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Mildred Okwo’s crime thriller, La Femme Anjola, premieres in New York

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Mildred Okwo’s 2021 African neo-noir crime thriller, La Femme Anjola (The woman Anjola) is due for a North American premiere on Sunday, November 21, 2021. The screening, which will be at the prestigious MCC Theater is a collaboration between African Film Festival and MCC Theater, reputed to be one of New York’s leading non-profit Off-Broadway companies.

This first of its kind event precedes a global streaming of the film between November 25 and November 28, 2021.

Directed by Mildred Okwo and written by Tunde Babalola, the crime thriller which premiered in Nigeria in March to great reviews, tells the story of a young Lagos investment banker whose life is upended when he falls in love with the wife of a gangster. The film stars Rita Dominic, Nonso Bassey, Mumbi Maina and Femi Jacobs.

Speaking about the film, which recently got four Africa Movie Academy Awards nominations, (including Dominic and Bassey for their lead roles), Okwo said: “As a filmmaker, I am drawn to telling stories that capture the essence of my observations and La Femme Anjola, is one of such films. With this project, I had the opportunity to present a classic noir tale with a distinctively African twist; one that speaks for the times as it chronicles the journey of a young middle-class man who is simply a product of today’s Nigeria. In many ways, his story is the story of a modern-day Nigerian.”

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Information from the parties, who were brought together by Walk Tall Girl Productions, a United States of America based boutique marketing, audience development and group sales agency for the performing arts, indicated that La Femme Anjola will be presented in conversation with MCC’s current production of ‘Nollywood Dreams’ written by Jocelyn Bioh and directed by Saheem Ali. The productions will be presented with strict compliance to COVID-19 protocols.

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The Audrey Silva Company (TASC) is a leading Nigerian film company founded by Rita Dominic and Mildred Okwo, two female industry veterans. TASC has in a short time embarked on creating innovative film, television and web projects. Their main objective is to produce quality content inspired by Africa which meets world standards and capable of increasing the stakes for African content worldwide. TASC’s dedication to the craft has brought media support, high visibility and great audience patronage. TASC’s vision aligns with that of the NYAFF organisers and MCC whose goals are to provoke conversations and bridge the divide between post-colonial Africa and the American public through the medium of film.

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Anikulapo’ Returns Bigger, Bolder in ‘Rise of the Spectre

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Trailer for ‘Anikulapo: Rise of the Spectre’, a spinoff of the hugely successful 2022 period piece, ‘Anikulapo’, debuted last Tuesday. This followed the official poster unveiled days earlier, by the producer/ director, Kunle Afolayan, to the delight of Nollywood buffs online.

The six-part epic series is primed for release soon. Viewers will get to continue the intriguing and fascinating story of Saro and Queen Arolake. The original movie tells the story of Saro, who arrived in Oyo as a stranger and a traditional textile weaver.

Saro and Arolake are caught in a forbidden romance as she is an unhappy wife to the King. The two eloped and Saro becomes a man of influence after being saved from death by a mysterious bird. Soon, the lovers are torn apart by Saro’s betrayal.

It ends with Arolake disappearing after destroying what made Saro powerful. While in ‘Anikulapo: Rise of The Spectre’, in a race against time to avoid a dismal fate, traveler Saro returns to the Oyo Kingdom with orders to complete a nearly impossible task.

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With Kunle Remi returning as Saro and Bimbo Ademoye as Rolake, the lovers-turned-foes are joined by a unique pack of Nollywood veterans and stars such as Sola Sobowale, Jide Kosoko, Lincoln Owo Ogunde, Taiwo Hassan, Gabriel Afolayan, Adewale Elesho, Uzee Usman and Lateef Adedimeji.

Other fan favorite and exciting new cast members include Adebayo Salami, Moji Afolayan, Aisha Lawal, Adeniyi Johnson, Funky Mallam, Sokoto Alabgedeorun, Ropo Ewenla, Olayiwola Razaq Olasunkanmi, Kayode Aderupoko, Damilola Ogunsi, Oyindamola Sanni, Sunday Omobolanle, Sisi Quadri and Titi Kuti.

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The much anticipated ‘Anikulapo: Rise of the Spectre’ was solely shot at the Kunle Afolayan Production (KAP) Film village in Oyo with a cast and crew of 600 people. Upon its debut in March, the series will be available for streaming in 190 countries.

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Nollywood Thriller IJOGBON Dominates Netflix

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Netflix latest Nollywood hit, “Ijogbon,” has soared to the top of the streaming giant’s list of most-watched films.

Currently, ‘OJOGBON’ secures the leading position on Netflix’s Top 10 List in various regions worldwide.

In Kenya for instance, it ranks at number 10 among the Most-watched films, which I was hoping Click Click Bang will hold – (Well, at least a spot in the top 10 but No.)

Ijogbon is the most watched film in Nigeria.

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This raises the question of why “Click Click Bang” is now available on the platform.

Is there a lack of support for local content from Kenyans, or is there a discrepancy between the film’s publicity and its actual viewership?

Kenyan viewers preferred to watch K Drama Ballerina, thriller Fair Play, Anna Castillo’s Nowhere, Benicio Del Toro’s Reptile, Will Smith’s Gemini Man, and real classics like Tuxedo Man – and of course IJOGBON.

As avid Netflix viewers are well aware, the platform has been diversifying its offerings with a range of international titles, from popular K-dramas to acclaimed movies.

Set against the backdrop of a rural village in South-West Nigeria, the plot revolves around four teenagers who stumble upon a cache of uncut diamonds.

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However, as word spreads about their valuable discovery, the group must navigate the treacherous path of evading those eager to claim the bounty.

The trailer (above) offers a glimpse into the lengths to which treasure seekers will go to retrieve the jewels and the harrowing journey the teens must undertake to safeguard their find.

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The title, “Ijogbon,” translates to a state of turmoil or chaos, and the film undoubtedly lives up to its name.

This teen drama is perfect for those seeking suspense and a departure from the ordinary.

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My dad paid N50k for me to be in my first movie – Actress, Bimbo Ademoye

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Nigerian movie star, Bimbo Ademoye has said the first salary she earned for her debut movie was N12,500 (Twelve Thousand Five Hundred Naira).

She said that she producers informed her that she will get the payment six months after shooting, so her dad decided to handle the budget of N50k while shooting.

Ademoye made this known during a chat with the YouTuber Hawa Magaji, as she opened up about personal issues she deals with in her career.

The Nollywood actress who said she battled with self esteem issues that morphed into anxiety, also hinted that her parents’ divorce was a contributory factor.

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According to Ademoye, she had low self-esteem since her childhood and it is something she had to learn to deal with in the movie industry.

The sensational actress also said she still experiences anxiety, and her dad helps her deal with it, hence the reason for the father-daughter bond they share.

She said; “If I’m in a room with more than 10 people, I start to have an anxiety attack. I think my social anxiety came from having low self-esteem issues growing up, not being with my parents. I grew up with this thought in my head that nobody wanted to be around me.

“I don’t really like human beings because I feel like they are full of shit based on my experience. Most times I love to be by myself. I’d rather not deal with the hurt that people tend to bring. I’d rather just be on my own and just be around the few people that I’ve given access to me.

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“I’m still dealing with that even at this stage. That’s why I’m very close to my dad because [he] was very big on helping me with that. I wet the bed for a long time. I’m talking about SS2 and SS3. My dad laughed it off.

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My first ever acting gig, they told me they were going to pay me N12,500 and they were going to pay me six months after shooting. My dad paid for my shooting budget of N50,000 during the shoot.”

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