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Monday, September 29, 2008

KORA organizers battle C’River State Govt

Pic-Ernest Adjovi, CEO KORA

It is no longer news that the contract signed between Kora All Africa Music Awards and the Cross River State government, for the former to host this year’s edition of the globally acclaimed event in the latter’s state has been experiencing some hiccups with litigation papers flying left, right and centre from both aggrieved parties.
However, what many, especially members of the public that have been following the unfolding drama, do not know is that there is a calculated attempt by some powerful people within the corridors of power, to kill the Ernest Adjovi-led award in Nigeria. This cabal, according to our reliable insider, aside frustrating the untiring efforts of Mr. Adjovi, who had successfully hosted the event outside our shores, in the past ten years, is also threatening to deal mercilessly with the international businessman, if he attempts to relocate the award outside its original domain.
He has also been warned severally through series of
SMS, usually sent to his phone. The source further stated that Mr. Adjovi’s choice of seeking an alternative business opportunities and the eventual opening up of a line of communication with the Lagos State government, to serve as his contractual partner, was done with the approval of its estranged partners.
Adjovi, maintained that the move was quickly initiated in order to salvage his integrity and business, since his estranged partners had serially refused and failed to carry out their own part of the contract, especially in respect of their obligation to provide logistic and contingent support in line with the Business Plan, contained in the contract papers.

Liyel Imoke, C'River State Gov

This insider, further alleged that Mr. Adjovi, through his lawyers had written several letters to his estranged partners on how best to resolve the matter amicably, but to his consternation, such letters were usually treated with unseriousness and nonchalant attitude, suggesting that his
estranged partners only intend to observe the terms of the contract in default, rather than performance. Even the request by Mr. Adjovi, through his lawyers, by further asking for a meeting in order to explore means of finding a peaceful resolution to the protracted dispute through the setting up of a Mediation and Arbitration panel, since their contract has a provision for that, was rebuffed.
This insider, also punctured the claim that Adjovi, illegally withdrew the hosting rights of Kora from his estranged partners, he insisted the withdrawal followed a due process, and was allowed under paragraph 18 of the contract. However, all our efforts to get the other party to react proved abortive. We will definitely keep you darling readers abreast, as more drama unfolds from both warring parties. is wishing our Muslim brothers and sisters a scintillating Eid Il Fitri, and a wonderful Oct 1st Independence Day celebrations to all Naijas' globally. One luv!

Top Comedian, Okey dumps Bakassi

Top-flight comedian cum entertainer extra-ordinaire Okey Mc Anthony Onyegbule, is currently angry, pissed and disappointed with the Federal Government of Nigeria, for ceding the Bakasssi Peninsula to the republic of Cameroon.

Pic-Comedian Okey Mc Anthony

And to prove that his anger is seething, the internationally acclaimed rib cracker recently came out to officially denounce and dump Bakassi, the stage name that has brought him fame and fortune.

The funny father of three, now wants to be known and addressed on and off stage as OKB.

He has even threatened to sue anybody that refers to him as Okey Bakassi, because according to him, old things shall pass away.

OKB’s close pals are even insinuating that he has concluded plans to drag the Federal Government to court, for giving away his “stage name”, without his consent.

Well, we are still looking for OKB, to ascertain if he is actually heading to the International Court of Justice, at The Hague, or our own Supreme Court.

More candle lights for Yinka Craig

Pic-Yinka Craig, late Nigerian veteran Broadcaster

Top entertainers from both the movie and music sectors are still mourning the painful and sad exit of top broadcaster, Yinka Craig, who died recently in a US hospital, after a protracted battle with cancer of the bloodstream.
In his condolence message, which was made available to us, Chief Tony Okoroji, the prime mover of the resuscitated Nigerian Music Awards (NMA), though regretted Craig’s demise, he however, described the late veteran broadcast as a very knowledgeable, incredibly talented and unbelievably warm Nigerian. “My heart goes out to his family and his countless friends and admirers around the country. We all will terribly miss him,” Okoroji lamented.
Also mourning, Mr. Elkanah Mowarin, entertainment entrepreneur and the president of INTARPPAN, said he was shocked and deeply saddened by the news of Craig’s death, adding that he would be greatly missed.
“ As a pioneer and first class broadcaster, presenter, producer and humorist, we will miss him greatly. Even in death, he remains a broadcast legend and icon,” said Mowarin, in a heavy heart.
When confronted with the shocking news, veteran actor, Olu Jacobs, could not utter a word; the tested thespian only prayed God, to grant his soul eternal rest, when he finally found his voice. Meanwhile, we reliably gathered that entertainers are planning something big for the late top broadcaster, as a way of immortalizing his good name and works.

