By Dipo Olowookere
Wema Bank Plc has partnered with Asurf TV for the premiere of Hakkunde, an intriguing story of a young graduate through his journey to self-discovery and actualization.
The innovative bank which recently launched ALAT, Nigeria’s first fully digital bank, is connected to the Nigerian film industry by a shared set of values including creativity, imagination and innovation.
As a bank interested in fostering innovation in the country, Wema Bank partners with local businesses in different industries, especially in the creative space, to contribute to the economic growth of the country.
Earlier in 2017, Wema Bank partnered with Silverbird Film Distribution for the premiere of Smurfs: The Lost Village.
“We are constantly supporting individuals and businesses in the country to ensure they achieve their personal and financial goals; our partnership with Asurf TV is one such,” says Funmilayo Falola, Head Brand & Marketing Communications at Wema Bank.
The Nigerian movie industry is a very competitive industry, with financing often a challenge for smaller players. Partnerships with corporate bodies like Wema Bank have in recent times being the lifebuoy of upcoming producers, ensuring that they get an opportunity to tell their stories.
The movie premiere holds Sunday at Genesis Deluxe Cinema in Lagos.
Hakkunde is an intriguing story of a young graduate who battles everything on his journey to self-discovery and actualization.
The story is characterized by actions and reactions that defines the everyday Nigerian society, with its ups and downs and with a focus on the life of a job hunting graduate “Akande” who found himself in totality while searching for a job, and a better life. It highlights the merits of steadfastness, humility and self-denial and espouses the gains of harnessing opportunities, delimiting the much-celebrated mediocrity of high handedness, and divulging the demerits of pride, greed and inconsistency.
A long-time unemployed graduate, faced with life’s pressures decides to relocate to Kaduna from Lagos when an opportunity presents itself against his sister’s wishes. His expectations are, however cut short and Akande must decide to either learn to survive or return back to failure.
Funa Maduka, 15 Other Jurors for 2023 Sundance Film Festival
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A Nigerian filmmaker, Ms Funa Maduka, has been announced as one of the 16 jurors granting awards at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival. She is one of the three jury members of the World Cinema Dramatic Competition, alongside Shozo Ichiyama and Annemarie Jacir.
The jurors of the 2023 edition are Jeremy O. Harris, Eliza Hittman, and Marlee Matlin for U.S. Dramatic Competition; W. Kamau Bell, Ramona Diaz, and Carla Gutierrez for U.S. Documentary Competition; Shozo Ichiyama, Annemarie Jacir, and Funa Maduka for World Cinema Dramatic Competition; Karim Amer, Petra Costa, and Alexander Nanau for World Cinema Documentary Competition; Madeleine Olnek for the NEXT competition section; and Destin Daniel Cretton, Marie-Louise Khondji, and Deborah Stratman for the Short Film Program Competition.
According to a statement, the festival kicks off on Thursday, January 19, in Utah, the United States, and will end on Sunday, January 29, 2023.
The jurors will grant awards to filmmakers for feature and short films. The winners are expected to be announced on Friday, January 27.
Ms Maduka is an award-winning filmmaker and the former head of International Original Films at Netflix, where she worked with the world’s top global and emerging filmmakers.
Over six years, she was positioned at the frontline of the company’s global expansion, managing the launch of the film offering across 100+ countries. She pioneered Netflix’s move into international film production, building a development slate across Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa.
Meanwhile, her film acquisitions brought Netflix its first film nominations at both the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards.
Previously she worked at Participant Media, developing and managing campaigns for film and television projects.
Ms Maduka is an award-winning filmmaker credited with writing, producing and directing the first Nigerian film to world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. She is a member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences. She holds a BA from Cornell University and a Masters from Harvard Business School.
GistHouse to Celebrate Don Jazzy as African Icon January 20
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Friday, January 20, 2023, has been set aside to celebrate maverick beatmaker, Mr Michael Collins Ajereh, otherwise known as Don Jazzy, as the Black African Icon of the Month.
This followed his emergence as the African Icon for January through the first Afrocentric audiovisual conversation platform, GistHouse.
