$2m-budget movie: Afolayan hits location

WITH the involvement of Lagos State, Toyota Nigeria Ltd and Deola Sageo in the much publicized historical movie by young filmmaker Kunle Afolayan, the journey towards attaining the $2m mark, being budget for the historic flick appears far. But the actor has already attained four days of shoot with less than fifty percent funds, hoping that more help will come as the camera rolls.

Entitled October 1, the movie which was initially scheduled to start last month could not be delayed further especially since the cast members from Hollywood have arrived Nigeria. The actor, who is also known for his thoroughness, has secured the time of the Nigerian actors who on Monday took their first reading with the visiting thespians.

Unveiling the cast and crew of the movie at the Toyota office on Tuesday, Afolayan who sat between Mr. Kunle Adeojo, Executive Director of Toyota Nigeria and Dr. Aderemi Desalu, Permanent Secretary, Special Duties, Lagos State expressed delight for the support given to his project by Lagos State government and Toyota Nigeria. He also announced the third partnership as coming from notable fashion designer, Deola Sagoe, who will be providing the primordial costumes of the 60s, especially ones depicting the colonial era in Nigeria. He described Sagoe as a woman wearing two crowns on the movie project, as she will also be playing the character of Funmilayo Kuti, mother of legendry king of afrobeats, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti.

The four cast members from Hollywood who will be de depicting the roles played by the colonial masters during Nigeria’s pre independence era include Nick Rhys, playing Rupert Winterbottom, the District Colonial Officer; David Bailie, for the role of Fred Ackerman, the Chief Superintendent; Lawrence Stubbings, playing Lord Sebastian Tomkins and David Reese, playing Dowling Colin.

A psychological-thriller, October 1, pictures September 1960, with Nigeria on the verge of independence from British colonial rule. It tells the story of a northern Nigerian Police Detective, DAN WAZIRI, who is urgently dispatched by the colonial government to the trading post town of Akote in the Western Region of Nigeria, to solve a series of female murders that have struck horror in the hearts and minds of the local community. On getting to Akote, more murders are committed, and with local tension high and volatile, Waziri has a race on his hands to solve the case before even more local women are killed. Matters take a turn for the worse, however, when Waziri discovers that his prime suspect is none other than the highly influential, university-educated son of the King of Akote, Prince Aderopo. Intelligent, good-looking, charismatic, witty and daring, the prince proves to be a most complicated adversary for Waziri. Set against the backdrop of the national celebratory mood of the impending independence, Waziri and Prince Aderopo indulge in a game of cat and mouse as they try to outwit each other… leading to the climatic end in which the life of a popular local female teacher and village belle, TAWA, is held in the balance. Waziri has to race against the clock to capture the prince, save Tawa and solve the crime before the British flag is lowered and the Nigerian flag is raised on October 1, Nigeria’s Independence Day.

Written by Tunde Babalola, whom Afolayan described as the foundation of the project, October 1 also parades notable Nigerian actors like Demola Adedoyin (Prince Aderopo), Kunle Afolayan (Koya), Kehinde Bankole (Tawa), Kayode ‘Aderupoko’ Olaiya (Sergeant Afonja), Biodun Aleja (Olaitan), Femi Adebayo (Banji), Fabian Olojede (Omoladun), Bimbo Manuel (Canon Kuforiji), Kanayo O. Kanayo (Okafor), Ibrahim Chatta (Seun), Saeed Funky Mallam (Usman), Laide Alabi (Secretary to Winterbottom) and Collins Talker (Emeka).

Produced and directed by Kunle Afolayan, the movie has Bose Oshin as production manager, Pat Nebo as production designer, Yinka Edward as director of photography, ObijieOru (Costume), Lola Maja (Make Up), while Oge Ugwu is production coordinator.

Adeojo emphasized during the press conference, of the social responsibility objective of his company. He described his boss, Chief Michael Adeojo, Chairman of Toyota Nigeria as a supporter of the creative art. He said unfortunately, there were no Toyota vehicles in Nigeria in the 60s, making it impossible for them to provide props for the movie. He said his company would however; provide vehicles for use during the making of the movie, including hospitality for the cast and crew who will be shooting in Ilaramokin, home town of Toyota Nigeria’s boss.

Desalu who appraised Lagos State’s effort at providing support for the film industry under the Nollywood Upgrade Project, noted that there is need to partner filmmakers to portray Lagos and the country at large in positive light. He said the state, apart from promoting local cinemas will also fund the making of certain films and take them through a whole gamut from script to exhibition.

Young Afolayan is one of the few Nollywood filmmakers who have enjoyed corporate sponsorships for movie projects, because he has come to be identified with award-winning flicks, and his current project, entitled October 1, may just be another blockbuster.

The producer of Irapada, Figurine and most recently, Phone Swap, is excited about the project that he said is far from anything that as been seen by any filmmaker in Nigeria.

The audition for the movie which took place at his Golden Effects Productions outfit on Ladipo Kuku, Ikeja, Lagos on June 6, 2013 had over 1000 hopefuls reading for different characters in the movie.

A visionary filmmaker, Afolayan was recently at the centre of a hit documentary series on the Yoruba heritage entitled Isedale. The work which provoked thoughts about Yoruba Kingdom and culture among AfricaMagic audiences, proved a success when the channel moved the series to prime-time.

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