In the past week, we have seen the release of Chief Daddy, the buzzy, bombastic EbonyLife Films vehicle that ostensibly sought to replicate the box office success of The Wedding Party. The romantic drama was released in December 2016, so go figure. Also, Ema Edosio’s Kasala landed on our cinema shores after its extensive film festival tour, picking up awards and garnering praises. Still, there are a couple of forthcoming movies that you should pen into your reminder if Nollywood is your thing.
BB Sasore’s God Calling plays with the idea of God communicating to humans through a smartphone. It’s ridiculous and freaky, and I couldn’t blame Zainab Balogun as Sade in the movie trailer where she smashes her phone to avoid a call from God. Balogun shines as a struggling drug addict in a matrimonial Christian home, and the highlight of the trailer is where she is sinking forlornly in a lagoon. God Calling has a sketchy, fantastical element that gives the movie a familiar dimension. In Sasore’s Banana Island Ghost, he blurs the boundary between the earthly and the divine, leaving a subtext for the audience to grasp. In God Calling, the underlying message could be finding our path back to redemption. The movie which stars Karibi Fubara, Richard Mofe-Damijo, Nkem Owoh, Tina MNA, Patrick Diabuah, Chidinma Okebalama and Onyeka Onwenu will hit cinemas December 21.
What happens when you come from a privileged background as a bad boy rebel and you are sent to the North for the mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme as a kind of punishment from your parents? That’s the premise of Up North, basically, directed by Tope Oshin whose queer film We Don’t Live Here Anymore just won Best Movie at the BON Awards. Up North is a deliberate piece of filmmaking as seen from its teaser and trailer, cropping out the stereotypical violence and terror in the North and humanising its characters to its fullest. The movie stars real-life couple Bankole Wellington and Adesua Etomi, Kanayo O. Kanayo, Michelle Dede, Akin Lewis, Rahama Sadau, Ibrahim Onimisi Suleiman and a cameo from the incumbent governor of Bauchi, Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar. Up North premieres this Saturday and hits cinemas December 28.
Knock Out Blessing
The pressure to recreate the allure of a director’s first film can often lead to issues in the second movie. Dare Olaitain’s Ojukokoro was well-received as a decent film from a young auteur, with promise and room for improvement. In Olaitan’s sophomore project Knock Out Blessing, he swaps out the anxious, maddening masculinity that we saw in Ojukokoro for a sprightly, kickass, feminist-adjacent plot. Per the synopsis, the movie follows three girls on an adventure to survive which takes them down on a path that leads into the criminal sector of Nigeria’s political underworld. Starring Ade Laoye, Linda Ejiofor, Demola Adedoyin, Bucci Franklin, Tope Tedela, Gbenga Titiloye, Tony Akposheri, Udoka Oyeka, Charles Etubeibi, Sammie Eddie, Paul Utomi, Iyke Michael, Mary Kowo, Sandra Eze, KC Ejelonu, Meg Otanwa, and KC Ejelonu, Knock Out Blessing is your post-Christmas filler. The movie hits cinemas December 28.
When Bernard Dayo isn’t writing about pop culture, he’s watching horror movies, anime and trying to pretend his addiction to Netflix isn’t a serious condition.