The 90’s epoch into the millennium created an avenue which sifted a few professionals from the shaft of charlatans, plying their trade in various spheres of movie making. The resultant effect was the “massive churning out of shallow based movies for our viewing displeasure” (if you’re a critic). “Two MEN” amongst a few notable filmmakers, stood out from the ‘boys’. One was Tunde kelani and the other, Tade Ogidan.
Both had a knack for sound professionalism and movies from their stables were incontrovertibly ‘quality based in all ramifications of movie making’. For those who don’t know Tade Ogidan, the soft spoken MD of OGD pictures shook the Nigerian movie industry with successful memorable movies such as “Diamond Ring”, “Hostages”, “Out of Bounds”, “Owo Blow”, “Saving Alero”, and of course “Madam Dearest”. Back then he carted away awards from the now defunct awards movie body (“Nigerian Movie Awards”). For example; Hostages won the (Best Film, Best Actor and Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Actress, Best Director, Best Screenplay) for that year, Owo Blow (Best Yoruba Film, Best Actor and Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Actress, Best Editing), while Out of Bounds won three awards, amongst others.
Every thing was going on well…until he played “Houdini”,vanishing from sight for a very long time. Perhaps, the closing credits, on the classy “Teju Baby Face show” which names him as the director, caused us to remember him intermittently in our sub consciousness. Just when we thought, he’d hung his movie boots for real, he appeared out of the blues, late last year, with the premiere of his latest work “Family on fire” at the Light House, London on 4th November 2011. A lot of rumour had surrounded the production of the movie… but that’s not our concern.
The good news is that he’s back and the movie was premiered couple of days ago in Lagos, and is warming up on the sidelines, ready to hit the cinemas. The solid cast for the movie includes Sola Shobowale, Segun Arinze, Saheed Balogun, Sola Fosudo, Lanre Hassan, Bukky Amos, Simi Opeoluwa, Yinka Olusanya amongst others. According to the veteran, the movie, “is a vehicle for promoting good family values in our society”.
How well will the movie do at the Nigerian box office, following its ‘probable projected run’ alongside other movies such as Kunle Afolayan’s ‘Phone Swap’, Lancelot Imaseun’s ‘Adesuwa’, Emmanuel Ijeh’s ‘Tobi’. Gone are the days when quality based productions from his stable amongst the quantity based ones, made him stand out, but the movie terrain has witnessed a gradual overhaul and raised the movie quality bar (35mm, HD) especially by young Nigerian filmmakers/directors and those in the Diaspora, eg Ije – The Journey, The Figurine; Araromire/Phone Swap, The Tenant, Anchor Baby, Inale, Tango with Me, Aramotu, The Mirror Boy, The Return of Jenifa, Black November, Tobi… and his colleague’s movie “Maami”.
It has become a norm now especially with Nigerians in the Diaspora to have a mixed race as part of the cast and crew, good cinematographic quality, better story lines emanating from various thematic issues, lighting, sound effects (without the sound clash with the dialogue), no choppy editing, effective deployment of camera techniques amongst others, therefore it is expedient that the veteran “must” come all out, to show us that he still has it flowing in his veins. This will be his first test at the Nigerian box office.
Family on Fire secured two AMAA 2012 nominations; Best Nigerian Film (competing with Unwanted Guest, Alero’s Symphony, Adesuwa and Phone swap) and Best Film in an African language, (also locking horns with Otelo Burning (S/A), Asoni (Cameroun) State of Violence (S/A), Chumo (Tanzania).
No shaking for Tade Ogidan cos when you’re good… you’re good!. We can’t wait to watch Family on Fire… and we say thank God…The Film Master is back!