Lunch Time Heroes Breaks Jinx On Children’s Movies In Nollywood
IN spite of the successes recorded and the reputation earned, Nigeria’s movie industry, Nollywood has continued to be ridiculed for making more movies that directly contradict and negatively impact on the culture and behaviour of the Nigerians, especially youths and children.
Several studies have shown that the bulk of movies released in Nigeria, even though they all seem to reflect reality, feast on negative themes that demean society and ridicule it before the entire world. Obviously, there are more movies that make children and youths perceive reality differently, and this has made the call for movies that promote the right values amongst children and youths pertinent.
Although some filmmakers, including the team at McNuel Productions, have responded to the increasing calls for movies with responsible themes, their award-winning movie Champions of Our Time, children-friendly movies are still a novelty in Nollywood. There are too few movies about children, with children actors for children so far produced.
However, PHB Films and the frontline movie distribution and production company FilmOne have just responded to the call for an educative, informative and family-friendly drama already made for children and performed by children. Titled Lunch Time Heroes, the film is for the young and young at heart.
Directed by director, Seyi Babatope and stars Nollywood’s finest, including Dakore Egbuson, Omoni Oboli, Bikiya Graham Douglas, Diana Yekini, Tina Mba, Tope Tedela, and the child stars – Kada Mathew, Cassandra Rosman, Sunshine Rosman, Donpet Enebeli, Christopher Ochiyanbo, Deborah Oboh, and Louie Obioha, the pulsating movie is visually stimulating and boasts of untoward cultural values.
The tells the story of Banke Adewunmi, a 23-year-old National Youth Corp inductee on placement at a prestigious Junior Secondary School, who is tasked with teaching a group of unruly and under-achieving kids, which the school has given up on. The school is in financial crisis and the annual Governors Scholastic, Sports and Arts Cup is a must win competition to help secure financial lifeline. Banke is on a quest to win the hearts of her students and inspire the whole school to work together which leads these unforgiving kids to becoming Lunch Time Heroes.
According to the Chief Operating officer of FilmOne Moses Babatope, “Having produced and released the blockbuster When Love Happens in 2014 which was directed by Seyi Babatope, we are confident that Lunch Time Heroes would repeat the same feat at the Box Office. It’s another feather added to our cap, being the first to tow the family drama path. There’s no family movie in cinemas where the entire family can watch films together without having to put up with the ratings allotted to films, which cause a division as to who can watch and cannot watch the film. Lunch Time Heroes provide families with a remarkable bonding time and a rejuvenating and inspiring experience”.
Also, the director of the film, Seyi Babatope who is also the CEO of PHB Films, said, “It was exciting working on this film with these
talented children and, of course, the stars. It only goes to show that Nigeria has resourceful talents that can be harnessed to achieve great things. There certainly were challenges, being the first of its kind to be produced in Nigeria, but my experience and the acting dexterity of the cast and sound professionalism of the crew made it a walk in the park. I’m sincerely thrilled about the film and look forward to a fantastic run in the cinemas and the inspiration to achieve their dreams which children, teenagers, youths and the elderly ones will have after watching Lunch Time Heroes in the cinemas.”
AT a media unveiling of the movie last week, the kid actors expressed delight at the opportunity to live their long held dream of featuring in a movie production. One of the kid actors Donpet Enebeli described the experience of working on the movie as one he would cherish for a long time. He added, “It was an unforgettable experience. And Uncle Seyi (Babatope) really tried to show us how to do it. I can call myself an actor now”.
Another kid actor Cassandra Rosman said, “It was an amazing experience for me. At first I thought I was not going to make it because the director kept correcting me but as he did, he encouraged me to try and act from inside because according to him I had the potential to succeed. So, I tried and with the support of the older actors in the production like Auntie Dakore, Auntie Bikiya and other cast members and the crew, those of us who took part in the movie were all able to pull through. We are all excited to be in this film that is about us, for us and by us. I wish we can have more movies like this that truly speak to our situation in terms of helping us combine schooling and our extra curricula activities and which gives us a listening ear”.
The movie will be released in cinemas from August 28, 2015.