We won’t forget in a hurry, the record-breaking EbonyLife film, The Wedding Party. From being chosen for screening at the worlds most important publicly attended film festival to becoming the highest-grossing Nigerian movie of all time. And now, EbonyLife Films is back with The Royal Hibiscus Hotel.
Toronto International Film Festival has just selected The Royal Hibiscus Hotel for ‘Contemporary World Cinema‘ from hundreds of entries.
The film, a charming, new romantic comedy from EbonyLife Films will be screened for the very first time at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) which holds from September 7 through 17. And it’s the only Nigerian selection and one of just three African features in the Contemporary World Cinema category, which spotlights forty-eight of the best new films worldwide.
The Royal Hibiscus Hotel is set in Lagos and London and it tells the story of a disillusioned London chef, Ope, who returns to Nigeria and discovers that going home can bring unexpected surprises.
For director Ishaya Bakos, The Royal Hibiscus Hotel is his second feature film, following his debut, The Road to Yesterday.
The cast includes Zainab Balogun, Kenneth Okolie, Deyemi Okanlawon and O.C. Ukeje, Rachel Oniga, Jide Kosoko, Olu Jacobs and Joke Silva.
It’s not only the solid cast. The soundtrack features a score by the award-winning Cobhams Asuquo, and songs by leading Nigerian artistes including, Romeo and Juliet by Johnny Drille; Chemistry by Falz and Simi; Skintight by Mr. Eazi; and Tonight, Ocean and Radio by Nonso Amadi.
Mo Abudu, Executive Producer, is thrilled about the upcoming premiere. She says: “The Royal Hibiscus Hotel has been a passion project for me; the chance to tell an intimate story that has heart and soul, and explores romantic love in the older and younger generations. The film addresses some of the challenges around communication in relationships, while managing to be funny, warm and entertaining. Many of us have forgotten what it feels like to fall in love I hope The Royal Hibiscus Hotel re-ignites this feeling in us all”.
Receiving such a significant accolade is important because it identifies the movie as a quality title. This is also good news for filmmakers in Nigeria and the continent as it provides further confirmation that positive African stories are attaining global recognition, which is indicative of improved scripting and higher production values.
The Royal Hibiscus Hotel is scheduled for release in February 2018.