A proposed new movie on Nigerian email scammers, Nigerian Prince, written and directed by Faraday Okoro and produced by Biyi Bandele and Oscar Hernandez-Topete, has won a $1million AT&T grant at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York.
Nigerian Prince was announced winner on Thursday, April 19 at the film fiesta after a hard-fought pitching session tagged ‘AT&T Presents: Untold Stories’ featuring scripts from four other talented filmmakers.
The winning movie script swayed a Greenlight committee led by Fiona Carter, AT&T Chief Brand Officer, after listening to a pitch on its story idea, budget and film script. Also listed in the committee were Hollywood actors Jeffrey Wright and Anthony Mackie, Josh Deutsch (Chairman and CEO, Downtown Records), Lee Daniels (Film Producer), Len Amato (President, HBO Films) and Frida Torresblanco (Film Producer).
The session was the first edition of the AT&T and Tribeca new film initiative.
AT&T will provide funding of up to $1 million for Faraday Okoro and Biyi Bandele to create his film, and Tribeca will provide mentorship from seasoned industry professionals. In addition, AT&T plans to distribute the winning film across several of its video platforms, including DIRECTV NOW, AT&T’s streaming over-the-top service.
Nigerian Prince is based on the notorious email scams that have proved a plague to both local and international law authorities. The plot centres around a stubborn Nigerian-America teenager who is sent to Nigeria against his will. Things take an unexpected turn when the protagonist joins forces with an internet scammer, in order to return to the United States.
Biyi Bandele is a famous Nigerian filmmaker, novelist and playwright. His trajectory into the creative sphere began in 1987 where he studied drama at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.
Spending the first 18 years of his life in Northern Nigeria, Bandele harboured a strong desire to be a writer from a tender age winning his first award at the age of 14.
Since moving to London in 1990 at the age of 22, he has worked with Royal Court Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company, Talawa Theatre Company, Royal National Theatre Studio, Bush Theatre and University of Cambridge at different times.
As a playwright, Bandele has published several works including The Man Who Came in from the Back of Beyond (1991) and The Street (1999) and Burma Boy (2007) which earned acclaim.
He made his directorial debut film Half of a Yellow Sun which was screened at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival and Fifty which screened at the London Film Festival, both of them earning international critical-acclaim in Nigeria and the UK. The director signed with the Temple Management Company in January.
Faraday on the other hand is a New York City based Nigerian-American filmmaker. He attended Howard University and NYU Graduate Film School. Faraday’s films have screened in numerous film festivals worldwide, including Tribeca, LA Film Festival, and the Palm Springs International Shortsfest. In 2016, Faraday was included in MovieMaker Magazine’s 25 Screenwriters to Watch.
According to multiple online sources, Nollywood’s highest grossing movie, The Wedding Party is getting a reboot.
Reports have it that the writers of the sequel are done with scripting and editing and principal photography is set to kick off, in Dubai, later in the year.
The Wedding Party 2 will follow the story of a different couple and will also get a different title.
The initial movie is a romantic comedy written by Tosin Otudeko. The first film grossed close to 0.5billion naira at the box office.
It stars Adesua Etomi as Dunni Coker, Banky W as Dozie, Alibaba and Sola Sobowale as Dunni’s parents, and Ireti Doyle and Richard Mofe-Damijo as Dozie’s parents.
Released in December 2016, The Wedding Party is a collaboration between EbonyLife Films, FilmOne Distribution, Koga Studios and Inkblot Productions
Wizkid has done it again, well without Drake, dropping the much anticipated video for the single, ‘Come Closer’. And it is already generating rave reviews, attracting accolades such as ‘it’s a dope’, ‘a game changer’, ‘it’s fire’ and so on.
The video which was released on 6 April, has already raked over 400,000 views on You Tube and over 3,000 on Wizkid Evo account. The audio on You Tube, has closer to 1.5million views.
In the video, according to a report by MTV Base, a new blonde haired Wizkid is seen sporting an all-white outfit with some swamp green boots in the opening scenes.
The video itself was wonderfully shot in the studio with dancers who are clad in African-face paint and African prints. And that even ignited more admiration for Wizkid for projecting African culture.
