World class production values have come to stay in Nollywood. Sold out tickets and crowded cinemas were the norm in 2016 and thus leaves the avid movie goer with nothing but optimistic expectations in 2017. Among the many movies that thrilled us last year, check out these amazing five productions that deserve a re-watch any day, anytime:
The Wedding Party
The Wedding Party is a 2016 Nigerian romantic comedy drama film, directed by Kemi Adetiba that premiered on 8th September 2016 at TIFF Toronto. The movie grossed N200,000,000 in 16 days and was produced by the ELFIKE Film Collective – EbonyLife Films, FilmOne Distribution, Inkblot Productions and Koga Studios respectively. It was released nationwide on December 16 and according to Executive Producer, Mo Abudu, “We wanted to create a film that would make our people proud and the response of movie-goers suggests that we have succeeded“.
“Dunni Coker, a 24 year old art gallery owner and only daughter of her parents about to marry the love of her life, IT entrepreneur Dozie. The couple took a vow of chastity and is looking forward to a ground-breaking first night together as a married couple. The date has been set and the bride’s parents, who have recently enjoyed a surge in their fortunes, are going all out to make this the wedding of the century.”
The movie was produced by Don Omope and Ijeoma Agukoronye, and stars Adesua Etomi, Banky Wellington, Richard Mofe Damijo, Sola Sobowale, Iretiola Doyle, Alibaba Akporobome, Enyinna Nwigwe and Zainab Balogun.
A Trip to Jamaica
A Trip to Jamaica premiered worldwide on September 25 in Lagos and according to the Executive Director of Filmone Distribution, Moses Babatope, the movie brought in about N168 million revenue at the box office. Co-written by AY and Dianne Diaz, the Nigerian comedy drama follows a newly engaged couple as they travel to the Caribbean with their family not realizing that one of them is a criminal whose activities will put them all in danger. Directed by Robert Peters (30 Days in Atlanta), the film became a huge box-office hit by raking in 61m in the first week of its release, outstripping Will Smith’s Suicide Squad which came in second at 40m.
A Trip to Jamaica stars award-winning actress Funke Akindele, Hollywood veteran Eric Roberts, Paul Campbell from Jamaica, Nse Ikpe-Etim, Ghanaian ‘lover boy’ Chris Attoh, Dan Davies from Hollywood, Rebecca Silvera who was the former Miss Jamaica, plus cameo appearances from Cynthia Morgan, Patoranking and Olamide.
’76 (formerly Lions of ’76) is a historical fiction drama released 25th November 2016 that landed 4 major awards at the 2016 AFRIFF Globe Awards. This included awards for the Best Director (Izu Ojukwu) and the Best Actor in a Lead Role (Ramsey Nouah). The film which had been in production for about five years (with a budgeted N600 million) was shot mainly at Mokola Barracks, Ibadan and was selected to premiere at the Toronto International film Festival in September, 2016 and at the BFI London Film Festival. It was produced by Adonaijah Owiriwa and Izu Ojukwu (Sitanda) and stars Chidi Mokeme, Rita Dominic and Ibinabo Fiberesima.
“Set six years after the civil war, a young officer from the Middle Belt gets into a romantic relationship with an O-level student from the South-eastern region. However, their relationship is strained by constant military postings. The soldier gets accused of being involved in the 1976 unsuccessful military coup and assassination of General Murtala Mohammed, and the heavily pregnant wife, gets entangled in an emotional dilemma.”
The CEO was released on the 4th May 2016 with a budget of more than $1 million (880,000 euros). The film follows five top level staff of a company who are selected for a retreat where the new CEO of a global company will be chosen. What starts off as cordial soon goes sour as they attempt to outdo one another for the coveted position.
Directed by Kunle Afolayan and written by Tunde Babalola, The CEO stars Benin’s Grammy award-winning singer Angelique Kidjo, Wale Ojo, Kemi Lala Akindoju, Hilda Dokubo, Aurelie Eliam, Jimmy Jean-Louis, and Fatym Layachi. According to the Moroccan actress (Fatym Layachi) about the film – “it’s a fairly great mix and I think it’s a mix that’s like Kunle (Afolayan) himself”.
93 Days tells the story of how Nigeria was able to eradicate the Ebola Virus when it broke in 2014. With an estimated budget of $1,500,000 the film was screened at The Rock Cathedral in Lekki, Lagos and released on 16 September 2016. Jointly produced by Bolanle Austen-Peters, Dotun Olakunri, and Pemon Rami, it’s a gripping true story of what happens when the most lethal and contagious disease known to man arrives in a mega city of over 20 million people.
According to Steve Gukas, “93 days movie celebrates the act of doing what is right, selfless service and making a difference in the world.” The movie stars Bimbo Akintola, Danny Glover, Somkele Idhalama, Seun Kentebe, Alastair Mackenzie, and Sola Oyebade.