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(17mins; 1998; dir. Tunde Kelani; Mainframe Productions))
Language: English/Yoruba (with English Subtitle)

Synopsis: Agbede village is expecting a new bride by nightfall and the people are in festive mood. Odejimi is the groom, AWERO, the bride. Odejimi’s parents have made lavish preparations for the ceremony. Soon, the new bride is now in the bridal bedroom with her new husband while the whole village is waiting for the result of the virginity test. Odejimi holds a white handkerchief expected to be stained by Awero’s virginity blood. There is expectant tension. But there is no blood. Odejimi feels betrayed and disgraced. The honour of his great lineage has suffered an affront. The whole village is stunned by Awero’s failure and the warriors of Agbede village start preparing for war with their neighbours for sending them a ‘broken pot’.


Having been introduced to Yoruba literature from an early stage in his life, Tunde was influenced by the travelling theatre tradition championed by the likes of Hubert Ogunde, Kola Ogunmola, Duro Ladipo and others. He got interested in photography from primary school. In the 1970s, he worked as a BBC TV and Reuters correspondent, and in Nigerian TV. After training at the London Film School, he returned to Nigeria and co-produced his first film with Adebayo Faleti – The Dilemma of Rev. Father Michael (Idaamu Paadi Minkailu). His other cinematic works include Ti Oluwa Ni ile, Ayo ni Mofe, Saworoide, Arugba, Thunderbolt, Maami, Campus Queen and lately Sidi Ilujinle. On the choices he has had to make as a trailblazer filmmaker, he said in a 2003 interview: “I’m just a filmmaker; a storyteller telling it the African way… all along, we had left other people to tell our stories; doing it ourselves may generate some kind of interest.” He manages Mainframe Film & Television Productions aka Opomulero, renowned for its promotion and preservation of Yoruba culture and heritage.


(25mins; dir. Niji Akanni; Prod. DvWorx; 2010)
Screening: Tues. July 14, 2.25pm)

Synopsis: In early twentieth century Yoruba kingdom, Aremu and Adenike are forbidden lovers with an imminently fatal future. Aremu is an Ab’obaku – a commitment of great honour and of an unusual demand: he is one of 5 courtiers in the palace who must be buried alive upon the King’s death, to escort the King in his journey to the afterlife. Adenike is a Princess. Her father the King is gravely ill and looks ready for that journey to the afterlife. Adenike will by implication lose her father and her lover should the King die. Their uncertain future is further complicated when she discovers she is pregnant with Aremu’s child. Adenike and Aremu must make the biggest decision of their lives: to save their future together by escaping or live up to Aremu’s commitment as an Ab’obaku and watch Adenike kill herself, as she threatens, to join him and her father in the afterlife. For love or honour? The lovers confront a decision that would change not only their lives but their ancient traditions forever. Ab’obaku won the Most Outstanding Short Film at the Zuma Film Festival held in 2010 and Best Costume at the 6th Africa Movie Academy Awards held on April 10, 2010 in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

Director: NIJI AKANNI:

Dramatist, theatre and film director-producer, Akanni has written and directed numerous productions on stage and screen, including Soyinka’s The Lion and the Jewel, one of Nigeria’s official three theatrical presentations at the 2012 Cultural Olympiad in London. In 2008, he directed Ab’obaku, a short film in Super-16mm gauge, produced by Femi Odugbemi on the MNET’s New Directions project. Ab’obaku won several awards, including the Most Outstanding Short Film award at the 2010 ZUMA Film Festival in Abuja, Nigeria; Best Costume at the 6th African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) held April 2010 in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State. The film was also judged Best Short Film at the 2010 TERRACOTA Awards in Lagos, Nigeria. In 2010, he wrote and directed Aramotu, which won the Best Nigerian Film and Best Costume awards at the 2011 AMAA, as well as Best Feature Film plaque at the 2012 Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) and was screened at various film festivals across the world. He wrote and directed Heroes and Zeros, released in 2012 and premiered in the UK on March 15, 2013 at Odeon Cinema. The film won the Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Editing awards at the 2013 AMAA and was screened at the 2013 FESPACO in Ouagadougou. Akanni received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Dramatic Arts from Obafemi Awolowo University and a Master’s degree in Film Studies from the University of Ibadan as well as a professional master’s degree (MFA) in Screenplay Writing and Film Directing from the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune.


