Tuesday, 31 May 2016

I Shot The CEO For The World – Afolayan

Afolayan (left) at the media briefing 
Afolayan disclosed this recently at the special screening of the movie to a select audience of sponsors, media, partners and friends at the Silverbird Cinemas, Ikeja City Mall, Alausa, Lagos. He described The CEO as an experiment to develop value for Africa cinema.

“It became a concern as I have not seen any film from neighbouring African countries brought to Nigeria for screening; hence there is a gap between pan-African countries. The CEO is an experiment that I hope will do the magic. The original cast was Nigeria, Togo, Ghana and one Francophone cast. But after my trip to Egypt, it became an eye opener after meeting with colleagues, where we had a co-production meeting,” he said.

Afolayan added that The CEO is an exciting project, a truly pan-African film that boasts a stellar cast drawn from all across Africa.

“The movie will change the course of filmmaking in Africa, whilst undoubtedly and truly putting Africa on the global cinematic map,” he added.
Set on a beautiful beach resort on the outskirts of Lagos, Nigeria, The CEO follows five top executives from across Africa who are dispatched on a one-week leadership retreat by a multinational telecommunications firm to determine who gets selected as the new CEO. Things go awry when one by one the executives are eliminated in sudden death circumstances, with the finger pointing to the last two remaining executive as prime suspects.

The blockbuster boasts an ensemble cast drawn from across Africa including Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter and entertainer Benin Republic, Angélique Kidjo; Haitian actor and model Jimmy Jean-Louis; Nigerian actor Wale Ojo; French-Ivorian actress and model, Aurelie Eliam; South African actor and presenter, Nicolaos Panagiotopoulos; Nigerian actress, Kemi Lala Akindoju; Moroccan star, Fatim Layachi; Kenyan actor Peter King, Nigerian actress, Hilda Dokubo as well as  Nigerian singer Adekunle Gold and Moroccan artiste, Ahmed Soultan who made cameo appearances in the film.
Afolayan disclosed that apart from Nigeria where the cinema is expanding, he is also targeting a huge market for the film in other African countries and other parts of the world.

“Take for example, South Africa which has close to 500 cinemas; if my films could screen in 200 South African cinemas, it would be great, as this is what cinema distribution can do to the success of a filmmaker. If we can lock down Africa, then we do not need Hollywood,” he said.

The CEO is coming on the heels of October 1, his psychological thriller and his fourth effort after Irapada, Figurine and Phone Swap.

After a 45-minute screening of the new movie, testimonies abound of another blockbuster to have come out of Nigeria. With so much expectation for every work by the filmmaker, fans, friends, sponsors also stormed the press screening of the movie– cheering every moment as the tape rolled.

Speaking at the screening, Wangi Mba-Uzoukwu, Director, M-Net West Africa, said: “The CEO promises to be unlike anything we have ever seen from Africa. We are familiar with the stellar work that Kunle Afolayan does with his Golden Effects Company and were therefore more than excited to jump on board The CEO project right from its inception. This partnership is in furtherance of our continued drive to support Nigerian and African cinema by investing in people, ideas and talent, and we can’t wait for fans and lovers of good cinema to watch this movie.”
The CEO will be exclusively screened on 1 June before a select audience on board an Air France flight from Lagos to Paris, in a first of its kind, in-flight premiere. 

Speaking on the first-of-its-kind premiere, Arthur Dieffenthaler, Commercial Manager, Air France/KLM noted that there had never been an in-flight premiere of such, even in Hollywood or Bollywood. The initiative, according to him represents some of the big ideas that Air France/KLM and Afolayan’s Golden Effects Company stand for.  He disclosed that this is the first time a Nigerian film will be shot at the Charles De Gaulle Airport, Paris, France, expressing optimism that the partnership will go on for a long time.

Some of the top dignitaries expected as part of the in-flight premiere are the Minister of Culture and Tourism, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwumi Ambode, Commercial Manager, Air France/KLM Arthur Dieffenthaler and Acting Managing Director of Bank of Industry, Mr. Waheed Olagunju. Others include officials of DStv, Peugeot Automobile, Adron Homes and Properties, Inagbe Grand Resorts and Leisure as well as several notable filmmakers and actors in Nollywood.

Cote d’Ivoire cinema is yearning for a July 2016 release and has sent their terms, coming from the country’s popular distributors, Majestic Cinemas.
Afolayan revealed that the film will be distributed in Nigeria by Silverbird Cinema, adding that preparations are on ground for massive festival routing. Other schedules for The CEO include a Lagos Premiere scheduled for 10 July, to be followed by Cinema Release on 15 July.

Prior to the cinema release, Afolayan said Private Screenings are opened to corporate organizations who desire some refresher for their staff.

-Funsho Arogundade

The original story was published by P.M.EXPRESS

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