Once again, EbonyLife Films is raising the bar in filmmaking. Together with Netflix, they have co-produced Elesin Oba, The King’s Horseman.
Though the screen and adaptation of the film was written and directed by Biyi Bandele, the original ’Death and the King’s Horseman’, is a stage play written by Wole Soyinka.
The feature film is set to premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in September 2022, to be featured in the special presentation category.
“Its interweaving of European and Yoruba ideals to depict universal themes of cultural responsibility has never been more important than now.” Mo Abudu, CEO of the EbonyLife Group and executive producer of the film, said.
Set in the Oyo Empire, Elesin Oba, must commit ritual suicide to follow his deceased king into the afterlife. His best intentions are derailed by his lust for women and the consequences were heartrending.
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Casts include Odunlade Adekola as Elesin Oba, Shaffy Bello as Iyaloja, Olawale ‘Brymo’ Olofooro as the Praise Singer, making his screen debut. Others include Deyemi Okanlawon, Omowunmi Dada, and veteran actors, Jide Kosoko and Kevin Ushi. Also featured are Jenny Stead and Mark Elderkin as Jane and Simon Pilkings, Langley Kirkwood, and a special appearance by acting legend Taiwo Ajai-Lycett and Ajoke Silva.
“It was a pleasure to see Soyinka’s words and his mastery of tragic drama transformed into cinema. Odunlade Adekola gives a grand, impressive performance.” Cameron Bailey, a Canadian film critic and CEO of TIFF, said.
The world premiere of Elesin Oba, The King’s Horseman is scheduled for September 10, 2022, in Toronto, Canada.