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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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PHOTOS: Odebunmi facilitates  film making training for constituents

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The lawmaker representing Ogo Oluwa/ Surulere Federal Constituency, Hon. Segun Dokun Odebunmi has facilitated an empowerment training program for members of his Constituency on Film Making and Cinematography for self reliance.

Odebunmi, who also chairs the House Committee on Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Values on Thursday informed that the training was part of  his quest for human development.

Remarking, the lawmaker justified the training as  one of the ways of encouraging the youths to think out of the box and make use of the technology advancement to create another source of income.

” I grew up in this community and I know what majority of our people are passing through especially now that the economy of the world is being challenged, people need multiple streams of income and I am making  use of every opportunity to assist my people by training them on how to make use of their talents and make more money through entertainment”, he said.

He thanked President Muhammadu Buhari and the leadership of the  National Assembly for the opportunity, urging the participants to take the advantage to better their lots .

The lead speaker, Mr Maruff Ajibolu charged  participants to take full compliment of the training as Nigeria’s creative industries are slowly breaking new grounds and currently recognised as among the biggest globally.  This he noted led to its marking as a priority sector in the FGN’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan with a very high projected income  over the coming years and also led the Federal government to grant most segments within the creative industries including Nollywood conditional access to pioneer status incentives which include holidays from the payment of companies’ income taxes as well as withholding tax on dividends from pioneer profits for an initial period of three years.

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Also remarking, a key player in the creative industry, Mr. Muyiwa Ademola also harped on the huge potential subsumed in cinematography and film making. The Nollywood star further noted  that the event was a rare opportunity, because it has always been either FG , CBN and World bank projects.

“It was designed to help people discover their talents and passion with the intent of turning it into a source of income”, Ademola added.

The training which took place concurrently at Resource Centre, Igbo-Ile Surulere LG and Ajaawa Town Hall, Ajaawa, Ogo-Oluwa LG, had other notable speakers which included, Mr Yemi Ogunyemi,  Mr Ojo Oluwatona.

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At 90, I can’t venture into acting again – Iya Osogbo

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Veteran Yoruba actress, Madam Grace Owoola Oyin-Adejobi, popularly known as Iya Osogbo on Tuesday said that she would never venture into the business of acting again in her life.

She also spoke for the first time about the day an excited fan nearly ran her into a gutter with her jeep vehicle on her way to the office of one of her children in Ibadan, the capital city of Oyo State.

According to her, this experience has remained indelible in her memory because her thought was that the day was going to be her last on planet earth, except in the end it did not turn out as she feared initially.

“The fan eventually came down from her car to let me know that she merely wanted to exchange greetings with me. She later enveloped ten thousand naira and dashed me.”

Iya Osogbo who was the wife of the late versatile actor in the Yoruba genre, Chief Oyin Adejobi made these revelations while featuring on Parrot Xtra Hour on Radio anchored by Olayinka Agboola in Ibadan.

The veteran actress added that she started her acting career some 67 years ago and she also mentioned that she had already made her name before she acted in the film titled “Eran Iya Osogbo” thereby correcting the erroneous belief her admirers had held before now.

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She said that unlike now when acting has become not only the in-thing and profitable, in her time, parents frowned at people, especially women who ventured into the profession as they were generally regarded as unserious types and therefore wayward.

Madam Oyin-Adejobi expressed her displeasure over the near-nudity being practiced by actresses in Nigeria, advising them not to be deceived by the pleasures of the world but to believe that they can succeed through dint of hard work and the grace of God.

On how she met her late husband, Oyin Adejobi who died in the year 2000, she said that both of them went to the same school and were also living on the same street, saying that right from the start of his career, he was never under a boss.

She said that apart from the death of her husband, the lowest point for her life was when her fourth child, a female died .

“It took me a long time to recover from that experience”, she said.

However, her happiest moment was when she gave birth to her first child, a boy in 1954.

Iya Osogbo narrated further that whenever their theater group went to stage plays or was showing a film in a cinema house, she was the one who used to sell ticket unmindful of what some miscreants might do, “as I know that they all love me adding that it was at Jebba that we raised the gate fee of our shows to twenty Kobo which had a lot of value unlike what obtains nowadays where the value of money is nothing to write home about”.

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She admonished younger generation of Nigerians on the need to work hard and be focused.

“I got to attain this age because of God’s mercy. In addition, the Almighty also gave me the wisdom of preserving my body and being moderate in all I have been doing. Our youths should emulate this too. They should learn to be God fearing too.”

Iya Osogbo, who featured prominently in productions like Orogun Adedigba, Kuye, Kootu Ashipa and others will officially turn 90 on Sunday. She equally announced that there will be no formal event to mark the occasion.

She added , “All my admirers including colleagues and family members have agreed to postpone whatever plan they have to celebrate my 90th birthday because we must obey NCDC’s COVID-19 prevention rules.”

 

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Burna Boy Unveils New Album ‘Twice As Tall’

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Nigerian Grammy-nominated Damini Ogulu professionally known as ‘ Burna Boy’ has released a fresh album, titled “Twice As Tall, ” a follow-up to his 2019 album, “African Giant.”

The 15-track album released on Thursday, featured Senegalese artist, Youssou N’Dour, O.G, Chris Martin, U.K. rapper Stormzy, afro-pop band Sauti Sol among others.

According to Burna Boy,  the “Twice As Tall” album is “a journey through a bunch of emotions and energies at different points in time. It has now morphed into something bigger than me. It serves as a bridge for mankind to show that we’re all different but still very much the same.”

In a post on his Instagram page following the release of the new album, the artist commended  those who played significant roles  in the success of the project, saying he is grateful for the “unreal talents” that went into the production.

The post reads, “I’m grateful for the unreal talents that came together from ALL over the world to pull this off

“Shout out to the OG @diddy for coming on board and sprinkling his own unique spice on this! I hope I’m able to spark something in you when you listen.”

Burna’s new album was produced by Diddy, Bose Ogulu and the afro-pop fusion singer himself.

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