(25mins; dir. Femi Odugbemi; Prod. DvWWOX)
Screening: Tues: July 14; 7:32pm:

Synopsis: “Oriki” is the oral Yoruba poetry of chanted in salute of history and heritage often reaching back hundreds of years. Amongst Yoruba families, a name communicates the rich, colorful and vibrant heritage and history of families. It also informs their hopes and aspirations for the newborn. Globalization trends have led to the blurring of borderlines, both geographically and culturally. And as more people adopt western ways of thinking and understanding, the threat of extinction becomes more glaring, more imminent, more inevitable. Questions arise: are we losing our sense of self? Is there a chance for us to recover this heritage? Is progress in the age of globalization and the preservation of our cultures and historical heritage incompatible aspirations?
Excerpted from

Director: Director: FEMI ODUGBEMI:

Storyteller and content creator, Odugbemi has scripted, di-rected and produced many documentaries, short films and drama. He studied film and television production at the Montana State University, Bozeman Montana, USA (1979-1984). In March 2010, he co-founded the IREPRESENT International Documentary Film Festival Lagos which has pursued with vigour its theme of “Africa in self-conversation” by championing films and stories from Africa, about Africa and by Africans. He was invited in 2018 to the Oscar jury as one of Nigeria’s first Voting Members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He was founding Producer of TINSEL, a soap opera that began airing in August 2008 is adjudged the longest running and most successful series on the Nigerian screen. He has also produced the famous TV series, BATTLEGROUND, which drew massive viewership across the continent with over 400 episodes. Femi’s other notable works include: ‘Bar Beach Blues’(2004); ‘Oui Voodoo’ (2005); ‘Mama Put’ (2005); ‘Metamorphosis’ (2006); ‘Maroko’(Feature Film)(2006); ‘Oriki’ (2008); ‘Bariga Boy’ (2009); ‘And the Chain was Not’ (2010); Ab’obaku – 2010; FAGUNWA: Literature, Language and Literalism’(2013); Gidi Blues (Feature Film), (2016); Makoko, Futures Afloat’, (2016); The Eve (Feature Film), 2017; 4th Estate (Feature Film), 2018; Missing Pages (2018); Code Wilo (Feature Film) – 2019. His current TV series is BRETHREN, also airing across the continent.


(35mins; Yaa Carnival Group/ De CORE; 2005
Screening: Tues. July 14; 1.25pm

Synopsis: A Story Yaa Knows is the first chapter of a trilogy commemorating the Centenary of the abolition of the slave trade. It addresses the presence of African people in Britain from the 15th–19th Century and was conceptualised through collective inspiration and discussions resulting in an authentic historical portrayal. The 2005 Notting Hill Carnival entry by the Yaa Asantewaa Carnival Group, the film documents the process in the mas camp culminating in the production at the Costume Splash and on the road. A Story Yaa Knows showcases Yaa’s unique approach to the development, creativity and diversity in Carnival Arts at the Centre. An approach that engendered knowledge, skills, cultural awareness empowerment and comradery, it captures the demographics and community spirit around the Carnival programme, characterised by communal endeavours and collective responsibility — the essence of Yaa’s ethos.

Producers: De CORE, a collective of creatives comprising of the ‘core’ artisans of the Yaa Carnival Group, who for over the years have provided consistent services to other entities in the areas of costume design and construction, event management, capacity building and training. As creative entrepreneurs. The group has championed Carnival Arts nationally and internationally and acknowledges the astute commitment of the range of artists, personnel and volunteers, including young people engaged in the film.



Synopsis: One of the best known plays by Wole Soyinka, The Strong Breed is a tragedy that ends with an individual sacrifice for the sake of the communal benefit. The play is centered on the tradition of egungun, a Yoruba festival tradition in which a scapegoat of the village carries out the evil of the community and is exiled from the civilization. Eman, the play’s protagonist, takes on the role of “carrier”, knowing it will result in beating and exile. He does this to spare a young simpleton the same fate. The ritual takes an unexpected turn as Eman flees. His pursuers set a trap for him that results in his death. The play was first published in London in 1964 by Oxford University Press, and subsequently by Rex Collings in 1971.

