Sunday, June 23, 2013

Screen Naija One Village, One Cinema Project Launched With Fanfare in Lagos

                            Jimi Solanke and Taiwo Ajai-Lycett.

  The brand ambassador of Bank of Industry D'banj was missing among the celebrities at the launching of Screen Naija One Village, One Cinema Project Saturday evening June 22 at the popular Freedom Park on Broad Street, Lagos. But famous British trained Nigerian actress Dame Taiwo Ajai-Lycett and accomplished veteran actor, musician and orator Jimi Solanke rocked the event with their impromptu short performance of anecdotes as they ad-libbed after Dame Ajai-Lycett challenged Nigerian youths and others not to rest on their oars after getting their academic degrees and diplomas. In her signature style of speaking in eloquent Queens English she said even without degrees they could fulfill their dreams and achieve greater things for themselves and Nigeria with their special skills and talents as many proven successful achievers have done without academic qualifications.


The main side attraction of the evening, the fast rising young rapper Aloysius Onyejegbu, aka "2MS" of La'Champu Records and his buddy Tony Godson also thrilled the audience of Nigerians, Europeans and others who graced the occasion, including Femi Odugbemi and Jahman Anikulapo of iREP International Documentary Forum, Marc-André Schmachtel, Director of the Goethe Institut in Nigeria and his staff, Fidelis Duker, the founder of the Abuja International Film Festival, (AIFF) accompanied by his black and beautiful wife Temitope Abolanle, Hope Obioma Opara, President of the annual Eko International Film Festival, Madu Chikwendu, popular Nollywood producer, columnist and Founder/CEO of Leap International Film Festival, award winning Nollywood actress and producer Amaka Anioji and popular actor Chris Ubani-Roberts from Jerry Isichei's "Footprints", the most widely seen Nigerian TV soap opera currently running on 20 different stations in Nigeria and the UK.

Prince Tonye Princewill was represented by popular documentary photographer and journalist Kunle Ogunfuyi who gave a summary of Princewill's philanthropy and sponsorship of popular Nigerian movies "Nnenda", "Figurine", "Kajola" the first Nigerian CGI movie, Melody Shelters Singing Talent Show, the first TV Reality Talent competition for orphanages in the country and youths he sponsored to study film production at the Del-York Film Academy and the new movie “76”, the first movie on the tragic coup of 1976 that resulted in the assassination of General Murtala Ramat Muhammed on February 13, 1976. “76” is aimed at recreating history for the new generation and preserving a remarkable part of the history of our nation. The post production is ongoing in Germany. And another new movie “Valor”, that deals with the issues of the Niger Delta and Boko Haram and also currently in post production.

"My involvement in the Nollywood movies started with Nnenda, Figureine and now Kajola stems from my passion and love for excellence and the messages this industry wants to pass across to Nigerians so that we can rebuild our country and enhance the future of our children.

I wish many other Corporate Bodies emulate me and invest in the industry so that our common dream of taking the industry not only to a new height but to the point where we can give the Hollywood and Bollywood a fight of their lives materialises.

That is my plea because I am convinced that our young men and ladies need to be encouraged and motivated to sustain the industry and keep our youths engaged which is the bane of our country today.'

~ Prince Tonye Princewill.

The Founder/CEO of Screen Outdoor Open Air Cinema, Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima who is the Executive Director of Screen Naija One Village, One Cinema Project made a brief speech on the nationwide project to take cinemas to urban and rural communities in all the local government areas (LGAs) in Africa's most populous country and he highlighted the outdoor premiere of "Project Happiness" in Nigeria.

"Project Happiness", a 2011 documentary film created, narrated, and produced by Randy Taran and directed by John Sorenson follows a senior high school class from Mount Madonna School near Watsonville, California, on a journey to discover the true nature of human happiness. Joining them on this quest are students from the Tibetan Children’s Village in Dharamsala, India, and students from the Dominion Heritage Academy in Jos, Nigeria. These students discuss amongst themselves with several notable individuals one central question: "What brings lasting happiness?".
During the filming, the students involved conducted interviews with scientists, celebrities, and world political and spiritual leaders including Richard Gere, Dr. Richard Davidson, Adam Yauch, the late Nirmala Deshpande, Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam, George Lucas, and Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama.

The Master of Ceremony Larry Foreman from UNILAG FM gave his best and one of the best DJs in Nigeria, King DJ Shina entertained the audience with popular hit songs from contemporary hip hop to American R&B. The Face of Screen Naija, Magdalene Masha was the belle of the event with her natural afro hair and welcoming smiles.

                            Serge Michel from Le Monde.

From the international press came Serge Michel of French newspaper Le Monde and his female colleague. Michel, born 44 years ago in Switzerland was until the summer of 2008, the West Africa Correspondent for the French newspaper Le Monde. Michel is a highly esteemed journalist of international repute, winner of the Albert Londres Prize, France's most prestigious journalistic award for his work in Iran. He is the founder of the Bondy Blog, a popular website and a stunning experience of "citizen journalism", written from within the volatile French suburbs. Together with Paolo Woods, Michel is the author of "Un Monde de Brut" (Seuil, 2003), a behind-the-scenes look at the oil industry following pipelines through Texas, the Caucasus, Russia, the Gulf and Africa and of American Chaos (Seuil 2004) which trails America's turbulent path through Iraq and Afghanistan. Together with Paolo Woods and Michel Beuret, he has just published China Safari - On the trail of Beijing's expansion in Africa (Nation Books, 2009), charting China's dramatic rise in Africa. The book has a grand scope and an air of adventure: it takes the reader from clear-fell logging in the Congo to uranium extraction in Saharan sands; from China's grimmest industrial landscapes to fine dining in Angola's best restaurants. Michel has written for Aperture, Fortune, Foreign Policy and The Independent. And from Nigeria, the news reporters included Collins Talker and his crew from Galaxy TV and James Emmanuel from Entertainment Express.

There was a lot to eat and drink and also surplus to take away at the end of the event. But people really missed not seeing African music superstar D'banj who was busy rehearsing for his five-star DKM concert and album launch this Sunday at the Eko Hotel and Suites.

~ Orikinla Osinachi


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