Notably however, Drake did not feature in the video, even though the single was touted a collabo between Drake and the Nigeria international star. The Canadian rapper’s voice is heard though.
One music buff, @soldier especially noticed this in a tweet and contrasted this with Wizkid missing from the playlist recently released by Drake.
Wizkid himself explained Drake’s absence in the well choreographed video when he tweeted that the Canadian was on tour during the shooting of the video.
In another tweet, the Starboy appeared to have played down the relevance of Drake in the video:
The artist maintained the position on his Instagram Page:
‘Come Closer’ which is available on Apple Music and Spotify was released two weeks ago.
The single was initially leaked as ‘Hush Up the Silence’, but when officially released, it was renamed as “come Closer’.
See the video:
…Singer Sets A Marker For New Sound And Career Direction
Iyanya was at his waist-twisting and torso-baring best on Wednesday night when he unveiled his new EP, Signature. He rolled back the years by performing live songs from the highly anticipated 7-track album on stage at Hard Rock Café, Oniru, Lagos in an Industry Night Special.
Dressed in a colourful camouflage-jacket, the Mavin Records artist mounted the stage at midnight and left no one in doubt inside the packed hall that he was well and truly back. Like an artist with a blank canvas spread out before him, Iyanya jumped, whined and crooned on the big stage fully aware that it was his night for the taking, and he owned it.
On the same night, his seven-track EP was released online to a global audience and has since dominated discussions on social media. Entitled ‘Signature,’ the body of work was produced by Mavin Records founder, Don Jazzy assisted by Altims and Baby Fresh.
Iyanya has been on a new lease of life since being backed by leading talent agency, Temple Management Company and Mavin Records. As if by celestial conspiracy, the Lagos weather even attested to Iyanya’s new found mojo as it gave way to heavy rainfall that poured while his performance continued safely inside the comfort of the walls of Hard Rock Cafe.
His performance was a medley of songs from his new EP such as Odoyewu, Hold On, Baby Answer, Not Forgotten, Celebrate, Nobody Has To Know, Bow For You and bonus track Up 2 Sumtin featuring Don Jazzy and Dr Sid.
Attesting to Iyanya’s new found vigour, Dr. Sid told the audience something many have never heard about Iyanya. The We Up crooner had joined Iyanya to perform the hit, Up 2 Sumtin. To buttress his point further, Dr. Sid went on to reveal how Iyanya is having a healthy influence on his Mavin Records colleagues.
“Iyanya is the best thing to happen to Mavin Records. He has made the rest of us look lazy with his work rate and I am not saying this because he is here. Iyanya has recorded over 50 songs in less than three months!” Dr. Sid exclaimed.
The most emotional moment of the night came when he performed a sober tune, Not Forgotten, the most introspective song off his EP and inarguably his most personal to date. For a moment, it seemed as if the singer would break down in tears.
At his request, Mavin Records producer, Altims played the piano in the background whilst Iyanya stood still, eyes shot and lost in his own thoughts for what seemed like forever. Iyanya is an orphan having lost his parents two years apart in 2008 and 2010.
For Iyanya’s Mavin Records colleagues, the night was a karaoke session as they sang ever song line-by-line with the musician. Iyanya would later describe the Don Jazzy founded group as a “happy company” and expressed how “blessed” he was to be a member of the biggest record label in Nigeria.
The late evening of fun also witnessed brilliant performances by two Temple Management artists, Gongo Aso crooner, 9ice and ex-winner of MTN Project Fame West Africa, Jeff Akoh. Jeff sang to a live band and served as a more than capable foil to Iyanya whilst 9ice performed his smash hit Living Things.
From a corner occupied by Mavin Records artistes, Don Jazzy danced and sang along happily through Iyanya’s performance. Virtually all the artistes on the label were present including Tiwa Savage, Korede Bello, D’Prince, Dr Sid, Dija, Reekado Banks, Poe and DNA Twins. Other artistes and celebrities who came to support Iyanya include Tekno, Sheyman, Reminisce, Uche Jombo and Ebi Onome among others.
