Posts Tagged ‘BLACK FILMS’


September 20, 2018


September 15, 2018

Buhari congratulates ace movie producer, Tunde Kelani, at 70
ON February 27, 2018 7:58 PM / IN
News , Showtime People /
Abuja – President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday joined the media and entertainment industry in congratulating renowned movie producer, filmmaker and photographer, Tunde Kelani, on his 70th birthday.
In a statement by Femi Adesina, the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity in Abuja,
Buhari felicitated with Kelani’s family members, friends, professional colleagues and the teeming fans.
He noted that the filmmaker, who started as a journalist before mastering the art of storytelling through the stage and tube, had risen steadily to become one of Nigeria’s foremost directors and producers in Nollywood.
The President commended Kelani’s uncanny story telling skills and his ability to breathe life into scripts and translate literature into movies, thereby enhancing understanding of the rich cultural heritage of the country and consistently updating the narrative of a unified and progressive nation.
He maintained that the rising profile of the Nigerian film industry around the world testified to the hard work, creativity and passion of artistes like Kelani, who toiled earnestly to attract global viewership, recognition and awards.
President Buhari affirmed that Kelani, through sacrifice, discipline and diligence, had contributed immensely to national development, especially his mentoring of younger Nigerians in the film industry.
He, therefore, prayed that God would bless Kelani with good health and strength to continue in his noble trade.
Born on Feb. 26, 1948 in Lagos, Kelani, popularly known as TK, holds a Diploma in the Art and Technique of Filmmaking from London International Film School.
After many years in the Nigerian Film Industry as Cinematographer, he now manages Mainframe Film & Television Productions, an outfit formed to document Nigeria’s culture.
Tunde Kelani worked on most feature films produced in the country in his capacity as Cinematographer namely: Anikura; Ogun Ajaye; Iya Ni Wura; Taxi Driver; Iwa and Fopomoyo.
In the area of video production, he has to his credit the award-winning feature videos: Ti Oluwa Nile; Ayo Ni Mo Fe; Koseegbe and Oleku.
He recently added a new film — Arugba — which just concluded free, open-air community screenings in 57 local government and development council areas of Lagos State.
Kelani uses Mobile Cinema Project, designed to take information and entertainment to the grassroots.
His latest film is Maami, which tells the story of a single parent, Maami, and her young son who are desperately poor. (NAN)
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June 6, 2009




Friday, June 05, 2009

Tunde Kelani’s cinematographic life on Position TV
By Michael Orie

POSITION TV featured its first non-visual arts personality on Thursday. The encounter with cinematographer Tunde Kelani focused on issues surrounding the production of films in Africa, the hopes and the impediments. The interview, which ran on Silverbird TV yesterday from 11a.m. represents a bold attempt at examining the bourgeoning film industry especially in the context of evolving technologies.

Tunde Kelani has been at the forefront of a production of cultural films using contemporary themes to paint on the canvas of indigenous myths and traditions. As a director of photography whose primary function area is the photography of the moving image, Kelani tells the story as much as the screenwriter. His passion is to use lights, both natural and contrived, to create images, organize his visual landscapes and to interpret the narrative in concrete terms.

His answer to the regular question, why do you do what you do? Is that he drew a real passion for photography very early in life. He managed to own his first still camera in elementary school and never learned to use it, despite being his regular companion, for many years. It was at Abeokuta Grammar School, that his vision and passion for capturing the world through images grew. The rich Yoruba culture of his immediate townscape, the rockhills of Egba, the sheer splendour of the flora of the deep rainforest surrounding brought the assurances of a fully committed life’s pursuit.

That he would wind up working for the new television arm of the Nigerian Broadcasting Service was inevitable. And from there, he went directly to London Film School, graduating with a professional diploma after a session.

The period of Kelani’s induction into the budding cinema industry in Nigeria coincided with the time of the production of the first generation of indigenous Nigerian films. This period, with all of its hopes and excitements was short-lived. African cinema nose-dived with the declining national economies. Even so did the cinema going culture, which all through the decade following the national independence was practically enjoying a boom.

Kelani thinks the cinema failed primarily because of the absence of the enabling government policies and infrastructure.

That absence itself was the direct result of African politicians not coming to terms with the role of cinema in the building of a nation. Its powers of persuasion that could have been employed to promote development goals, its capabilities as a tool for engendering national pride and racial identity.

Kelani declared that “It was a mistake, and it is still a mistake to leave our film production culture to market forces.

“Before the advent of Nollywood, which emerged and has sustained itself unassisted by the state, Africa practically allowed others to tell her stories for her,” he said.

On the issue of good practice and performance quality especially in Nollywood, he is optimistic that quality is generally on the rise. And he surprised the crew by expressing dissatisfaction even with his own work.

“A lot of work has been done by our establishment here which people appreciate a lot, but they can be done better, with more resources at our disposal. Take our latest movie “Arugba”, for example. We have returned to the film location on several occasions when we had a little more money that we felt we could use to improve on certain aspects of the work”.

But things are bound to be better off for someone like him, than it would be for, say, an upstart. He didn’t entirely agree.

“I think we have been privileged. I have a good education in film production. I have been well exposed. At the time we started things were not as difficult as they are now.

“What can you do when power supply is far from guaranteed? Who wants to buy a film when they have no electricity supply in the house to watch a DVD? I don’t think we have sat down yet to seriously consider how much this country loses because of the unimpressive power sector. You see, that is a real problem for all of us”.

Kelani’s latest film was recently adopted by the Lagos State Government for a series of mobile cinema exhibitions in all the local government areas of the state. That experience of being on the road he is quite grateful for. It is not only reminiscent of the Yoruba traveling theatre tradition which he remembers so well as a very young adult in Ibadan (he was an avid follower of the theatre trends at the erstwhile popular proscenium stage theatre in Ibadan, Obisesan Hall), in recent years, Kelani’s Mainframe crew has engaged in extensive community cinema work in Benin Republic.

“Mobile cinema is one of the ways we can get ahead in the face of our NEPA problem”.

Another interesting revelation from the programme is the discussion on Oshodi. Position TV asked to know if his choice of Oshodi was deliberate and if he gets his stories from his densely populated surrounding. Many writers and artists like to touch base with the people. For example, British-Nigerian author and film writer Biyi Bandele moved down to Brixton in London from the more middle-class setting of Battersea.

Kelani replies: “I have enjoyed living and working in Oshodi. I cannot claim that I have not been inspired by it. We dedicated one of the settings in our film, Ole Ku to Oshodi as a way of documenting it. Nobody knew that Oshodi was going to transform so suddenly. With hindsight, we would have done more work, taken more pictures. All that is now gone. It is a bitter sweet situation”.

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