Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Today is a sad day in Nollywood



Today is a sad day in Nollywood. 

Africa's largest film industry has just lost Amaka Igwe, 51, one of the greatest icons of Nigerian TV and Film. 

She passed on to eternal glory in the early hours of Tuesday, April 29, 2014. 

Reliable sources said she suffered an Asthma attack and died on the way to the nearest hospital.

Amaka Igwe to me, was the "Mama of Nollywood", because of her outstanding motherly role in leadership and mentoring many young men and young women she helped to excel and succeed as actors, producers and managers on TV and the big screen. And her name will be written in gold for her great legacy in the history of Nollywood.

Mrs. Igwe is survived by her husband Mr. Charles Igwe, their three children Ruby, David and Daniel, her mother and other members of her family and relations. 

May God grant us the fortitude to bear this great loss.

 ~ Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima, 
Publisher/Editor, Nigerians Report Online.
 
About Amaka Igwe, nee Isaac Ene, from Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA


Foremost producer, writer, director and a leading player in the Nigerian motion picture industry, Amaka Igwe may not have started shooting movies in 1992 but it is not in doubt that Amaka Igwe’s effort as a motion picture practitioner has drawn international recognition for the burgeoning Nigerian motion picture industry. Some of her early efforts like Checkmate and Violated have largely remained a watershed in the history of soaps and movie productions in Nigeria.

Born to Isaac Ene, a retired civil engineer from Obinagu-Udi in Enugu State whom Amaka described as ‘very principled’, Amaka whom her father called GOC (General Officer Commanding) because of the leadership trait she exhibited as a tot, was born and bred in Enugu.

An old girl of All Saint School, now Trans Ekulu Primary School, Girls High School Awkunanaw, Enugu and Idia College in Benin City where she had her A levels, It was at Idia College that Amaka’s arts inclination fully germinated. While at Idia, Amaka recalled organizing variety shows for her house which attracted a fee paying audience. She acted and directed the plays that were staged and she also taught the group the famous atilogwu dance which became the schools official dance. She recalled leading the group to a performance at the Ogbe Stadium in Benin. One of the foremost movie directors and by far one of the few contemporary filmmakers in the professional class, it was as a class one pupil of All Saint School Enugu that the once skinny Amaka who gained some weight after her first delivery experienced a play production. It took that production written by Amaka’s sister who was in secondary school then for a creative zeal to be fired up.

Popular in her early school days as Ogwu Azu, (Igbo word for Fish bone) because of her slim built frame, Amaka wanted to study law but in the wisdom of officials of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) she was offered a chance to study Education and Religious Studies at the University of Ife. From University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Amaka who signed the MNET short celluloid film ‘Barbers Wisdom’ as director proceeded to the University of Ibadan where she grabbed a master's degree in Library and Information Services. In between, Amaka took part in a number of theatrical productions particularly as a member of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) drama troupe. With the NYSC troupe, Amaka took plays around Nigeria.

It was when she returned to Enugu after her NYSC programme that she started learning about television. She found the massive studios of the Enugu State Broadcasting Service from where such classics like the long rested Basi and Company and the New Masquerade were produced, a good ground to learn how programmes are produced. Not only was Amaka fascinated by the sheer massiveness of the ESBS studios, her creative drive was further accelerated when she encountered on screen, the work of the inimitable female television director Lola Fani Kayode. An icon who is well regarded and who a number of practitioners consider a mentor and big auntie, Amaka disclosed that she conceived Checkmate by watching Mirror in the Sun. She had written a script about an all conquering female hero like Queen Amina and had conceived it like a traditional stage play. But when she saw Mirror in the Sun, she decided to make it a modern all conquering female heroine story.

The driving force behind BOBTV an acronym for the Best of the Best African Film and Television Programmes market and CEO of Amaka Igwe Studios an outfit that is best known for dropping off quality television and video offerings, Amaka Igwe’s vision of providing a common access point for good and authentic movies and television programmes led to her conceptualizing and eventual staging BOBTV, an annual event that has clearly facilitated the buying and selling of audio-visual content, the brokerage of production deals as well as the facilitation of world class skill transfer and training for African producers.

An amiable and warm personality who is in love with African prints, Amaka who has received numerous industry awards including that of life time achievement from the organisers of the annual African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) has her creative pouch filled with works that have been rated as best seller.s. Amaka who has penned scripts for some notable producers and production outfits is married to Charles Igwe who is not only in charge of the business angle of what is liberally called Showbiz but he has brought his experience to bear as a banker in the management of the resources of the families well regarded production company.








