The Film Blog: We hope Naz Onuzo reads this review – and pays attention

Chinaza Onuzo is clearly one of the leading lights for that project they call New Nollywood. You don’t know him yet. But you should. And soon, anyway, you probably will.

He is now part of the awkwardly-named Efikze film collective, essentially a mishmash of the names of the collaborators for The Wedding Party – FilmHouse (where he is also a director), Koga Studios, EbonyLife Films and his company Inkblot.

But before that, his impressive projects as producer – over the past three years have included The Department, The Arbitration and Out of Luck (all of which feature OC Ukeje and Adesua Etomi promimently).

department-ynaijaIn all of these projects (impressive because they bring thoughtful storytelling to an industry that has often found no use for same), the potential has stood as brightly as his limitations.

He went to the Toronto International Film Festival to show his new, sleek film ‘The Arbitration’ and a reviewer for Toronto’s NOW magazine. And she went right to the heart of the matter.


“Best intentions don’t necessarily translate into a good film.”


Despite a fine cast, including Iretiola Doyle as Gbenga’s lawyer and Somkele Iyamah-Idhalama as Dara’s, the rhythm of the piece feels awkward, and the camera lingers ways too long on reaction shots, seriously messing with the tone – audience members at the screening I attended tittered often.


The sound is awful, with scenes recorded at inconsistent levels. At times, the actors can’t be heard.

And then 4.

Too bad, because this had the makings of a kick-ass movie.

out-of-luck-ynaijaThe review refers to Niyi Akinmolayan, who is Onuzo’s favourite director – and one of ours too. But considering this is a thread common through Onuzo’s projects, he should pay attention (even though they are many in the industry who swear he is too far up his ego to do so).

Just one more step, and he should approach brilliance. As MFM people say it, this is a consistent spirit of ‘almost there’.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

cool good eh love2 cute confused notgood numb disgusting fail