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Nollywood Shines Under the Hollywood Stars

LOS ANGELES, March 27, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Thousands of Hollywood tourists from all over the world were held spellbound on Friday night by the spectacular Nollywood In Hollywood event. Starting at sunset with a star studded red carpet event highlighted by the filmmakers and actors in the films on showcase, the night ended with a party in the courtyard of The Egyptian Theatre that spilled into Hollywood Boulevard.

“Nollywood seems so far away but there is some curiosity. This is a great event for Hollywood to know more about the Nigerian cinema. The film tonight (93 DAYS) is an excellent film, a really good piece. There are conversations to be had, for example how can we make it possible for people like Steve and good Nollywood filmmakers to be a part of the DGA,” says Jeff Byrd, moderator for the opening night film and chairman of the African-American Steering Committee of the Directors Guild of America (DGA).

Saturday’s screening was at the reputable Eileen Norris Theater inside the University of Southern California (USC). The theater which has hosted films by reputable USC alumni including Ryan Coogler of the Black Panther, George Lucas, John Singleton, Bryan Singer, Shonda Rhimes amongst others was now playing host to Nigerian films. The event was sponsored by Air France, BUA and ESDIAC.

A late-arriving crowd saw the matinee screening of THE BRIDGE on Saturday, after which director Kunle Afolayan held the packed audience to an engaging Question and Answer session. As dusk approached, a standing room only crowd saw the final film on the showcase, ISOKEN. The film’s theme and subject matter engaged the crowd so much there were laughter and talk back to the screen throughout the screening. Actress Dakore Akande had a very colorful and stimulating Questions and Answer session after the screening.

“I didn’t know what to expect. I have never been part of the planning a film showcase. I didn’t really know what I had gotten myself into. I’m used to showing up at film festivals, doing my thing and leaving. But now I was in the thick of it. It turned out well thankfully. Hopefully, the filmmakers and actors will get the attention of the industry. We are actually talking now about how to make Nigerian filmmakers qualify for some sort of membership in the DGA so that’s a huge leap,” says Ose Oyamendan, the brain behind the event. 

In a panel on Nollywood, the filmmakers made a point of letting the Hollywood audience and decision makers know that Nollywood grew without government support, which was reflected by the lack of government presence at the biggest cultural showcase for Nigeria outside the country in decades. They also used the platform to promote Nigeria talents and call for co-productions and technical cooperation between Nollywood and Hollywood.  

“As first events goes, this was a success. We were worried because it is a new territory but Ose was very passionate about giving a platform to Nollywood films. Now, we will see how we can make it better. We obviously need more sponsors and hopefully, the Nigerian government can be involved from the next one,” says Gwen Deglisse, director of programming for The American Cinematheque, operators of The Egyptian Theater.

Contact :
O2A Media
oseusc@yahoo.com 

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/498e7562-73de-4f42-8e40-bd5a8ba184bf

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