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Banky W, Adesua Etomi to have ‘The Wedding Party’ in Toronto

FUNSHO AROGUNDADE

Banky W

The Wedding Party, a 110-minutes romance-comedy movie directed by one of Nigeria’s leading female filmmaker, Kemi Adetiba and featuring R&B music star, Banky W as the lead, will premiere on the opening night of this year’s Toronto International Film Festival at the historic Elgin Theatre in Canada.

This was announced Tuesday by the producers via the movie’s Twitterhandle: “We are off to Toronto this September! The #WeddingPartyMovie has been selected to feature at #TIFF16 #OfToAGreatStart

This tweet was validated by another tweet from one of the producers and movie mogul, Mo Abudu, CEO of EbonyLife TV: “I’m so excited to present the #WeddingPartyMovie to a global audience at this year’s #TIFF16.”

Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director of the Toronto International Film Festival said, We are pleased to welcome The Wedding Party by award-winning filmmaker Kemi Adetiba to the Festival, and are proud to present it to a global audience. Adetiba has delivered an exciting character-driven film on a grand scale, while putting her own unique spin on a familiar genre.”

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Also commenting further on the movie, Abudu said, This will be the second time an EbonyLife movie is selected to screen at an International Film Festival of great repute, TIFF’s selection of ‘The Wedding Party’ is a true honour. I can’t think of a better place, or a better global audience for the film’s festival Premiere.”

The wild romcom movie is about a lavish wedding which escalated into a pure Lagosian chaos, and it features alongside Banky W, a stellar cast of Adesua Etomi, AMVCA 2016 Best Actress; Richard Mofe-Damijo; Iretiola Doyle; Atunyota ‘Ali Baba’ Akpobome; and Sola Sobowale among others.

Written by playwright Tosin Otudeko and Kemi Adetiba, ‘The Wedding Party’ is the story of Dunni Coker (Adesua Etomi), a 24 year old art gallery owner and only daughter of her parents about to marry the love of her life, IT entrepreneur Dozie (Banky W).

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The couple took a vow of chastity and is looking forward to a ground-breaking first night together as a married couple. Alibaba and Sola Sobowale play the role of Dunni’s parents while Iretiola Doyle and Richard Mofe-Damijo play Dozie’s parents.

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Other notable names in the stellar cast include Zainab Balogun, AY, Beverly Naya, Emma OhMyGod, Lepacious Bose, Somkele Idhalama, Daniella Brown, Ikechukwu Onunaku, Ayo Makun, Enyinna Nwigwe, Kunle Idowu, Sambasa Nzeribe, Hafiz Oyetoro amongst others.

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The movie is one of specially-chosen eight Nigerian films by Lagos-based filmmakers that would be screened to global audiences at the festival.

Other films that will be screened at the TIFF are 76 (directed by Izu Ojukwu), 93 Days (by Steve Gukas), The Arbitration ( by Niyi Akinmolayan), Taxi Driver (by Daniel T. Oriahi), Okafor’s Law (by Omoni Oboli), Just Not Married (by Uduak-Obong Patrick), and Green White Green (directed by Abbah T. Makama).

Also Kunle Afolayan’s The CEO will enjoy a Special Industry Screening during the festival.

Meanwhile, Lagos State Government has congratulated all the film directors that have been accorded the honour at the world-acclaimed Film Festival holding between 8 and 18 September.

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In a press statement signed on Tuesday by the Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, this year edition of the festival which is its 41st edition is focusing on Lagos State in its City to City, the first African city to be so honored.

He noted that the Toronto International Film Festival will be celebrating the talents and creativity that abound in Lagos with the unprecedented selection of eight new films by Lagos-based filmmakers in the City to City segment and one other film for Industry Special Screening.

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In addition, two outstanding actor/filmmakers, Kunle Afolayan and Genevieve Nnaji were selected to ‘In Conversation With’ (ICW) which will have the two celebrities discuss their works on the world stage.

“The Lagos State government is happy to confirm the selection of eight Lagos-made feature films at the Toronto International Film Festival coming up in September as well as Kunle Afolayan’s The CEO, which will enjoy a Special Industry Screening on the 12th of September.

“We are happy that as the birthplace of Nollywood and the state that is regarded as one of the world’s most productive film locations in the world, Lagos State will be the centre of attraction in Toronto, Canada this year.”

Ayorinde said as the first African city to be so honoured at the festival, the focus on Lagos in Toronto this year confirms “the arrival of Lagos State on the world stage” and how the global creative community acknowledges the potential that is associated with professionals in the motion picture industry of Lagos State.

The statement added that in addition to the selected films, TIFF has also invited two young actors for participation at the newly created Rising Stars Programme at this year edition: OC Ukeje, for his role in The Arbitration and Somkele Iyama for her roles in the three of the films selected – 93 Days, The Arbitration and The Wedding Party.

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The Commissioner said the Lagos State government was pleased that two of the selected films enjoyed the support of the state government during production and that the thrust of all the films will highlight different aspects of lives and historical developments in Lagos and in Nigeria in general.

“While 76 revisits the political upheaval of 1976 that led to the assassination of the Head of State, General Murtala Muhammed, 93 Days examined the bravery of the late Doctor Stella Adadevoh and the Lagos State Government in combating the dreaded Ebola virus in 2014.

“We are pleased that filmmakers are exploring themes that are strong enough to attract global attention. The focus on Lagos State this year, therefore, signals the beginning of a rewarding global attention to our creative artists and the inherent potentials in the state as destination of choice for international filmmakers, visitors and investors.

Ayorinde added that to properly take advantage of the opportunities that featuring at the Toronto film festival brings, the State Government will have a pavilion at the festival, co-host a befitting reception for the Nigerian filmmakers and offer support to the industry delegation. He said that “this falls within the Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s vision to support the arts and creative industry in Lagos State” adding that the time is ripe for the Lagos State brand to engage with the world.

 

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