AMBO set for season four

Pic-Azizat Sadiq, First AMBO winner

After successfully hosting the first, second and third editions of the annual Amstel Malta Box Office (AMBO), reality TV show, which has equally produced three stars for Nollywood, Nigerian Breweries Plc, the organizers of the event, is set for the fourth season of the exhilarating and youth-friendly show.

Speaking at a crowded press conference, which held inside the premises of the brewery giant recently, Mr. Yusuf Ageni, the amiable Corporate Affairs Adviser of the multinational company, promised that this year’s AMBO, would be bigger and better packaged with plenty excitements and surprises.

“Registration has already started on our website, and would close on October 12, 2008, after which the nationwide search would begin in earnest”, he further explained.

Interestingly, the ultimate prize for the eventual winner of this year’s AMBO, is N2.5 million, a brand new car and a lead role in a Nollywood blockbuster.

AMBO, which has produced names like: Azizat Sadiq, OC Ukeje and Bhaira MC Wizu, in the previous three seasons, originally consists of three main elements, which run sequentially. First, is the TV reality show, which picks a winner from a group of aspiring wannabes, and closely followed with a movie that stars this winner in a lead role and lastly, the road shows, which automatically provides viewing experiences of the movie, to the esteemed Amstel Malta consumers across the country.

Imo Gov, Ohakim goes to the Coliseum

Always-on-the-move governor of Imo State, Ikedi Godson Ochinawata Ohakim, would be the next special guest at the Ikeja, Lagos based Niteshift Coliseum’s Grand House Reception (GHR), holding on Sunday, October 5, 2008.

The high profile gathering that would hold inside the Arena of the upscale hangout kicks off at exactly 6:30 pm and would be attended by patrons of the club and dignitaries.

Pic-Imo Gov, Ohakim

And as usual, Ikedi, is expected to mount the Hot Seat and entertain questions from the patrons and some selected members of the public, on his stewardship in the last one year, among other germane issues bordering on his plans for the good people of Imo state.

According to Ken Calebs Olumese, the Guvnor of the club, the event is strictly by invitation and the dress code remains respectable.

Olumese, further promised to entertain Ikedi and his guests with the traditional Niteshift Coliseum’s culture of excellence.

Emeka Jonathan aims higher in Nollywood

Barely three years in the industry as a director, lawyer turned filmmaker, Emeka Jonathan is gradually taking Nollywood by storm with his works and wisdom on locations.
Youthful Jonathan, also a soap director, started first as a model/TV presenter, and had presented quality programmes on network stations before embracing the art of moviemaking fully. And with over 15 quality movies to his credit, the Imo State born dude, who is poised to hit some eastern states, for his next big budget movie, maintained that his production outfit alongside its foreign partners are planning something very big for Nollywood soon.
“It’s a project that is very dear to my heart and that of my foreign partners, at the appropriate time, we would definitely unveil it. We want to make a bold statement with this project and further use it to move Nollywood higher in the comity of top movie making nations globally”, hinted the director of wave making Final Point, and several other hit works.

The Green and White groove rocks Lagos

Whao! All is now set for the Green and White groove, which is currently the talk of the town among Lagos socialites, celebrities and the glitterati.

Proudly being put together by Prime Time Entertainment and Encomium, the Magazine and Awards Company, the Independence Day prom, promises to be fun-filled and memorable.

The Nigerian National Flag

Holding at the upscale Planet One Entertainment and Events Centre, Maryland, Lagos, on Wednesday, October 1, 2008, with a very strict dress code of Green and White attires, the anticipated evening of high net worth gathering, is already causing ripples within and outside Lagos and its environs.

In fact, authentic info at our disposal, has it that party freaks, are already lobbying for the scarce invites, without which entry would be denied them at the gate.

And for a happier bash, Harp, the real beer, for real people, is solidly behind the historic event being jointly organized by the trio of Kunle Bakare, Dayo Adeneye and Keke Ogungbe.

D’Lectura shines @ Facet awards


Hard work, commitment and ingenuity, especially on stage, finally paid off for fast emerging comedian and compere, Emmanuel Adigwe, famously known as D’Lectura.
The rib cracker’s efforts at helping to calm frayed nerves with his hilarious jokes, recently paid off with a well-deserved honour.
He was decorated with the Best Young Comedian award, by Facet, a youth friendly magazine on campuses. D’ Lec, as he is fondly called, floored four other of his equally good colleagues, to smile home with the coveted crown.
According to the organizers, the annual award celebrates talents in the society, especially among hard working youths.

New documentary thrills Bayelsans

Pic-Timpre Silva, Gov Bayelsa State

A new documentary shot with high definition cameras for the Bayelsa State Government, which would be unveiled at an elaborate ceremony on Independence Day, October 1, 2008, at the Government House, is already thrilling the good people of the oil-rich state.

