Meet this Trailblazer on the African Movie Scene, Kunle Afolayan

Emmanuel Kwarteng September 21, 2022
Kunle Afolayan -- Photo Credit: Ameyaw Debrah

The term “cinema of Africa” refers to both the people who participate in this type of audiovisual culture as well as the past and present of filmmaking or film viewing on the African continent. Film reels were the major cinematic technology in use at the time, which was in the early 20th century.

Afolayan, who is of Igbomina and Yoruba descent, is from the state of Kwara. Ade Love, a director of theater and movies, is his father. He studied finance, started working at a bank, and occasionally did acting before deciding to switch to full-time film-making and enrolled in a program at the New York Film Academy.

Since 2005, he has worked in the Nigerian film industry. He also directed The Figurine: Araromire, a movie featuring Yoruba and English dialogue, in addition to Phone Swap, which starred Wale Ojo, Joke Silva, Nse Ikpe Etim, and Chika Okpala.

Five significant African Film Academy awards were won by The Figurine: Araromire, which was popular in Nigerian movie theaters. Afolayan and his friend Zeb Ejiro led the Nigerian film industry in the Subversive Film Festival in 2011.

Afolayan’s Phone Swap had its French premiere at the first NollywoodWeek Paris in May 2013, where it also received the Public Choice Award. His 2018 movie Diamond in the sky won the 2019 Best of Nollywood Awards, Movie with the Best Cinematography category, among several other nominations.

Afolayan is the Chief Executive of Golden Effects Pictures, a film and production firm in Nigeria, founded in 2005.

Netflix deal extension

The movie streaming service Netflix in May 2021, extended its collaboration with movie director Kunle Afolayan, as the streamer is stepping up its commitment to Nigerian content.

“There’s never been a greater time for us, where you have so many Nigerian stories being shown to the whole world,” Afolayan told Glitz Africa.

The filmmaker‘s previous movies have been featured on the streamer, including The CEO, October 1, The Figurine, and most recently Citation. He will now be given three new projects to work on. The setting for all three films will be Nigeria.

The agreement was negotiated by Netflix’s head of content for Africa, Ben Amadasun. For the past five years, the streamer has resided in Nigeria. The official trailer for Afolayan’s epic movie “Anikulapo” has been released by Netflix. On September 30, 2022, the movie is slated for release.

Funding the industry

Despite this, the film industry continues to be systemically underfunded, underdeveloped, and undervalued across the majority of the continent, leaving the economic potential of the film and audiovisual sectors largely unrealized.

The Nigerian film industry, which creates about 2,500 movies a year and is popularly known as “Nollywood,” is representative of this expansion. It has made it possible for a regional manufacturing and distribution sector to develop with its own economic framework.

According to a report by the Pan African Federation of Filmmakers (FEPACI), out of a potential $20 billion in annual earnings, the sector only brings about $5 billion annually.

A new generation of African filmmakers is beginning to emerge as a result of the pervasive use of new technologies, the accessibility of digital film equipment, and the growth of internet platforms. The continent has produced some of the world’s finest actors, producers and movie writers. These creative works project Africa to the rest of the world in a bid to shape the stereotypical viewpoints held by the West.

Nigerian movie star and producer Kunle Afolayan is a trailblazer in his own right as far as Cinema of Africa is concerned.

Last Edited by:Sedem Ofori Updated: September 21, 2022


Must Read

Connect with us

Join our Mailing List to Receive Updates