Thursday, November 16, 2006

Mak Kusare

I spent a pleasant afternoon shooting Mak Kusare on commission. Mak is one of the hottest talents to spill out of the ever-more-interesting National Film Institute in Jos. These people are going to transform Nollywood, or rather bypass it to produce the first genuine cinema in Nigeria (Tunde Kelani and the Mainframe crew being the notable precursors). The new theatrical-release business model (as opposed to VCD marketing from Lagos and Onitsa etc) is helping to drive the transformation, as is the increasingly sophisticated technical know-how at the NFI (check the camera he's using in this shot - which he described to me as 'semi-professional'). Mak's first film is called 90 Degrees - it will be out on theatre release soon. I only had chance to watch the opening sequence in his studio today, but believe me, Nollywood it ain't. This guy is going to make waves, as Jos NFI goes from strength to strength. Its exciting to be around at the birth of a new art form in Nigeria.


Anonymous,  4:52 a.m.  

Jos had always been the centre of Nigerian cinema. Al the classis we enjoyed watching int he 70s and 80s were made in Jos. It's only in the 90s that the Abacha depression put Nollywood in the ascendancy.

Anonymous,  6:49 p.m.  

Hi J,

I'm excited about this young film maker Mak. How does he plan to distribute his film. He must realise that there's an inpenetrable mafia network out there and if they don't give a nod of approval to his film then it can't succeed. What are your thoughts on this imminent challenge?

Jeremy 6:58 p.m.  

I think it will go on theatrical release first, as I mentioned. I don't think there's a mafia network involved (yet). Nollywood can go stew..

Anonymous,  5:43 p.m.  

Hi guys,
just thought I cleared some red herring concerning the future of film in Nigeria especially as regards distribution. I'd say that distribution or more so often the lack of it should not make us tremble with fear, I believe that the greater challenge for a nation that want's to contribute to world cinema is that of quality production. Like they say "a good wine needs no bush", if we make good films the films will find their audience. Lets keep making films that we all can be proud off interms of content and technique.
The industry is evolving, Ninety-Degrees (90-D)may not be in the Nigeria market yet because the film is still seeking out it's audience, it may take a little while becos of course it is different and radical, it requires an equal radical approach to it's distribution. However as part of its distribution style the film is making the Festival rounds, which is the first. We intend to explore the 4 windows of film distribution. We had good reception so far from around the world, and indeed the film if fulfilling the purpose for which it was made in the first place which is to: Tell the Nigerian story from a new and refreshing angle, to push the limits of the video technology, to herald a new era in Digital and Cinematic story telling technique and perhaps satisfy the yearning of a new generation of film audience/cineaste in Nigeria. I am glad to be part of this revolution.Indeed I am glad to be part of this generation of filmmakers that have a rendezvous with destiny.

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