Ojuju gets on pan african film festival shortlist
OJUJU, the low budget thriller film by C.J Obasi, which won Best Nigerian Film award at the 2014 edition of Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF), has received its second international nomination. After a successful premiere at AFRIFF, which held in Tinapa, Calabar, last November, Ojuju will screen alongside other movies that are on the official selection shortlist of Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles which is scheduled to hold from February 12 through to 22, 2015.
The festival is reputed as the largest and biggest black film festival in the United State. It attracts filmmakers from all over the world and screens more than a hundred full length and short features as well as documentaries during the 10-day long festival.
Films from Nigeria have in recent years featured prominently on the festival shortlist. Last year, for instance, over five films by Nigeria-born filmmakers, including Kenneth Gyang’s Confusion Na Wah, Chika Anadu’s B for Boy and The Audrey Silva Company’s The Meeting featured at the festival.
This year, Ojuju and a few other films, including Lydia Forson’s Letter from Adam will be the reason why Nigeria and Ghana will be on the lips of moviegoers.
A movie with a lot of potentials, the story revolves around Romero (Gabriel Afolayan) who would normally fetch water from his neighborhood’s only source of water supply. It usually feels like any other day in the ghetto until his friend Emmy (Kelechi Udegbe) cmes around with disturbing gist for him and Alero (Meg Otanwa), his intended who is pregnant. Emmy tells the story of how he found Fela (Chidozie Nzeribe), the neighborhood weed dealer acting strangely and sickly, with eyes turned pale and foamy saliva escaping from his mouth. They laugh at the irony of a weed dealer going mad from consuming his own product.
Next day Alero begins to manifest some of the symptoms and Romero goes to buy drugs from the neighborhood chemist store for her. He is amazed to find the store filled with loads of customers, all manifesting same symptoms as Alero and Fela. It doesn’t take long before the entire neighborhood is consumed with the new epidemic. The neighborhood is thrown into chaos and Romero, together with his acquaintances, must fight to survive.
Produced by Oge Ugwu and C.J. “Fiery” Obasi, with screenplay and edit by C.J. “Fiery” Obasi, Gabriel Afolayan, Omowunmi Dada, Kelechi Udegbe and Chidozie Nzeribe led the pool of a good cast that gave the movie some of its credit. The other members of the cast include Brutus Richard, Meg Otanwa, Paul Utomi, Yvonne Enakhena, Jumoke Ayadi, Tommy Oyewole, Emeka Okoye, Kelechi and the comic actor Klint D’ Drunk.