• Thursday, May 30, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Native Films, Michelangelo project to discover new Nollywood filmmakers

Native Films, Michelangelo project to discover new Nollywood filmmakers

Native Filmworks and Michelangelo Productions have announced the revival of their First Features Project as the crew returns to the set to film ‘Kill Boro.’ The project, led by Steve Gukas and Dotun Olakunri, is dedicated to nurturing and supporting a new generation of film directors in Nigeria. It offers training and funding for the debut feature films by these emerging talents in the Nigerian film industry.

Steve Gukas, a seasoned filmmaker known for works like ’93 Days’ and ‘A Place in The Stars,’ emphasised the project’s importance, stating, “The First Features project reflects our commitment to elevating Nigerian cinema by mentoring emerging talents with industry expertise. ‘Kill Boro,’ directed by Courage Obayuwana, is a highly anticipated addition to our 12-film lineup.”

The mentorship program of the First Features Project enlisted industry professionals such as John Demps, Antonio Ribeiro, Tolu Ajayi, Cristina Aragon, George Kallis, and Steve Gukas, providing valuable insights into film and television production, equipping emerging directors with the skills required to direct feature-length films.

Read also: The Black Book review: Chapters in Effiong’s directorial debut

Dotun Olakunri, co-founder of the initiative, stated, “Our goal with First Features is to strengthen the talent pool in Nollywood. We believe that investing in the next generation of filmmakers is vital for the industry’s growth. Initiatives like First Features play a crucial role in enhancing local talent and ensuring that Nigerian cinema continues to engage global audiences.”

First Features achieved its first milestone last year with the release of ‘Cake,’ a feature film directed by Prosper Edesiri, featuring Nollywood stars Tope Tedela, Sophie Alakija, Patience Ozokwor, and others, showcasing the potential of the human capacity development project.

Following the success of ‘Cake,’ First Features has completed production on ‘Love & Life,’ a drama directed by Reuben Reng, starring Rita Dominic, Nse Ikpe-Etim, Chidi Mokeme, and Michelle Dede. Additionally, ‘It Blooms In June,’ directed by Korede Azeez and featuring Femi Jacobs, Kiki Omeili, Susan Pwajok, and Kem Ajieh. ‘Love & Life’ is set to be released in October 2023, adding another contribution to Nigerian cinemas.

As ‘Kill Boro’ commences filming in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, it signifies not only the continuation of the mission to empower emerging filmmakers but also a testament to the vibrancy and innovation propelling Nollywood forward.