Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Exclusive interview with Kunle Afolayan

October 1 will open new chapter in my life –Kunle Afolayan

Kunle Afolayan is a celebrated Nigerian movie producer. His works like Figurine and Phone Swap, have received accolades from movie critics all over the world. He is about to release his latest work, October 1 and a book on his earlier works, Auteuring Nollywood, was launched recently. Senior Correspondent, Hazeez Balogun, was at his Lagos office recently and below is the chat they had together

You had a private screening of your yet to be released movie, October 1. What informed that decision?
It was for those who usually do not go to watch movies; we give them the opportunity to see the film first. Also, it is a means of making additional money to complete the film. The premiere proper will be on October 1 2014.
Is that a new way of making money with movies?
When you have sunk in a lot of money and you are heavily in debt, you have to come up with initiatives on how to make your money back. The conventional distribution channels in Nigeria are hopeless and the only guarantee structure is the cinema and the number is growing and so there are hopes there. The DVD market is out of it and the internet situation here is not stable enough to encourage streaming. We have expended over N200 million on that film, so even if we release it on all the screens in the country, we can’t make the money back. So we had to come up with ways of making the money back. I appreciate the effort and support of all these corporate organisations. Leadway has also shown interest
Tell us about your book?
Well, I do not want to take the glory because it is not my book. The book is about my works, but it is the intellectual work of my brother, Dr.Shina Afolayan of the Department of Philosophy, University of Ibadan. When I was working on Figurine, he came around and saw all the sleepless nights we put into it and I gave him the rough cut to see. He said ‘Kunle, even our father did not go this far with movies when he was doing it’. I and my brother are two different people so it came as a surprise when he said he wanted to write a book on it. Then he started talking to his colleagues and film critics outside Nigeria. It took about four to five years to put the whole work together. This is the first time there a book is written on a film maker and his work in Nigeria.
(more after the cut)