When I sat next to Guy Murray-Bruce, President of Silverbird Entertainment, at fundraiser dinner last night, he identified the burgeoning growth of cinema releases as one of the most important developments in Nollywood in the last 15 years (although he was not able to tell me approximately how many Nigerian films Silverbird had screened in 2010). This trend was confirmed tonight at the Silverbird premiere of Kiss & Tell, the latest drama from Executive Producers Emem Isong and Monalisa Chinda, and long-time collaborator Director Desmond Elliott. The film also features the acting talents of Desmond Elliott, Monalisa Chinda, Nse Ikpe-Etim, Uche Jombo and Joseph Benjamin.
In a recent conversation, Isong divulged that when she shot the film about a year and half ago, she had originally intended it for straight-to-video release. Upon further review, she became taken with the movie’s quick-witted dialogue and decided to unveil it on the big screen.
This revelation brought up an issue that I’ve encountered numerous times in the industry: Just because cinema release is now available in Nollywood, should filmmakers exercise this option indiscriminately? (The worst offender being Vivian Ejike’s A Private Storm). While I quite enjoyed Kiss & Tell’s clever verbal sparring and chemistry among the main characters, there were a few elements that made it apparent that the film was made for the small screen, such as the inconsistent sound quality and the slow pacing in the middle (which is around when the movie would have been cut into Parts 1 & 2 for the video release).
Thus, is the current cinema culture in Nollywood sustainable or are filmmakers rushing into the trend to turn a quick profit?
Read FindingNollywood.com‘s behind-the-scenes coverage of Desmond Elliott’sMidnight Whisper.