The docu’s unveiling, would also coincide with the 12th anniversary of the Timipre Sylva’s led state, and further attract indigenes and friends of the state from far and near, especially those in the Diaspora.

Shot and packaged by Third Eye Media, the production outfit of top Nollywood film director, Tarila Thompson, a proud son of the state. We further gathered that the docu would be broadcast on network and cable TV stations, immediately after the unveiling.

Aside being educative and entertaining, it will also highlight the socio-economic contributions of Bayelsa State to the nation, since inception alongside Sylva’s giant strides as its helmsman.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Globacom goes on Rock n Rule with Naija stars

Pic-D'Banj set to thrill at Glo's Rock N Rule

After a well-applauded nationwide success with Campus Storm, primarily designed for Naija youths on campuses, telecommunications giant, Globacom is back on the groovy scene again to further entertain youths with Rock n Rule. Interestingly, some leading Nigeria musicians, comedians and a few of their counterparts from neighbouring Ghana, have been sensationally selected to power and electrify this nationwide tour. Headliners like: D’banj, Sammy Okposo, Sunny Neji, Mode 9, Pasuma and Original Stereoman would be thrilling and tantalizing fun seekers round the nation. Other performing acts include: Sani Danja, Ego and Ghanaian top female act and MTV Base award winner, Becca. The campaign, which is expected to take off soon, would also have on its moving train, renowned comedians like: Okey Bakassi, Basketmouth and a host of others. Of course, Africa’s best disc jockey, Jimmy Jatt, would also be on board the exhilarating tour, to rock Nigerians non-stop
on the wheels of steel. In the words of Bode Opeseitan, Glo’s Head, Public Relations, they aimed to provide enough opportunity for Nigerians to relax and dance to good music from some of the best acts that this generation is blessed with. “ There will also be several competitions that will provide our young boys and girls between the ages of 18 and 25, an opportunity to show their skills on the runway. A pageant for Mr. Rock n Rule and Miss Rock n Rule will hold in the course of this tour… With this tour, we promise an exciting time for our youths across this great, diverse and richly endowed nation,” Opeseitan added.

Atlantic Overseas supports AMP Secretariat

Pic-Paul Obazele, AMP President

Few months after donating office equipment to the newly commissioned National Secretariat of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Atlantic Overseas Limited, the brand name now synonymous with quality movies and empowerment in the Nigeria’s motion picture industry has added another feather in its cap by initiating another giant stride.
The kind gesture, according to the Chairman and CEO, Atlantic Overseas Limited who is also the Life Patron of the Movie Reporters Guild of Nigeria (MORGON) and one of the patrons of AGN, would assist immensely, to immediately jump start the association’s Secretariat Fund. “The donation would ultimately assist and help galvanize AMP, to secure a befitting National Secretariat, just like AGN. Aside churning out quality movies that can compete favourably anywhere in the world, Atlantic Overseas, is also willing to assist Nollywood Guilds by empowering them for a sustainable growth that would be beneficial to all stakeholders”, he submitted.
Meanwhile, several stakeholders and practitioners in Nollywood have hailed and praised Atlantic Overseas, for the bold step, they however, urged other corporate organizations and highly placed individuals to emulate Atlantic Overseas, by following in their footsteps.
While speaking on the significant gesture, Mr. Paul Obazele, the national president of AMP, who received the donation on behalf of his association, said the gift was a morale booster for the entire members of the body and Nollywood in general.
“We cannot thank Atlantic Overseas enough. Personally, I’m happy and will keep praying fervently for God to continue to provide and protect Atlantic Overseas and its directors. We are also using this opportunity to call on other well meaning Nigerians and corporate bodies to emulate Atlantic Overseas”, Obazele maintained.

Project Fame unveils mouthwatering packages

Pic-Dare Art-Alade, Presenter 2008 MTN Project Fame

No doubt, the eventual winner of this year’s MTN Project Fame, which opens on September 29, 2008, amid glitz and razzmatazz, would go home with some mouth watering Xtracool prize packages that include, a brand new 2008 Toyota Rav4 SUV, the sum of 2.5 million Naira and a life changing international recording deal. Other runners up in the talent discovery and musical entertainment development reality show, being powered by MTN Xtra Cool, would also smile home with fantastic prizes at the end of the day. While, the first runner up, would win a Toyota Corolla series, and the sum of 1.5 million Naira, the second runner up, would drive home a Toyota Yaris, with the sum of 1 million Naira, stashed inside the auto’s trunk. MTN, in its magnanimity would also present the sum of One million Naira, to the fourth winner. Meanwhile, the lucky 15, that would be housed in the Project Fame Academy, for a period of three months, would receive voice, dance and
performance trainings from experts in these fields. They would further be tutored on what it takes to become top rated music icons and ambassadors.
Speaking on the project, which is expected to run in some free to air TV stations across the country, Mr. Kola Oyeyemi, the GM, Consumer Marketing, MTN Nigeria, explained that the programme presents huge opportunities to harness the abundant musical talents in the country, as well, as serving as a youth empowerment programme. “It has a transformative impact on the selected youth… it also provides an opportunity for total entertainment aimed at discovering and nurturing youthful talents,” he added.