“We are most excited and privileged to announce Michael Collins, popular as Don Jazzy, a colossus of music in Africa, as the Afrocentric Icon for The Month of January 2023,” the founder and Gistmaster at GisthHouse, Mr Ope Banwo, said at a press conference in Omaha, Nebraska, USA.
Mr Banwo explained that the Delta State-born influencer and entrepreneur was chosen through a voting exercise by users and management of the application with consideration for the most outstanding black Africans.
“Don Jazzy was chosen out of dozens of other worthy African icons for his lifetime body of work in elevating the music industry globally in the context of the Afrocentric experience.
“He has not only excelled as a record producer, performer, and music executive, he literally pioneered a whole new genre of music and style of music performance with his iconic MoHits and Marvin Records labels,” he said.
“While Don Jazzy didn’t start international cross-over music in Africa, he brought a delightful new swagger, panache and an amazing financially rewarding dimension into African music with his unforgettable partnership with the inimitable D’Banj in MoHits Records, among others.
“After MoHits, he took his pioneering talent to a higher level with Marvin Records that gave us instant superstars like the sultry Tiwa Savage, super crooner Wande Coal, Dr Sid, and Korede Bello, among others,” Mr Banwo further disclosed at the briefing.
“Beyond establishing himself as a superstar music producer/performer, Don Jazzy has also mentored and helped a whole generation of Africans to turn their talents as musicians into a full-time occupation and impactful vocation,” the GistHouse app creator stated.
Shedding more light on events to celebrate Don Jazzy, the filmmaker and serial entrepreneur noted that GistHouse will celebrate Don Jazzy as its January Icon of the Month in several ways during the month of January.
“As part of celebrating Don Jazzy, we shall be declaring Friday, January 20, as the Icon Celebration Day with Don Jazzy on the GistHouse platform with different special rooms dedicated to celebrating him and his body of work, and also hosting him to a special conversation on the GistHouse platform,” he concluded.
GistHouse provides a safe and rewarding environment for people of all colours to host different audio and video rooms on any topic and provides advanced features for rewarding conversations on everything, including business, politics, religion, personal development, self-development, dating, business meetings, networking, friends and family meetings etc.
Ticket Price Raises Box Office Revenue by 46% to N6.94bn in 2022
By Adedapo Adesanya
Nigerian cinema operators generated revenue of N6.94 billion in 2022 against the N4.74 billion generated in 2021, a 46.4 per cent growth year-on-year.
This was disclosed by the National President of the Cinema Exhibitors Association of Nigeria (CEAN), Mr Opeyemi Ajayi, during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
This indicated a continued post-pandemic recovery after the majority of businesses were closed during the year 2020, with Mr Ajayi adding that Nigeria’s movie industry continues to lead the recovery in Africa.
“The box office raked in N4.74 billion in 2021, N2.1 billion in 2020, N6.4 billion in 2019, and N5.98 billion in 2018.
“For 2022, the increase in average ticket price led to revenue growth, and admissions remained flat in the previous year.
“Nigeria continues to lead a recovery in Africa, post COVID on the back of strong local industry. Also, Hollywood continues to focus on African content, and engagement is very positive for the box office.
“We observed that Black Panther is on track to become the first N1 billion movie,” he said.
Giving an outlook for the year 2023, the CEAN President added that a 10 to 15 per cent increase in ticket price would potentially drive box office revenue in 2023 as he expected positive growth by a minimum of 20 per cent as independent cinemas constituted 25 per cent of the market share at present.
He added that factors had been observed to drive growth in the new year as five cinemas were opened in the fourth quarter of 2022, and a minimum of 3 new locations were expected to open in the first half of 2023.
“This will be a positive addition to the box office. Collaborations between Hollywood and Nollywood on content are expected to continue in the foreseeable future.
“And with the breakout success of big Nollywood movies such as Brotherhood, Battle on Buka Street, and King of Thieves, to mention a few, 2023 is expected to have a larger budget movie and potential release outside the West African territory.”
He also noted the top 5 highest grossing Nollywood films in 2022 as Brotherhood, King of Thieves, Battle on Buka Street, Ijakumo and Passport and: Black Panther, Woman King, Dr Strange, Thor: Love and Thunder, and Black Adam for Hollywood.
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