Sons of the soil

Nigeria film is primarily known by Nollywood,but, there are a Nigerian Born film-makers not affiliated with Nollywood , doing  Nigeria proud and these are just a few of them

AKIN OMOTOSO: is a Nigerian Born South African actor, known for roles in SA show Generations and films like Blood Diamonds and Lord of War. He’s also a director with 8 credits to his name including short films, documentaries and his feature film Man on Ground, starring Fabian Ladoje and Hakeem Kae Kazim.  I’ve seen the film and it’s certainly unique, I was mostly impressed by the cinematography and sound design. His narrative was quite different in it’s very non-linear unconventional approach. The film won the Special Jury Prize at AAMA and also Best Actor in a Supporting role for Fano Mokoena.  He’s certainly someone who next film I’ll be anticipating.

ANDREW DOSUNMU is a photographer turned film maker. He started his career in the design department of Yves Saint Laurent and soon switched gears directing music videos starting with Issac Hayes and going on to craft videos for Aaron Neville, Youssou N Dour and Common. He went on to direct documentaries and tv show, winning accolades such as Reel Award at Toronto International Film Festival, Best Documentary at FESPACO. Both his feature debut Restless City and his follow up, Mother of George premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

Now he’s been selected by Focus Features to helm the Fela Biopic,, previously attached to Steve McQueen, it will be interesting to  see how that turns out.

BIYI BANDELE: , the novelist and playwright turned motion picture director , helmed the much touted Half of a Yellow Sun adaptation. The film based on the Chimamanda Adichie novel received a lot of attention and tirade due to the casting of Thandie Newton in the role of Olanna.  He had previously made a name for himself adapting Chinua Achebe’s Things fall Apart for the British Stage and has been involved in journalism, television and radio. Not ,long after wrapping from HoaYS set, he went on to direct the MTV Shuga series the Nigerian adaptation. It would be interesting to see what else he touches and if he’ll stick around Nigeria to do some more film work.

THOMAS IKIMI:He impressed with his second student feature LIMBO  made for $9,000 on his credit cards, it was an official selection at the Taorinma Film Festival in Sicily, and played at the Cannes Film Market.  He wrote and wrote the script for third feature LEGACY: Black Ops while working shifts at his local London electronic store, raised the $500,000 budget and cast The Wire star and Golden Globe winner Idris Elba as his lead, also scoring Eamon Walker on his cast list . The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and won Best Film at the American Black Film Festival. It got nominations at the Raindance Film Festival and won Best Director at the London Screen Nation Awards 2011. Specializing in existential and psychological thrilllers , this is mos def a director to watch out for.

As the years go along and especially with the rise of new voices through great short films, I’m sure the number will rise to make Nigeria cinema proud.

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