Atunda serenades with new dance troupe

A new dance troupe that would make notable names like Umoja, Sikulu and the rest of them go green with envy was recently unveiled on the Nigerian entertainment landscape with applause and accolades. Ajo, from the respected stable of Wanle Akinboboye’s led Atunda productions was presented to a select audience of arts aficionados and entertainment journalists recently. The dance drama, which traces the rich history of the African people, before, during and after colonialism, was equally written and directed by Akinboboye. Ajo, which many pundits and critics believe would make a good export, usually opens with a picturesque scene displaying the richness of African cultural and political lives pre colonialism. It further mirrors the lives of the royalty and that of the ordinary folks in cultures as diverse as Edo, Fulani and Zulu. Ajo, in the words of most of the guests, is a much-welcomed arrival on the Nigeria’s arts and entertainment scene, and can
compete favourably anywhere in the world.

Ejike Asiegbu battles Tony One Week

Pic-Ejike Asiegbu

Top thespian and the national president of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Mr. Ejike Asiegbu, has threatened through his lawyers to slam a N50 million law suit against one of his colleagues in the entertainment industry, Tony One Week.

One Week’s sin, according to Ahamefula Njoku and Co., solicitors to Asiegbu, was the “libelous and defamatory statements” he made during a recent interview, he granted a national daily not (The Sun).

Asiegbu’s lawyers further argued that the said publication has brought their client into public odium, ridicule, hatred and lowered his esteem
among his friends, family, professional colleagues and further damaged his distinguished career, which spanned over a period of two decades.

And for peace to reign supreme between them, embittered Asiegbu through his lawyers is demanding a public apology in three national newspapers and a whopping N50 million, as compensation for the damages arising from the said publication. They have also threatened to sue, if One Week, fails to comply 14 days after receiving the letter tagged “Urgent and Important”.

While reacting, Abuja based One Week, who contested and lost the AGN presidency to Asiegbu, maintained he had not received any letter from Asiegbu or his solicitors. “I’m waiting for their letter; I have not seen any letter or summons from any quarters, besides I am very busy here in Abuja”.

Top Naija acts headline Globacom’s new kick

Pic-Mike Adenuga, Globacom honcho

Leading Naija music acts like: D’banj, P-Square, Ego, Sammie Okposo and others recently endorsed and lent their sonorous voices to the new and fast spreading signature tune from Globacom, tagged: We’ve Got People Talking.
Mr. Joachim Atunwa, Glo’s Director of Advertising, at the recent presentation of the second leg of the theme campaign, which held at the upscale Mike Adenuga Towers, Lagos, explained vividly what the new celebratory expression was all about.
In his words, when Globacom hit the 20 million subscribers base, which also coincided with its fifth anniversary. “We felt we had an obligation to celebrate a dream realized – the dream of empowering Nigerians from all walks of life and across geographical zones to talk”, Atunwa pointed out.

We further gathered that “We’ve Got People Talking” is Glo’s way of acknowledging how its activities since August 2003, have had profound impact on the lives of Nigerians, be they workers, businessmen, students and children in their daily conducts.

It was also learnt that these music icons, some of whom are Glo’s ambassadors, and have wide acceptability across the country, were recently flown to South Africa, to put finishing touches to the song, which Globacom, would soon flood the air waves with, in order to celebrate its achievements and acceptance in the country, over the past five years.

Nollywood star actress, Clarion Chukwurah plans triple gig

Pic-Clarion Chukwurah

Quintessential artiste and crossover queen, Clarion Chukwurah, is already strategizing for her forthcoming triple celebrations early 2009. Tagged “Celebration of an icon”, the historic event is being packaged by Jade Productions Limited.

According to effervescent Chukwurah, who is also seeking for partnership of the event from willing media collaborators and corporate entities, the three in one event includes: the 10th anniversary of ADDE/Clarion Chukwurah Help line Initiative, the 30th anniversary of her acting/showbiz career and the world launch of the Clarion Chukwurah Foundation.
Speaking further, Chukwurah promised to unveil more details as the event draws nearer.

