Moore (1914–1987) was the first South African to win an Oscar in 1967, when he also won the BAFTA for Robert Bolt’s magnificent film, A Man for All Seasons. He was from Benoni, the same town as actress Charlize Theron the first South African actor to win an Oscar in 2004 for Monster and her gripping role of serial killer Aileen Wuornos was described as "one of the greatest performances in the history of the cinema" by the highly esteemed American film critic and screenwriter Roger Ebert, the first film critic to win a Pulitzer Prize for Criticism. The other Oscar winning South Africans are Ronald Harwood who won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for the multiple award winning The Pianist in 2003 and his other screenplay The Diving Bell and the Butterfly had four Oscar nominations in 2007, and Gavin Hood who got the Oscar for the Best Foreign Language Film with Tsotsi in 2005.

In fact no Nigerian TV knows what is going at the Cannes, except few of the notable Nigerian journalists/film critics like Shaibu Husseini of The Guardian, Victor Akande of The Nation and Steve Ayorinde. The others are the veteran Nigerian filmmaker and scholar Afolabi Adesanya, who is the MD/CE of the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC) with his delegation at the Nigerian pavilion where some of the Nigerian movie makers Like Faruk Lasaki, Kunle Afolayan, Madu Chikwendu, Fidelis Duker and others can meet and receive visitors. Today, the European media partner of Eko International Film Festival (EKOIFF), Mr. Bruno Chatelin was at the pavilion to receive an important message from Mr. Hope Obioma Opara, the President of EKOIFF. The other Nigerians here are not different from the tourists. The only Nigerian online news media reporting the Cannes Film Festival since 2005 is International Digital Post Network (IDPN) Limited publishers of 24/7 Nigeria and other niche websites. See it all only on www.247nigeria.com and get the juicy news of the red carpet in audio, video and photos.


Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan arrives on the red carpet for the screening of the film "Sleeping Beauty", in competition at the 64th Cannes Film Festival, May 12, 2011. Twenty films are competing in the May 11 to 22 cinema showcase, with a roll call including major screen stars, revered "auteur" directors and relative newcomers. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler (FRANCE - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)


Jury member Uma Thurman poses during a photocall at the 64th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes on Wednesday, May 11.

You can follow the events from the opening day on 11th to the closing day on 22nd May.


~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima, the Founder/Festival Director of Eko International Film Festival and Publisher/CEO of International Digital Post Network (IDPN) Limited,


More news on the 64th Cannes Film Festival

23:54 Hannover House Acquires Three Acclaimed International Films at Cannes Festival

20:27 TBWA\Chiat\Day New York Appoints Andy Nathan as Managing Director and Aaron Griffiths as Creative Director

17:32 L'Oréal Paris accueille Leïla Bekhti comme nouvelle Ambassadrice mondiale

15:16 Drafthouse Films, Timpson Films and Magnet Releasing to Teach Moviegoers "THE ABCs OF DEATH"

12 May 2011


12:40 Christie participe a l'ensemble des projections numeriques du 64e Festival de Cannes

08:00 Duran Duran to Perform at the European Launch of BELVEDERE PRODUCT(RED)(TM) Duran Duran actuará en el lanzamiento europeo de BELVEDERE PRODUCT(RED)(TM) Duran Duran se produira à l'occasion du lancement européen de BELVEDERE PRODUCT(RED)(TM) Auftritt von Duran Duran zur europaweiten Einführung von BELVEDERE PRODUCT(RED)(TM)

07:00 Duran Duran se produira à l'occasion du lancement européen de BELVEDERE PRODUCT(RED)(TM) Duran Duran actuará en el lanzamiento europeo de BELVEDERE PRODUCT(RED)(TM) Auftritt von Duran Duran zur europaweiten Einführung von BELVEDERE PRODUCT(RED)(TM) Duran Duran to Perform at the European Launch of BELVEDERE PRODUCT(RED)(TM)

11 May 2011


14:00 Nexia's Film Marketing Efforts at the Cannes Film Festival Market

10 May 2011

17:24 Playboy Mansion Cannes Returns for the Cannes Film Festival

9 May 2011

23:29 THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 3D REVS UP 14:03 Variety Presents The Variety Studio @ Stella Artois Lounge at the 64th Festival de Cannes



Saturday, October 17, 2009

South Africa and 64 other Countries in Competition for 2009 Foreign Language Film Oscar®



South Africa leads Africa to the 82nd Oscars with Jann Turner's romantic comedy White Wedding that made over R1.1-million at the world premiere in South Africa. The film stars Rapulana Seiphemo and Kenneth Nkosi of Academy Award winning Tsotsi and Jerusalema fame.
South Africa and Morocco are the only African countries on the list of 65 countries in competition for the Foreign Language Film category at the 82nd Academy Awards®.

The following is the complete news release.