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Monday, April 28, 2014

First Nigerian Hollywood Star Orlando Martins with Ronald Reagan in the The Hasty Heart



Orlando Martins (1899–1985) who acted in "Sanders of the River" the 1935 British film directed by Hungarian-British director, Zoltán Korda is Nigeria's first Hollywood star and recognized as one of England's most prominent and leading black actors and in a poll conducted in 1947, he was listed among England's top 15 favorite actors and that is not a small achievement even today.

Ronald Reagan, Patricia Neal, Howard Marion-Crawford, Orlando Martins, Ralph Michael, Alfie Bass, Gezählte Stunden and others in "The Hasty Heart".


Orlando Martins acted with actors who later became Presidents of their countries such as Ronald Reagan (February 6, 1911 – June 5, 2004), the 40th President of the United States (1981–1989) in The Hasty Heart a 1949 Anglo-American co-production directed by Vincent Sherman, playing "Blossom" the African soldier in Burma and played the role of "Klova" with Jomo Kenyatta (1889 – 22 August 1978) in "Sanders of the River".
Jomo Kenyatta served as Prime Minister (1963–64) and then as President (1964–78) of Kenya and lionized as the founding father of the Kenyan nation.


Genre: Drama
IMDB Rating: 7.2
Runtime: 102 min
Language:English
Director:Vincent Sherman

Description: The Hasty Heart is set in a WW II convalescent ward of a British General Hospital in the rear of the Assam-Burma. It revolves around Lachlen (Richard Todd), a bitter and arrogant Scottish sergeant, who is initially unaware that he is dying. During the course of the film, he slowly responds to the other men from different cultures among them Ronald Reagan as Yank.

The ward is attended by Sister Margaret played by Patricia Neal, who balances the atmosphere of healing and depression with ethics and optimism. As the men slowly break through this very lonely man's wall of loneliness, we, like them, become more empathetic toward him as he learns the value of friendship in the final days of his life.

Cast:
Ronald Reagan... Yank
Patricia Neal... Sister Parker
Richard Todd... Cpl. Lachlan 'Lachie' MacLachlan
Anthony Nicholls... Lieutenant Colonel Dunn
Howard Marion-Crawford... Tommy (as Howard Crawford)
Ralph Michael... Kiwi
John Sherman... Digger
Alfie Bass... Orderly (as Alfred Bass)
Orlando Martins... Blossom

Filmography

Year Film Role
1935 Sanders of the River Klova
1945 The Man from Morocco Jeremiah
1946 Men of Two Worlds Magole
1947 The End of the River Harrigan
1949 The Hasty Heart Blossom
1954 West of Zanzibar M'Kwongi
1955 Simba Headman
1956 Safari Jerusalem
1957 Abandon Ship Sam Holly
1957 Tarzan and the Lost Safari Chief Ogonooro
1958 The Naked Earth Tall Bearer
1959 Sapphire Barman
1959 The Nuns Story Kalulu
1960 Killers of Kilimajaro Chief Chief
1963 Call me Bwana Chief Tribal Chief
1965 Mister Moses Chief Chief
1965 A Boy Ten Feet Tall Abu Lubaba
1973 Kongi's Harvest Dr. Gbenga













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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Is "Half of a Yellow Sun" A British Film, Nigerian Film or British Nigerian Film?


I know that many people in Nigeria are hailing Biyi Bandele's first feature "Half of a Yellow Sun" as the best thing to happen to Nollywood since "Living in Bondage" and the Nigerian executive producers are celebrating it as the most expensive Nigerian film that cost them US$10 million. But in the US and Europe, it is reviewed as a British funded British film, because to them it is a British film by a British director Biyi Bandele, lead actors Chiwetel Ejiofor and Thandie Newton are also British.
‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ explores UK colonial legacy in Nigeria

While ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ has been praised as one of just a handful of British films that engage with Britain’s post-imperial legacy in Nigeria, critics say it doesn’t do the book justice describing it as "a diverting but surface-level saga".
http://www.euronews.com/2014/04/22/half-of-a-yellow-sun-explores-uk-colonial-legacy-in-nigeria/