Hollywood takes centre stage in Venice

Pic-George Clooney, Top Hollywood Actor leads the pack of American stars

To further confirm that they are the greatest filmmaking nation on earth, Hollywood, the heart beat of films production in the US, clinched the overall best prize at the recently concluded 65th edition of the Venice International Film Festival, which held on the beautiful Island of Lido, Italy, from August 27 to September 6, 2008.

The Wrestler, by Darren Aronofsky, won the keenly contested Golden Lion trophy, for the best film screened to a global audience, at the revered festival chaired by Pablo Baratta.

Another budding Hollywood actress, Jennifer Lawrence, also carted home the crest, in the best Young Actress category. She achieved the rare feat with her scintillating role in The Burning Plain, another Hollywood film, which made it to Venice, unarguably the world’s oldest festival.

Meanwhile, Burn After Reading, a star-studded Hollywood blockbuster with leading names like: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Tilda Swinton and several others, had the rare honour of being screened, to declare the festival open in the evening of Wednesday, August 27, at the spacious cinema halls of Sala Grande, Pala Biennale and Pala Lido respectively. It was directed by Academy award winning brothers Joel and Ethan Coen.

Moreover, the arrival of other leading names in Nollywood to the festival’s venue, especially the red carpet section, really boosted the image of the festival and further added glamour and razzmatazz to it.

In all, a total of ten Hollywood feature films, made it to the festival and they were all premiered and screened to a global audience.

However, it is no longer news that no Nigerian Nollywood movie made it to the festival, which was attended by filmmakers from 72 countries.

Never the less, two African countries, Algeria and Ethiopia, screened one movie each at the festival.

Other winners at the official Venezia 65 awards were: France, which won three crowns in the Special Jury Prize, with Teza, by Haile Gerima, which he shared with Ethiopia and Germany. Gerima, originally from Ethiopia, also won and shared the prize for the Best Screenplay for Teza, with the above countries, while Dominique Blanc, won the Best Actress, for her role in L’autre.

The host nation, Italy, smiled home with the awards of the Best Actor and Debut Film, which went to the duo of Silvio Orlando and Pranzo Di Ferragosto respectively.

The jury of the festival awarded the Silver Lion for Best Director and Best Cinematography to the Russian filmmaker, Aleksey German Jr, for his superb work in Paper Soldier, while the Special Lion for the overall work went to Werner Schroeter. He got the plaque for his uncompromising and relentless innovative work spanning over a period of four decades.

Interestingly, statistics made available to us revealed that a total of 3,689 films were submitted for selection from 72 countries around the world, and 2,429 of them, were feature films.

Moreover, 21 of these feature films were eventually selected for the awards main competition, while seven of them were out of the competition.

Again, in the three main sections of the festival, 49 feature films were screened as world premieres, three short films were also screened as world premieres and five features films screened as international premieres.

The festival, which was directed by Marco Muller and dedicated to Youssef Chahine, also featured an international Critics’ Week section with panel discussions and workshops.

According to La Biennale di Venezia, the organizers of the annual festival, it aims to encourage the awareness and promotion of all the various aspects of international cinema as art, entertainment and industry, in a spirit of freedom and tolerance.

It is also important to note that through Marco Muller’s efforts, Venice is now a festival that is increasingly becoming present on the foreign stage, responsive to emerging film industries and new talents and at the same time, can exploit a solid and constant relationship with the best film productions in the world.

Above all, it would be recalled that globally acclaimed filmmaker, Wim Wenders, chaired the Jury of this year’s Venezia, while star actress Ksenia Rappoport hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the prestigious film festival.

Official Venezia 65 Award Winners

1. Best Film – Darren Aronofsky, The Wrestler (USA)
2. Best Director - Aleksey German Jr, Paper Soldier (Russia)
3. Special Jury Prize - Haile Gerima, Teza, (Ethiopia, Germany, France)
4. Best Actor – Silvio Orlando (Italy)
5. Best Actress – Dominique Blanc, L’autre (France)
6. Best Young Actress – Jennifer Lawrence, The Burning Plain (USA)
7. Best Cinematography – Paper Soldier (Russia)
8. Best Screenplay – Haile Gerima, Teza, (Ethiopia, Germany & France)
9. Special Lion – Werner Schroeter
10. Award For A Debut Film – Pranzo Di Ferragosto (Italy)

Censors Board supports Zafaa awards

Pic-Sam Anwuzia, CEO Zafaa

To ensure a successful outing at this year’s edition of the annual Zafaa Film Festival and Academy Awards UK, the leadership of the National Film and Videos Censors Board (NFVCB), ably led by Mr. Emeka Mba, has agreed to support the organizers.

In a release made available to us, by Mr. Sam Anwuzia, the London based Coordinator of the event; Anwuzia stated that he was delighted to make it public that Zafaa is now working in collaboration with the NFVCB, in promoting Nollywood and African movies beyond our shores.