Nollywood actress, producer and director, Omoni Oboli has been granted permission to go-ahead with the cinema release of her film, Okafor’s Law by a Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi.
Justice Ibrahim Buba gave this ruling moments ago after considering the arguments of the plaintiff (Raconteur Productions) and the defendants (Omoni Oboli, Dioni Visions Entertainment and FilmOne Distribution).
The judge, in doing this, removed the interim injunction stopping the release of the film as filed by Raconteur Productions. He said that the film can be released as planned into Nigerian cinemas tomorrow, Friday, March 31, 2017 but that the parties involved should choose a date for continuation of the hearing between April 3 and 4, 2017.
Oboli was absent in court today, just like yesterday, and her representatives declined to make any comments after the ruling.
Jude Idada was present and the case involving him and Oboli will begin formal hearing on April 6, 2017. It will be recalled that Oboli had been accused of stealing Idada’s intellectual copyright for the controversial film, Okafor’s Law.
Mavin Records artiste, Iyanya will officially unveil his new EP to fans and industry stakeholders at an Industry Night Special event holding at the Hard Rock Cafe, Victoria Island, Lagos on Wednesday March 29, 2017.
The EP is entitled Signature and will feature eight tracks including the lead single, Hold On which features Don Jazzy and Dr. Sid.
Iyanya will perform songs in the EP with a live band set and dazzle the audience with dance moves and amazing vocals.
The event is packaged by organizers of Industry Night in collaboration with Mavin Records, Temple Management Company and Hard Rock Café.
On what fans should expect, Iyanya said, “It is a fusion of the old and the new Iyanya. I have worked with new producers. There is reggae, highlife and R&B. I have Tiwa Savage on it and we have about 12 tracks. The album is entitled Signature EP.”
Cobhams Asuquo, one of Nigeria’s leading record producers, has released his debut album.
The visually impaired producer today released the album which took him five years to put together.
Entitled ‘For You’, the Christian/Gospel album contains fourteen songs.
Aaron Lindsey, Nosa, Clare Hendershot were the featured artistes on ‘For You’.
Ordinary People, For You, Empty, No One, Here I Am, Angels All Around are the stand-out tracks on the record.
Surprisingly ‘Empty’, his recently released love ballad, was not on the album.
‘For You’ was one of the most anticipated Nigerian albums of 2017.
The producer is set to host an exclusive album launch concert Sunday night.
Cobhams, a singer/songwriter/producer, has been actively involved in the Nigerian music scene for over a decade.
He has produced for the likes of Asa, Bez, Praiz, Modenine, Banky W, Timi Dakolo, Darey Art-Alade, and many others.
Cobhams, who has won several awards for his production efforts, was once signed to Sony ATV London as a songwriter.
He is credited for producing Asa’s eponymous classic debut album.
Cobhams Asuquo has promised to give the performance of his life at the album release concert.
Big Brother Nigeria housemate, Uriel has been announced as the fifth housemate to exit the house.
Her eviction comes hours after fellow house mates, Kemen was sent packing Ebuka had earlier quizzed Uriel on what she would do if she were to face eviction and she had responded by insisting she wasn’t ready to leave the House.
All the housemates had been nominated at last Sunday’s eviction show in a surprising twist by Big Brother. Bisola and Bally were exempted as they had both earned immunity on separate occasions.
ThinTallTony also escaped nomination when he won the Head of House task on Monday.
Only the two fake housemates, Jon and Ese got ejected from the Big Brother Naija House on Sunday, in a night of drama and intrigues. They only spent two weeks and they have been sent packing.
Bisola and Bally also got bounced out of the house, temporarily for good though, as they are being sent to ‘paradise’, ‘a place where everyone will admire to stay’.
The developments were not only the highlights of Sunday’s show. All the housemates, Efe, Uriel, TBoss, Kemen, Marvis, Debie-Rise, Bassey and ThinTallTony, save the paradise bound Bisola and Bally, are up for Week 6 eviction next Sunday.
This followed an intriguing game introduced by Biggie to replace the Live nomination. All the housemates were asked to pick an e