Photo: Joseph Mawle, director Biyi Bandele, Thandie Newton and Chiwetel Ejiofor on the red carpet. Photo Credit: Daily Mail of UK.
Half of a Yellow Sun, backed by the BFI Film Fund, is in cinemas from 18 April 2014.
http://www.bfi.org.uk/news-opinion/news-bfi/interviews/roots-manoeuvre-chiwetel-ejiofor-half-yellow-sun 
Chiwetel Ejiofor: 'I find racial concepts fascinating'
He spent a large chunk of last year banishing family demons in Nigeria, where he filmed the British-financed Half of a Yellow Sun, based on Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's brilliant book about the Biafran war. The conflict prompted his parents to flee the country, emigrating to London, where they had Chiwetel, along with his elder brother and two younger sisters. The fighting also uprooted his grandfather, a story Ejiofor captured on tape a few years ago.
http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/features/chiwetel-ejiofor-i-find-racial-concepts-fascinating-8468418.html





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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Day in France


A Day in France
Enacting French Style Wine Presentation and Tasting On Nigerian Soil


It was a gathering of class and dignity with the top of the cream of Abuja society in attendance. Venue was at the Cross Rivers/Imo /Rivers Hall at the second floor of the Prestigious Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja on Saturday the 12th of April 2014. Guests which included A-List members among the titans of the world of business and politics were treated to the finest of refined French Wine Culture at a special presentation by Wine and Things Vineyard Collections. It was an occasion in which the company (Wines and Things Limited) had in a most class distinguishing manner, an expose of their most exclusive wine collections, showcased to prospective and established clients, wine collectors and connoisseurs.


Highlight of the unforgettable event was classy complementary foods put together by Hilton’s top French chef that was specially chosen to create traditional French food pairing for the wines on show, in water-tight French Culinary standards. There were also natural French goblets for the wines as well as real French wine tasting ambience specially created at the venue.


There was also classy music, cool camaraderie and a perfectly relaxed atmosphere at the venue while guests tasted the wines and gourmet foods, mixing it with business networking discussions as always, in a stress free manner. It was an evening of fun, food, wine and pleasurable connections all the way.


Speaking at the occasion, the Chief Executive Officer of Wines and Things Limited, Mr Nzekwe Iheanyi Ken explained that the company will host wine tasting events at regular periods to better educate the Nigerian public about wines to enhance their appreciation of wines. Their focus is to create delightful wine experience via knowledge and information sharing about wines. Wines and Things Limited aims to use periodic events and targeted activities to properly inform and educate personnel involved in selling and serving wine in the hospitality industry amongst others.


The events will create a class distinction for the collection of wines distributed by Wines and Things Limited by associating it with pure French wine culture on Nigerian soil. The CEO explained that the wines distributed by Wines and Things Limited, were of a most exclusive collection, hard to come by, even in France itself! However, the company also purveys wines from other great wine regions of the world especially Spain, Italy as well as USA. In starting the tasting experience with French wines, the company aims to establish the fact that France is the source of most wine making vines, grown all over the world and therefore the primary home of the world’s best wines.


The premium selection of wines tasted at the event were chosen by very experienced wine merchant , Michael Berkowitch and supported by Romain Montognac , a major wine producer, both of whom flew in from France for the occasion.


Among the 12 exclusive wines tasted and showcased at the event were:
Chateau Grand Pey Lescours, (Saint Emilion Grand Cru) a soft, generous wine with great finesse. TASTING: Grand-Pey-Lescours presents very perfumed notes of black fruits and undergrowth. Very fine and supple on the palate. FOOD & WINE PAIRING : Risotto with truffles & mushrooms, Coq-au-vin, grilled rib steak, duck magret, Cheeses : Brie de Meaux, Camembert Dessert : chocolate pie, peach melba.


Cabernet Sauvignon Vin De Languedoc, TASTING, This wine has a very deep and dark colour. It is full-bodied, ample, solid and quite massive. Tannins are abundant without being too hard. It reveals a character of intense red fruits, delicate spices and a great sweetness. This wine can be enjoyed for immediate drinking; it will soften if cellared during one year. FOOD & WINE PAIRING: Main course : Quail with grapes or figs, roast lamb, rib roast, osso bucco. Cheeses : Maroilles, Livarot, corsica cheeses,Dessert : Black cherry clafoutis, chocolate pie.

The Wine and Things Company is a wine merchant based in Nigeria. The company is focused on sourcing exceptionally fine wines from all over the world, thus putting together a robust collection from the best wine regions around the globe, for the Nigerian Market. Located at plot 2 Oriwu Street Lekki Phase-I Lagos, the company is staffed with a team of highly experienced and consistently attentive professionals who are passionate about giving true value to customers.


~ By Mr. Ingram Adichie Osigwe
MD/CEO Fullpage International Communications Limited






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