And to this end, the NFVCB powered festival, which is already serenading London and its environs would hold from October 14 to 17, 2008 at the Odeon Cinema Surrey Quays and Troxy Hall, Lime House in both South East and East London respectively.

The event, which is expected to be graced by several Nollywood stars, stakeholders and entertainment journalists, would be officially declared open by soft spoken Mba, who is currently on a mission to reposition and restructure the Nigerian motion picture industry, globally known as Nollywood.

Monalisa Chinda’s anger

Monalisa Chinda

Authentic info reaching us has it that top actress and nursing mom, Monalisa Chinda is currently sad, angry and very pissed with some guys in the soft-sell genre, for writing unpalatable stuffs about her recently. In a chat with us, Chinda’s doting hubby, Dejo Richards, lamented that some of these mischievous fellas, went as far as “cooking up” imaginary stories about his heartthrob in the media, in order to pitch her against her colleagues and some producers that constantly hires her for jobs.

Richard however, warned that these people, whom he also referred to as “enemies of progress”, would soon be hearing from his lawyers. “My wife is an easy going woman and a professional actress, who read theatre arts, I don’t know why some people want to pull her down by all means. They should please, leave her alone to concentrate more on her thriving acting career”, he pleaded. Well, stardom also comes with its own headache.

Divas’ Dynasty ready for the airwaves

Adaora Ukoh

In the next couple of weeks, a new and tantalizing TV programme painstakingly designed and produced to showcase the accomplishments and successes of the true African woman, is expected to make a debut on national and cable TV stations.

Christened Divas’ Dynasty, and from the production house of Citi Vendors Integrated Services, the programme would also highlight the challenges failures, tough and rough roads most successful women embark upon to achieve greatness. It would further seek to juxtapose these female goal getters side by side with their male counterparts.

“We also want to use Divas’ Dynasty to communicate positively, strengthen, inspire and empower Nigerian and African Women. We also intend using it to identify and honour real female achievers in the society, and further project them as part of those who have contributed immensely to the growth and improvement of our economy and the nation,” posited Ngozi Kalu, its producer.

Also speaking, Nollywood actress and the presenter of the soon to debut programme, Adaora Ukoh, maintained that they would not only celebrate and showcase female achievers on Divas’ Dynasty, but also strive to empower the determined and struggling women with good initiatives, which would benefit the society at the end of the day. “This goal would be achieved through collaborations with corporate organizations, NGOs, individuals, vocational training institutes, seminars and workshops.”

Top actor Bimbo Manuel bereaved

Foremost actor and entertainer Bimbo Manuel and his entire household are currently bereaved and mourning.

The reason, we reliably gathered had to do with the recent demise of the loving mother of the “toughie” roles loving thespian. Manuel’s late mum, princess Joanna Abiola Odulaja, nee Francis, died recently after a brief illness and was aged 84. She would be given a befitting burial in Ibadan, Oyo State on October 23 and 24. “My family and I would greatly miss her, she was more than a mother to us,” lamented Manuel, in an emotion laden voice. Take heart.

Nollywood distribution company berths

Emeka Mba

In line with the recent framework distribution policy being championed by the Emeka Mba’s led National Film and Videos Censors Board (NFVCB), a new Nollywood outfit that is poised to completely change the way and manner films are marketed and distributed in the industry has berthed.
Known as Nollywood Distribution Company Limited, with its corporate head office in the heart of Surulere, Lagos, it is jointly owned by two leading female filmmakers-Emem Isong and Vivian Ejike.
Aside marketing and distributing films nationwide effectively, they are also into the production of quality movies and documentaries for both individuals and corporate entities.
Commenting on their bold move, which many industry watchers are already applauding, the duo maintained that the aim was to raise the bench mark for films distribution and marketing in Nollywood and even beyond. “We are also out to complement the efforts of the existing structures on ground with the sole aim of reaching all the nooks and crannies of this country with quality movies”.

O’Jez hosts Ayo Fayose

Ayo Fayose

For regularly hanging out with his pals and handbags at O’Jez, the celebrity hangout tucked inside the National Stadium Complex, Surulere, Lagos, the management of the outfit, over the weekend hosted Ayo Fayose, the former Ekiti State governor, to a lavish reception.
The all night event that had several Nollywood stars and patrons in attendance was well attended.
Controversial Fayose, who sauntered in late to the groove, caused a big stir with his car’s plate number, which read “EKITI 1”. Though, upon arrival, many on lookers thought it was Segun Oni, the incumbent governor that visited the upscale joint, until Fayose, who equally drove himself, alighted from his glittering auto.
No doubt, the dandy politico had a blast and thoroughly enjoyed himself before zooming off with his entourage.
According to Joseph Odobeatu, the boss of O’Jez, Fayose, was hosted for being a loyal and dedicated patron of the hangout. “Despite his busy schedules, the former governor always finds time to relax at O’ Jez, so the hosting was our own way of telling him that we appreciate his presence always”.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Exclusive gists from Venice Film Festival+More Pix