MEDIA CONTACT
Leslie Unger
lunger@oscars.org

October 15, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


65 Countries in Competition for 2009 Foreign Language Film Oscar®


Beverly Hills, CA — Sixty-five countries have submitted films for consideration in the Foreign Language Film category for the 82nd Academy Awards®, Academy President Tom Sherak announced today. The 2009 submissions are:

Albania, “Alive!,” Artan Minarolli, director;
Argentina, “El Secreto de Sus Ojos,” Juan Jose Campanella, director;
Armenia, “Autumn of the Magician,” Rouben Kevorkov and Vaheh Kevorkov, directors;
Australia, “Samson & Delilah,” Warwick Thornton, director;
Austria, “For a Moment Freedom,” Arash T. Riahi, director;
Bangladesh, “Beyond the Circle,” Golam Rabbany Biplob, director;
Belgium, “The Misfortunates,” Felix van Groeningen, director;
Bolivia, “Zona Sur,” Juan Carlos Valdivia, director;
Bosnia and Herzegovina, “Nightguards,” Namik Kabil, director;
Brazil, “Time of Fear,” Sergio Rezende, director;
Bulgaria, “The World Is Big and Salvation Lurks around the Corner,” Stephan Komandarev, director;
Canada, “I Killed My Mother,” Xavier Dolan, director;
Chile, “Dawson, Isla 10,” Miguel Littin, director;
China, “Forever Enthralled,” Chen Kaige, director;
Colombia, “The Wind Journeys,” Ciro Guerra, director;
Croatia, “Donkey,” Antonio Nuic, director;
Cuba, “Fallen Gods,” Ernesto Daranas, director;
Czech Republic, “Protektor,” Marek Najbrt, director;
Denmark, “Terribly Happy,” Henrik Ruben Genz, director;
Estonia, “December Heat,” Asko Kase, director;
Finland, “Letters to Father Jacob,” Klaus Haro, director;
France, “Un Prophete,” Jacques Audiard, director;
Georgia, “The Other Bank,” George Ovashvili, director;
Germany, “The White Ribbon,” Michael Haneke, director;
Greece, “Slaves in Their Bonds,” Tony Lykouressis, director;
Hong Kong, “Prince of Tears,” Yonfan, director;
Hungary, “Chameleon,” Krisztina Goda, director;
Iceland, “Reykjavik-Rotterdam,” Oskar Jonasson, director;
India, “Harishchandrachi Factory,” Paresh Mokashi, director;
Indonesia, “Jamila and the President,” Ratna Sarumpaet;
Iran, “About Elly,” Asghar Farhadi, director;
Israel, “Ajami,” Scandar Copti and Yaron Shani, director;
Italy, “Baaria,” Giuseppe Tornatore, director;
Japan, “Nobody to Watch over Me,” Ryoichi Kimizuka, director;
Kazakhstan, “Kelin,” Ermek Tursunov, director;
Korea, “Mother,” Joon-ho Bong, director;
Lithuania, “Vortex,” Gytis Luksas, director;
Luxembourg, “Refractaire,” Nicolas Steil, director;
Macedonia, “Wingless,” Ivo Trajkov, director;
Mexico, “Backyard,” Carlos Carrera, director;
Morocco, “Casanegra,” Nour-Eddine Lakhmari, director;
The Netherlands, “Winter in Wartime,” Martin Koolhoven, director;
Norway, “Max Manus,” Espen Sandberg and Joachim Roenning, directors;
Peru, “The Milk of Sorrow,” Claudia Llosa, director;
Philippines, “Grandpa Is Dead,” Soxie H. Topacio, director;
Poland, “Reverse,” Borys Lankosz, director;
Portugal, “Doomed Love,” Mario Barroso, director;
Puerto Rico, “Kabo and Platon,” Edmundo H. Rodriguez, director;
Romania, “Police, Adjective,” Corneliu Porumboiu, director;
Russia, “Ward No. 6,” Karen Shakhnazarov, director;
Serbia, “St. George Shoots the Dragon,” Srdjan Dragojevic, director;
Slovakia, “Broken Promise,” Jiri Chlumsky, director;
Slovenia, “Landscape No. 2,” Vinko Moderndorfer, director;
South Africa, “White Wedding,” Jann Turner, director;
Spain, “The Dancer and the Thief,” Fernando Trueba, director;
Sri Lanka, “The Road from Elephant Pass,” Chandran Rutnam;
Sweden, “Involuntary,” Ruben Ostlund, director;
Switzerland, “Home,” Ursula Meier, director;
Taiwan, “No Puedo Vivir sin Ti,” Leon Dai, director;
Thailand, “Best of Times,” Yongyoot Thongkongtoon, director;
Turkey, “I Saw the Sun,” Mahsun Kirmizigul, director;
United Kingdom, “Afghan Star,” Havana Marking, director;
Uruguay, “Bad Day for Fishing,” Alvaro Brechner, director;
Venezuela, “Libertador Morales, El Justiciero,” Efterpi Charalambidis, director;
Vietnam, “Don’t Burn It,” Dang Nhat Minh.

The 82nd Academy Awards nominations will be announced on Tuesday, February 2, 2010, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2009 will be presented on Sunday, March 7, 2010, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center®, and televised live by the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 200 countries worldwide.

# # #

ABOUT THE ACADEMY
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is the world’s preeminent movie-related organization, with a membership of more than 6,000 of the most accomplished men and women working in cinema. In addition to the annual Academy Awards – in which the members vote to select the nominees and winners – the Academy presents a diverse year-round slate of public programs, exhibitions and events; provides financial support to a wide range of other movie-related organizations and endeavors; acts as a neutral advocate in the advancement of motion picture technology; and, through its Margaret Herrick Library and Academy Film Archive, collects, preserves, restores and provides access to movies and items related to their history. Through these and other activities the Academy serves students, historians, the entertainment industry and people everywhere who love movies.

COMMUNICATIONS DEPARTMENT
8949 WILSHIRE BOULEVARD | BEVERLY HILLS, CA 90211-1907
(310) 247-3090 TEL | (310) 271-3395 FAX | PUBLICITY@OSCARS.ORG | WWW.OSCARS.ORG/PRESS




Startup Weekend Nigeria Rocks!