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Nigeria: Genevieve’s ‘lionheart’ picked for 2020 Oscars

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The Nigerian Oscars Selection Committee (NOSC) has picked Genevieve Nnaji’s ‘Lionheart’ as the country’s submission to the International Feature Film category of the 2020 Oscars.

The group, on Wednesday announced the selection  following a statutory vetting and subsequent voting of entries received from Nigerian filmmakers at home and in the diaspora.

Lionheart, produced by Chinny Onwugbenu, Chichi Nwoko, Genevieve Nnaji, and directed by Genevieve Nnaji, was premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), and was acquired on September 7, 2018, as first Netflix original film produced in Nigeria.

The film stars Pete Edochie, Genevieve Nnaji, Nkem Owoh, Onyeka Onwenu, Kanayo .O. Kanayo, Chika Okpala, Kalu Ikeagwu, Sanni Mu’azu, Yakubu Mohammed, Ngozi Ezeonu, Peter Okoye (P-Square) and Chibuzor Azubuike (Phyno).

Released worldwide on January 4, 2019 after a December 2018 theatrical release in Nigeria, ‘Lionheart’, which is Nnaji’s directorial debut, tells the story of a young woman, Adaeze Obiagu (Genevieve Nnaji), who becomes saddled with the responsibility of running her sick father’s business under the suffocating supervision of an uncle, played by Nkem Owoh.

Adaeze’s competing business instincts and family obligations become a catalyst for drastic change not everyone is ready to embrace.

Since the inauguration of the NOSC in 2014, this is the first time Nigeria is advancing a film to the Oscar, as previous entries received by the committee did not meet basic criteria.
Among the films received this year, the NOSC said it picked ‘Lionheart’ for its considerable shots at the rules.

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The 12-man team boasts of notable Nigeria’s film industry stakeholders of international standing.

The team is Chaired by Chineze Anyaene, Producer and Director of ‘Ije’; Nollywood’s remarkable box office earner and foremost filmmaker and Chairman of Audio-Visual Rights Society (AVRS) of Nigeria, Mr. Mahmood Ali-Balogun as Vice Chairman.

Others include Bruce Ayonote, CEO of Legend Box Office; filmmaker and talent manager, Mildred Okwo; Journalist/Film Critic, Shaibu Husseini; filmmaker/author, Charles Novia; award-winning filmmaker, CJ Obasi; top actor Ramsey Nouah; versatile director and cinematographer, Adetokunbo ‘DJ Tee’ Odubawo; movie producer, Ngozi Okafor; AFRIFF Founder, Chioma Ude and director of Green-White-Green, Abba Makama.

Anyaene added that the  entries received this year show significant improvements from the previous years.

“While we cannot say that what we have are the best that Nigeria is capable of producing, it is heart-lifting to know that, from the strength of the entries received this year, we are truly ready for the Oscars. Filmmakers are gradually taking the Oscar rules into consideration, and I have no doubt that it is going to be more competitive, going forward,” she said.

Every year, each country outside the United States is expected to submit one film as long as it’s not primarily in English. Films in pidgin, which must be subtitled like any other language film are also considered under this category.

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Formerly called ‘Best Foreign Language Film’, 87 countries vied for the shortlisted slots last year, and from a final five Oscar nominations, ‘Roma’, a Mexican film directed by Alfonso Cuarón picked the honour.

 

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How popular gospel singer, Dare Melody, band members narrowly escaped death

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Nigerian gospel singer, Damilare Odunuga, popularly known as Dare Melody and his band members have many blessings to count besides their achievements and fortune as they narrowly cheated death on Saturday.

Mega Icon Magazine reliably gathered that Dare Melody left Ibadan, the Oyo State Capital where he had successful outings at Celestial Church, Goshenland Parish and the New Seraph All White Concert.

The gospel artist explained, “the journey was smooth until around 4.15am when mh band’s vehicles were moving in convoy until they sighted the traffic at Mowe. As it became imperative, the vehicles’ normal speeds were reduced to barest minimum.

“At this point, I suddenly heard a loud, nasty noise, a 40 feet heavily loaded truck struggled with brake failure and hit my car from the rear.

“I’m simply bereft of words to explain how it happened, but it was in the wee hours of Saturday November 21, 2020.

“My band members and I left for Lagos from Ibadan where we just had successful outings at Celestial Church, Goshenland Parish and the New Seraph All White Concert”.

He narrated further, “ the situation left me unconscious, for sometime I never knew what happened and where I was. My car had been tumbled and squeezed.

“I later heard voices, particularly the ones shouting he’s our Chairman. That must be voices of my band members.

Still trapped in an obnoxious enclosure, Dare Melody added  that certain negative thoughts ran across his mind until rescue came from passersby who joined his band members to prise open one of the doors and pulled out the four of them in his car.

“It was like watching a movie with lots of stunts. We were all healthy, safe but this story is not sound.

“It was only one of the truck boys that fell off It, during the accident that got severely injured.

“Everyone at the scene blamed and even threatened to beat up the truck driver, claiming that truck drivers had caused deaths serially on that road, but for quick intervention of officers from Mowe Police station”.

Presently, the singer and music producer iis with grateful heart to God who spared his and others’ lives, especially during the dreaded “ember months.

Both his vehicle and the truck were taken to the Mowe Police station.

“Our plan was to get to Lagos early on that Saturday, settle at a relaxation apartment in Ilupeju before moving to Baptist Academy, Obanikoro where we later performed at a wedding ceremony.

“I give God the glory that I’m alive to tell this agonising tale. However, I passionately appeal to the government to quickly fix this road and ensure that its agencies thoroughly examine worthiness of vehicles on our roads. We have had enough of avoidable road accidents, our lives matter, please”, he submitted.

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PHOTOS: Ayefele gifts brand new cars to ace broadcasters in Ibadan

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Far-famed Nigerian gospel singer  and Chairman of Fresh 105.9 Ibadan, 106.9 Ado-Ekiti and 107.9 Abeokuta FM Radio Stations, Dr. Yinka Ayefele on Wednesday gave out two brand new cars to ace broadcasters, Komolafe Olaiya and Olalomi Amole in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

This was made known on the  official social media handles of Fresh 105.9 F.M

“Komolafe Olaiya and Olalomi Amole were today presented with car gifts by the Enigma, Dr. Yinka Ayefele”, the post read.

The cars which came in  different colours, as learnt, were reward for the duo’s hard work, dedication and commitment to the course of the radio station.

Over the years, the Nigerian music producer, Ayefele has been known for his generosity towards encouraging his staff regardless of their tribes.

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Lagos govt. grants pardon to Funke Akindele, husband over breach of COVID-19 regulations

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The Lagos state government on Friday granted pardon to actress, Funke Akindele, and her husband, Abdulrasheed Bello, who had earlier  been convicted for an offence related to the disobedience of COVID-19 lockdown regulations.

The Director, Public Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Kayode Oyekanmi, in a statement noted that the couple was granted pardon because they were non-custodial convicts.

The statement also revealed that 56 inmates from various correctional Centres were granted state pardon.

“A statement signed by the State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN, said Mr. Sanwo-Olu acted based on the recommendations of the State Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy, under the powers conferred on the Governor by Section 212 (1) & (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended,” the statement read in part.

“The 56 released inmates were recommended by the Advisory Council after due examination of their case files and consideration of the length of time served, the gravity of offence, old age and ill-health among other parameters.

“The Attorney General has also enjoined the beneficiaries to be good citizens and stay away from crime”.

It will  be recalled that eight-member Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy, headed by Dr. Abayomi Finnih was inaugurated by Governor Sanwo-Olu in December 2019.

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