Pix-Director Ethan Coen , Brad Pitt , Frances McDormand , Director Joel Coen , Tilda Swinton and George Clooney at the 65th Annual Venice Film Festival Premiere of Burn After Reading

Pic-Brad Pitt and sons

Nollywood missing at Venice Film Festival

Practitioners and stakeholders from our dear motion picture industry globally known as Nollywood were conspicuously missing at the just concluded 65th edition of the Venice International Film Festival, which held on the Island of Lido, Italy, for eleven days. In fact, yours sincerely, who was there live, did not sight any core entertainment reporter or a Nollywood newshound till the world’s oldest and highly revered festival ended over the weekend.

Pic-Yours Sincerely with Michela Lazzarim, Head, Foreign Press

However, the Whites dominated event, had few filmmakers from a couple of African nations attending. Meanwhile, we are still trying to unravel why no Nigerian filmmaker or actor made it to the globally acclaimed gathering that held the films and cinemas communities spellbound, while it lasted.

Pic-Hollywood star, George Clooney arriving

Italians go gaga for George Clooney
The grand arrival of Hollywood mega star George Clooney to the festival literally set the beautiful city of Venice and its environs on fire. The coming of Clooney, whose role in Burn After Reading, the big budget film that was screened to declare the festival open, was widely reported in the Italian media and even beyond. Several Italians that accosted Yours Sincerely, on the streets and neighbourhood eateries, kept asking about Clooney. Some daring ones further begged to see his images on the camera hanging on my neck.
Above all, Clooney and his star-studded team from Hollywood stole the show in Venice. The razzmatazz that accompanied them to the red carpet was out of this world. He came with good pal and newest dad in Hollywood, Brad Pitt, the hubby of top actress, Angelina Jolie. Others were: Charlize Theron, Tilda Swinton and the Coen brothers, directors of the historic movie.

Pic-The massive red carpet

The massive red carpet

Sincerely, many guests at the festival watched with mouths agape, the massive, intimidating and sparkling red carpet laid for super stars to walk on at the event. In fact, the raised red carpet covered the whole walk path to the main areas of the festival. And in order to guard and protect it from intruders, policemen (Polizei), were keeping guard 24 hours. An insider, later squealed to Yours Sincerely, that a team of experts from around Europe, designed and laid the eye popping carpet. It was also amazing watching quality films across the globe, in some of the best cinema screens you can think of. Tested and up to date filmmakers came to Lido, Venice, to screen their great works to an appreciative and equally critical audience.

Pic-Yours Sincerely with Some Members of Foreign Press Crew

Atlantic Overseas to the rescue

The timely intervention of Mr. Andrien Gbinigie, the amiable honcho of Atlantic Overseas, made Yours Sincerely’s trip to Venice, Italy, possible. The central London office of the life patron of the Movie Reporters Guild of Nigeria (MORGON), sponsored the historic trip. Gbinigie’s London office, which also financed his two 35mm films, Mission to Nowhere and Mirror of Beauty, wholeheartedly took care of my return ticket and hotel accommodation for eleven days. It would be recalled that the Nollywood enthusiast, who is also one of the patrons of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), and the Association of Movie producers (AMP), sponsored some Nollywood stakeholders to the last edition of the Cannes Film Festival, France.

Meet the jury of the Venezia 2008

The jury of this year’s festival, was made up of some of the biggest names in the film and cinema communities globally. Dusseldorf, German born international film director, Wim Wenders, was the president of the jury for the Venezia. Born in 1945, Wenders, is one of the most innovative directors of the new German Cinema for thematic and stylistic choices. Other members include: Juriy Arabov, a scriptwriter and author for contemporary Russian TV and cinema. He is also a poet and philosopher that is hated by the regime. Naples, Italian born Valeria Golino was another member of the revered jury. One of the most sought after European actresses in American and Italian films. Glasgow, UK born Gordon Douglas, was another member of the body, an accomplished visual artist and winner of the Turner Prize in 1996. Chicago, US born John Landis, also made this year’s jury list. An accomplished director, screen plays writer and producer. Lucrecia Martel, a force
to reckon with in the contemporary Argentine cinema and Johnnie To, a gifted director of the oriental cinema, from Hong Kong, also made the jury for Venezia 2008.

Pic-(L-R) Jury Members Douglas Gordon,Juriy Arabov,Lucrecia Martel,Marco Muller Director of the Venice Film Festival ,Wim Wenders,Valeria Golino,Johnnie To and John Landis during the 'Venezia 65' Jury Presentation Photocall part of the 65th Venice Film Festival at Palazzo del Casino on August 27, 2008 in Venice, Italy.

