The year 2015 was a good one for movie producers; a lot of movies were produced and got good viewership. Some, released late 2014, became some of the best movies, getting gross earnings at the cinemas. SAMUEL ABULUDE, in no particular order, profiles the movies that made waves in 2015.
The movie is very rich in picture quality and displays the beauty of Lagos state and what makes it tick. FIFTY captures a few pivotal days in the lives of four Nigeria women at the pinnacle of their careers. Meet Tola, Elizabeth, Maria and Kate four friends forced at midlife to take inventory of their personal lives, while juggling careers and family against the sprawling backdrops of the upper middle-class neighbourhoods of Ikoyi and Victoria Island in Lagos. They live and work in the resurgent, ever-bustling, 24-hour megacity of Lagos, the commercial capital of Africa’s biggest and most vibrant economy.
The movie is gaining much acceptance already going by its success in the cinemas. Taxi driver (Oko Ashewo) is a hilarious comedy drama about working in Lagos at night, as a taxi Driver. Starring Odunlade Adekola, Ijeoma Grace Agu, Femi Jacobs, Afeez Oyetoro, among other acts. Oko Ashewo in Yoruba parlance means the husband of a prostitute or promiscuous woman. Adigun played by AMVCA winner Femi Jacobs, is a 31 year old naive village mechanic coming to Lagos for the first time. His decision comes following the sudden death of his father, a man he never truly knew… yet a man very popular in his village as the iconic Lagos taxi driver ‘Oko Ashewo’ (which means ‘husband of a prostitute’). However, Adigun’s coming to Lagos is on the invitation of Taiwo, his father’s fellow taxi driver played by popular Yoruba actor Odunlade Adekola… but Taiwo is dangerous and as shady as Lagos at night. Taxi Driver (Oko Ashewo) tells the story of how Adigun copes with dealing with the multitude of odd characters he comes across from Delia the queen prostitute, to Kakanfo the unseen vigilante, the notorious assassins ‘three wise men’, to the Godfather, Baba Mistura and many more interesting characters that ply their trade in Lagos at night. Taxi Driver (Oko Ashewo) debut in all Nigeria cinemas in November, 2015.
THE FIRST LADY
In a classic Cinderella like story, a prostitute, Michelle, is stuck in a world she couldn’t escape from. Her hope that oneday, a Prince Charming would rescue her from it all, seems lost. A heir to an empire, Kenechi, is transformed into a child by an overly ambitious uncle who wants the empire to himself. Bound by a shared destiny, Michelle finds that she might be doing the rescuing until she realises there’s no escaping her pimp (Obama), who would do anything to keep her as his First Lady. The movie directed by the talented actress herself, it stars Omoni Oboli, Chinedu Ikedieze, Joseph Benjamin, Alexx Ekubo, Yvonne Jegede, Udoka Oyeka, Tony Monjaro and Omoni Oboli herself.
ROAD TO YESTERDAY
Produced by Genevieve Nnaji , the movie which is full of suspense is a bold attempt to rewrite Nollywood. The movie is directed by the young and creative Ishaya Bako and has new names in the movie industry as casts. Sometimes when the future of a relationship is bleak and the hope for tomorrow becomes a prayer, going on a long trip of memories of love, betrayal, pain, unforgiveness and regret into yesterday can clear the path of uncertainty. Victoria and her husband Izu try to fix their marriage on a road trip to a relative’s funeral. However when memories and secrets from the past are revealed, a lot more is at stake than their relationship.
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Dry is a 2014 Nigerian drama film directed by Stephanie Linus and starring Stephanie Okereke, Liz Benson, William McNamara, Darwin Shaw and Paul Sambo. For its effort in campaigning for a social cause, the movie won four awards at the recently concluded Best Of Nollywood BON 2015 Award The film’s theme focuses on Vesicovaginal fistula condition and underaged marriage among young women, narrating the story of a thirteen-year-old girl, Halima (Zubaida Ibrahim Fagge), whose poor uneducated parents marry her off to Sani (Tijjani Faraga), a 60-year-old man, who constantly rapes her. Halima gets pregnant and suffers Vesicovaginal Fistula (VVF) after child delivery; she’s consequently abandoned by her husband and discriminated against in the society. Zara (Stephanie Okereke), a medical doctor who also suffered a horrific childhood meets Halima; she tries to help her get through her situation and also save other young women under such circumstance. Okereke had been disturbed with child marriage issue since she was in College and had been thinking on how to tackle the topic. The making of Dry was inspired by a true life story of a lady Okereke met in Northern Nigeria. She stated: “I have been to the North and to other parts of the country, and I have seen first-hand how this health issue defies normal living for girls and women of different ages. I have decided to share their stories through DRY” “The issue might seem controversial, but if it will set one girl free and open the minds of the people, and also instruct different bodies and individuals to take action, then the movie would have served its purpose”. According to Linus, the film was in production for three years. She hit location in 2012.
Chetanna is a film in Igbo language. Chetanna is the gripping tale of an American returnee whose unbridled past in America has come to haunt his present in Africa. A marriage gone sour; greed gives way to unprovoked vendetta and deep-rooted deceit until nemesis comes knocking while true love is caught in the web of mindless scheming.
The exceptional contemporary Igbo language movie (subtitled in English) was produced by popular Nollywood actor, Chigozie Atuanya and stars talented stars; Queen Nwokoye, Ebube Nwagbo, Ebele Okaro, and Chigozie Atuanya.
Ojuju is a 2014 Nigerian zombie thriller film, written and directed by C.J. Obasi. The film which has a zero-budget, stars Gabriel Afolayan, Omowunmi Dada, and Kelechi Udegbe. It premiered at the 4th Africa International Film Festival in 2014, where it won the award for Best Nigerian Movie and also Best Supporting Actress (Omowunmi Dada) at the BON 2015 Awards. Set in a teeming Lagos slum, it provides an all-too-realistic explanation for the sudden transformation of its inhabitants into desiccated figures with an appetite for human flesh: It’s the result of a contaminated water supply, which is certainly a problem endemic to the African nation. The water turned into virus that made people zombies.
The film’s hero is Romero (a charismatic Gabriel Afolayan) — the name’s inspiration is obvious — who, much to his horror, discovers that his pregnant girlfriend has become infected.