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Five months after shooting wrapped in Abeokuta, Tunde Kelani is finally ready to unveil his latest feature film, Ma’ami – starring Funke Akindele, Wole Ojo, Tamilore Kuboye and Olumide Bakare. The invitation-only premiere will take place at Agip Hall of the MUSON Centre in Lagos on Saturday 4th June 2011 to celebrate the re-election of Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN.

The event marks the latest in a string of collaborations between Mainframe Productions and Lagos State. In 2008, Kelani celebrated Governor Fashola’s inaugural year in office with the premiere of Arugba. The premiere of Saworoide in 1999 honored election of former Governor Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, while Agogo-Eewo celebrated Tinubu‘s 50th birthday in 2002.

Ma’ami is based on Femi Osofisan’s novel of the same title and follows Kelani’s tradition of bringing Nigerian literature to the big screen. Past works include Koseegbe and O le ku, written by Akinwumi Isola; Thunderbolt (Magun) adapted from Adebayo Faleti’s MAGUN : The Whore (with Thunderbolt AIDS); and The White Handkerchief and The Narrow Path adapted from Bayo Adebowale‘s The Virgin.

Due to the threat of piracy, Kelani is only releasing Ma’ami at cinemas throughout the country.  He also plans to organize free mobile cinema screenings and lectures at universities throughout the Southwest.

Watch FindingNollywood.com’s behind-the-scenes coverage of the Ma’ami shoot.
Read
FindingNollywood.com’s behind-the-scenes coverage of the Ma’ami shoot.

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I finally have the time and the bandwidth to upload a few behind-the-scenes videos of the Ma’ami shoot in October 2010. Please view them below and click here to read my behind-the-scenes coverage of the shoot.


Above: Tunde Kelani directs Funke Akindele during a scene in Lafenwa Market in Abeokuta. © Bic Leu and FindingNollywood.com, 2009-2011


Above: Yinka Davies & Gani Kayode-Balogun, Jr. perform a rendition of Owo, a song by the late Fuji maestro Ayinde Barrister, during a restaurant scene in Lagos. © Bic Leu and FindingNollywood.com, 2009-2011


Above: Tunde Kelani directs a masquerade scene featuring Wole Ojo and Tamilore Kuboye on the last day of shooting in Abeokuta. © Bic Leu and FindingNollywood.com, 2009-2011

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Bic Leu, Tomatoes and Peppers at Lafenwa Market, 2010, Photo courtesy of the author

Kenneth Noland, Beginning, 1958, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

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Bic Leu, Funke Akindele and Ayomide Abatti At the Petrol Station, 2010, Collection of the author

Gustave Courbet, Un enterrement à Ornans(A Burial At Ornans), 1849–50, Musée d'Orsay

French realist painter Gustave Courbet once stated that his masterpiece “was in reality the burial of Romanticism”. By elevating a quotidian scene in a rural town to the same grand scale (3.1 x 6.6 meters) previously reserved for a history painting (which includes religious and allegorical subjects), Courbet was declaring “death” to the definition of painting that had dominated European art since the Renaissance.

Could this “engine of revolution” also be applied to Tunde Kelani’s pioneering work as an African digital film-maker?  The celluloid tradition has been moribund in Nigeria ever since the financial downturn of the 1980s significantly depleted the purchasing power of Nigerian filmmakers, causing increased difficulties in financing projects and diminished access to imported film stock. Kelani praises digital cinematography for its relative affordability and convenient work flow (especially in post-production). Yet he has not compromised the quality of his films since he has maintained the same craftsmanship honed over two decades as a celluloid cinematographer. In this way, Kelani has made celluloid’s aesthetics work within Nollywood’s economic constraints.

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Bic Leu, Cassava-sellers at Lafenwa Market, 2010, Collection of the author

Jean-François Millet, The Gleaners, 1857, Musée d'Orsay

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Tunde Kelani directs the last scene, the masquerade, in Abeokuta

After wrapping the shoot in Abeokuta yesterday, Jamiu Shoyode (Production Manager) wanted to recognize certain behind-the-scenes individuals under his supervision who you haven’t seen on the blog: “Everyone in the production is important, no matter how small their jobs may be.”

Location Driver Yomi Elugadebo (as Kashimawo's Bodyguard)

Ade Owu (Location Driver)

Sunday (Location Driver) delivers lunch

The four location drivers (Yomi Elugadebo , Femi Olayinka, Ade Owu, and Sunday) also take on production assistant duties. Elugadebo coordinates the working relationship with the Make-up and Wardrobe teams; Olayinka packs and unpacks the on-set production area; Owu assists the Sound team; and Sunday is the intermediary between the market vendors and the Caterers.

S. Ade Abiodun (Production Supervisor) oversees the last scene in Abeokuta

S. Ade Abiodun (Production Supervisor) connects Shoyode with everything that he needs, from the cleaning staff for the crew’s accommodations to setting up the danfo accident scene on Thursday.

Peju Abiodun (Welfare Officer)

Bimpe and Peju Abiodun (Welfare Officers) coordinate all aspects of hospitality for the cast and crew. According to Shoyode, “Without them, we wouldn’t have beds to sleep in, water to drink, or food to eat.”

Ayobami Adeniji and Opeyemi Ogundimu (Camera Assistants)

 

Ayobami Adeniji and Opeyemi Ogundimu (Camera Assistants) set up the cameras, change the lenses, and keep track of the slates.

Tajudeen Arobieke (Location Manager) and Olasunkanmi Jacobs (Personal Assistant to the Production Designer)

Tajudeen Arobieke (Loation Manager) manages on-set security. His diplomacy has stabilized negotiations with Area Boys and unscrupulous officials looking for “dash”.

Olasunkanmi Jacobs (Personal Assistant to the Production Designer) works with Tunji Afolayan (Props) to realize Bola’s visions, such as painting the sets and purchasing the props.

Dare Obadeyi (Spark) looks at the generator

Dare Obadeyi (Spark) takes care of all the set’s electrical needs (which includes five generators). This is paramount in a country where the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) is more popularly known as “Never Expect Power Always”.

Jaleel Olaide (Production Technician)

Jaleel Olaide (Production Technician) sets up the on-set production are at every location and supports Ola’kazeem Agboola (Editor).

Now that you’ve gotten to know these “unsung heroes”, look out for them when the production moves back to Lagos today, with plans to begin shooting by Wednesday.

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Bic Leu, Camera set-up on the set of Tunde Kelani's Ma'ami, 2010, Collection of the author

Phidias, Egastinai Frieze (Parthenon), 443-438 BC, Louvre Museum

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