Wednesday, August 23, 2017
A Second Run of "Ijé" Can Still Pull Crowds at the Cinemas
When "Ijé: The Journey", a 2010 Nigerian drama film directed by Chineze Anyaene was released, there were long queues at the few cinemas in Nigeria. The film starring the most celebrated Nollywood divas, Genevieve Nnaji as "Chioma Opara" sister of "Anya Opara Michino" played by Omotola Jolade-Ekeinde who gave a stellar performance pulled crowds to the cinemas.
The film produced by Xandria Distributions with a budget $2.5 million was the highest grossing Nigerian movie until the emergence of Filmhouse Cinemas that launched in 2012 and has become the biggest and largest cinema chain in West Africa with 15 cinemas so far.
A second run of "Ijé" in all the 133 screens of the 29 cinemas in Nigeria can even attract more people than seven years ago.
There are more movie-goers now and thousands of them could not see "Ijé" in 2010-2011.
But hundreds of thousands of people bought the copies on DVD, millions of others watched it on cable TV and on the internet. Yes. But watching movies at the cinemas is a different experience of the romance of movie culture.
One of the most successful Bollywood movies so far, Sholay became Bollywood's most successful re-run product even after more than 40 years since it was released in August, 1975 and played at Minerva until August 1980 and reissued for reruns over the years in different regions for the entertainment of new generations of movie-goers in India and other countries.
"Ijé" can be reissued for a second run at the cinemas and I can bet a million naira on it making millions of naira at the box office.
I challenge Filmhouse Cinemas to rerun it.
Synopsis of "Ijé"
Transporting the audience from the lush countryside of Nigeria, to the intensity and seductive power of Los Angeles, IJE: The Journey tells the story of two sisters with unbreakable bonds of loyalty and the power of the human spirit. When Anya, the eldest of the two, vows to chase her dreams of glamour in the Hollywood Hills, her younger sister—Chioma—warns of her of the dark side of the American Dream. Now, years later, and in a world away from the life she knew, Anya is charged with the murder of three men, one of them her powerful husband. Chioma travels to her sister’s side to battle not only a flawed justice system with the aid of a young and disillusioned attorney, but the very notion of “truth” as the cultural values of two worlds collide. Weaving a melodic and beautiful score through rich visuals in Los Angeles and flashbacks on location in Nigeria, IJE captures the viewer from the very first scene and delivers a powerful message through the moving conclusion.
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