A peep into Venice Film Festival

Though, already in its 65th edition, the Venice Film Festival, known as (Mostra Internazionale d’ Arte Cinematografica di Venezia), is unarguably the oldest film festival in the world. Founded by Count Guiseppe Volpi di Misurata in 1932. The festival has since taken place every year in late August or early September on the beautiful island of Lido. Screenings usually take place in the historic Palazzo del Cinema on the Lungomare Marconi. The festival’s principal awards are the Leone d’Oro (Golden Lion), which went to ace filmmaker, Ermanno Olmi, this year, as a Life Time Achievement Award, and the Coppa Volvi (Volpi Cup).

Pic-Aerial View of Lido, Venice

The former is awarded to the best film screened at the festival, while the latter is awarded to the best actor and actress. The opening and closing ceremonies of this year’s festival were hosted by actress Ksenia Rappoport and was broadcast live by RaiSat Extra. It was directed by Marco Muller, organized by the La Biennale di
Venezia and ably chaired by Paolo Baratta. Over fifty movies screened at the glitz and grandeur filled festival.

Editors Note-Sorry for the lull, we are back home to naija powerfully! Missed 'swallow' meals!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Red Carpet Pix from Venice Film Festival 2008

Anne Hathaway's big premiere required a big dress. And, boy, did Anne go big. She proved she could work the red carpet with the best of them in a romantic ruffled dove-grey dress by Atelier Versace that screamed high-drama

Natalie Portman stepped out in a nod to autumn/winter's 'soft goth' trend. She wore a lace and silk tulle dress to the premiere of Italian film, Birdwatchers - La Terra Degli Uomini Rossi. Earlier in the day, Portman made her directorial debut in Eve.

Joshua Jacksoncouldn't take his eyes off his gorgeous girlfriend Diane Kruger. And we can see why! She looked fantastic in a belted Dior Couture gown with a sheer full-bodied skirt. (1 September 2008)

The boys are back: frequent co-stars Brad Pitt and George Clooney teamed up yet again for their latest movie, Burn After Reading.

Two's company: Eva Herzigova and Valentino were in Venice for the premiere of Valentino: The Last Emperor in Venice - a behind-the-scenes look at Valentino's final years as a designer.

Pix-Courtsey Marie Claire and Vogue

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

World cinema hails Venice Film Festival

Mexican film director Guillermo Arriaga (C) with South African actor Charlize Theron (L) and US actress Jennifer Lawrence (R) pose for a photo after the press coference of the film 'The burning plain' for the 65th Venice International Film Festival, organised by the Venice Biennale, in Venice, Italy, 29 August 2008. The festival is scheduled from 27 August to 06 September 2008. EPA/CLAUDIO ONORATI

The global film and cinema communities currently converging in Italy, have unanimously hailed the on - going Venice Film Festival taking place on the Island of Lido. Speaking at a crowded world press conference yesterday, on the third floor of the Palazzo del Casino, Mr. Amir Naderi, the Iranian born American filmmaker, commended the organizers of the festival, for using the annual festival to raise awareness on cimema culture globally.
Naderi, who is also screening Vegas, his latest movie at the festival, further called on the global film and cinema communities to promote world peace and family values through their productions.
Also speaking, top Hollywood actor, Mark Greenfield, who played the lead role in Vegas, maintained that cinema was an important and integral part of the development of the film and motion picture industry globally, adding that the cinema culture is the foundation for a solid film indusrty in any part of the world.

New-dad Brad Pitt swapped his usual red carpet partner, Angelina Jolie, for long-term friend George Clooney at the Venice film festival. Jolie has remained in France with newborn twins, Vivienne Marcheline and Knox Leon.

Meanwhile, this year's festival, which is the 65th edition was declared open with the screening of Burn After Reading, a Hollywood comedy thriller directed by Ethan and Joel Coen. Leading actors such as; George Clooney, Charlize Theron, Tilda Swinton and several others graced the red carpet event of the opening ceremony.
Ace filmmaker, Ermanno Olmi, will receive this year's Golden Lion Life Time Achievement Award, for his contributions to the growth of global cinema and film industry, while Marco Muller, is the festival's director.
Organized by the La Biennale di Venezia and chaired by Paolo Baratta, star actress, Ksenia Rappoport, is the presenter.
According to the organizers, over 50 films from around the world would be screening at the festival, which has German filmmaker, Wim Wenders, as the president of its jury. It ends this Saturday, September, 6, 2008, with the presentation of awards to deserving filmss and filmmakers.

Editor-more pics n gist later. with luv frm Lido, Venice