In an industry that is booming every millisecond, the demand for talents that will match it beat for beat keeps rising, and for people like Dotun and Steve, a lack of talent should be the last thing that will stop any Nigerian youth from riding this wave.
So they leveraged their platforms to start the First Features project, which empowers young, passionate creatives to meet market demands and improve their careers.
From providing funds to hands-on training and an exclusive mentorship program, their mission remains the same: to empower emerging filmmakers and contribute to the vibrancy and innovation propelling Nollywood into the future.
To achieve this, they have enlisted the help of industry professionals like John Demps, Antonio Ribeiro, Tolu Ajayi, Cristina Aragon, and George Kallis, all of whom provide invaluable insights into the intricacies of film and television production, equipping emerging directors with the skills necessary to direct feature-length films.
The first feature project even provided these creatives with funds and everything else needed to birth their first directorial project.
Among many other things, this initiative intends to have a 12-film slate, all of which will be credited as directed by the protégés of the program.
So far, three of these films have been made, namely:
- Cake by Prosper Edesiri, starring Sophie Alakija, Patience Ozokwor, Tope Tedela, and Saskay, was a relatively successful cinematic drop.
- It Blooms in June starring Kiki Omeili, Susan Pwajok, Femi Jacobs, and Kem Ajieh, was directed by Korede Azeez (Halima’s Choice)
- Kill Boro with Courage Obayuwana, is another first-feature film protege, credited as the director. Kill Boro has begun filming in Port Harcourt.
The significance of this recent development cannot be overemphasised.
According to Steve Gukas, “As Kill Boro begins filming, it marks not only the continuation of our mission to empower emerging filmmakers but also a testament to the vibrancy and innovation driving Nollywood into the future.”
More power to these visionary forces in the industry who are using their decades of experience to provide a pedestal for the younger ones.