(Director’s Note: It tells the story of a young man, Eman, who fled a family tradition of symbolic sacrifice to an unnamed village with a similar tradition of sacrificing a carrier annually as a way of purifying the land of previous year’s evil,for reason of approaching the new year with a sense of purification and rejuvenation. Eventually recognising that it is better to choose his destiny rather than live it, Eman undertakes the task of substituting himself with the apparent carrier, Ifada. A prevailing theme in the play is choice, cynicism and hypocrisy. While Eman struggled between his individual will to live and his destiny as a carrier we see the cynical and hypocritical nature of the community and how ideologies are readily manipulated at whim. These hypocrisies still prevail in the society today. Like Eman, many of us are victims to the twisted, self-obsessed ideologies we consume and adopt and we are manipulated by the people who run the society because they do so in a way that makes us believe we have a choice. Due to the pandemic, I am adopting the virtual space for this theatre production with the intention of preserving the live experience
Kesiena C. Obue, director


An arts, culture and entertainment company in Lagos, its traditional business model is to promote African arts, culture and entertainment through film, television and stage productions. “We seek to shape our own narrative and tell our own story, through our own eyes and in our own voice. We hope to foster and correct the hitherto poor reception and misinterpretation of Africa on the global stage and become a catalyst for global conversation, reception and appreciation of the diversity and richness of African arts and culture,” stated founder/director of the outfit, Kesiena C. Obue.

Co-Producers: 10PP (TEN PAGE PRODUCTIONS): Established by Aduke Gomez and Ladi Dawodu to provide a virtual theatre space where new and emerging writers can have the world listen to their voices, 10PP is determined to be at the forefront of the production of online theatre and believes that in spite of the current constraints, theatre must continue to fulfill its role not only as a form of entertainment but also as a wider reflection of societal mores. Its initial ongoing project involves organising and presenting an online series of performances of 10 new plays by emerging writers from Nigeria, the Diaspora and beyond called the “Ten Minute Matinee” series. This series of plays provides an international virtual stage for contemporary storytellers to express, explore and experiment with diverse ideas which is just the beginning of a new way of working across time zones and borders.


(Written by Wole Soyinka; Reading by Moving Legacies; directed by Jeffrey Page)

In Wole Soyinka’s hands The Bacchae becomes a communal feast, a tumultuous celebration of life, and a robust ritual of the human and social psyche. “The Bacchae is the rites of an extravagant banquet, a monstrous feast,” Soyinka writes. “Man reaffirms his indebtedness to earth, dedicates himself to the demands of continuity, and invokes the energies of productivity. Reabsorbed within the communal psyche, he provokes the resources of nature; in turn he is replenished for the cyclic rain in his fragile individual potency.” The blending of two master playwrights ― Euripides and Soyinka ― makes for an unforgettable experience.

CAST LIST: Tiffany Bacon (Stage Directions); Ian Coulter-Buford (Dionysos); Harrison White (Tiresias); Michael Shepperd (Kadmos); Joyce Guy (Agave); Michael Oloyede (Pentheus); C. Kelly Wright ( Slave Leader/Chorus); Felicia Curry (Officer/Chorus); Katrinah Lewis (Old Slave/ chorus); Angelique Gagnon (Vestal/ Bacchante/Chorus); Chelsea Davis (Priest/ Bridegroom/Flogger/Chorus); Oneika Phillips (Herdsman/ Father-in-Law/Chorus). Dramaturgie: Aduke Gomez and Kola Tubosun.

MOVIN’ LEGACY: A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, it aims to promote dance legacy through the preservation, cultivation and celebration of work from Africa and the African diaspora.


JEFFREY L. PAGE: An opera and theatre director of both classical and contemporary works, Jefferey, as director and choreographer, spearheaded the 2015 and 2018 Tokyo productions of the musical Memphis, which received four Yomiuri Award nominations, including Best Musical. The first African American to be named the Marcus Institute Fellow for Opera Directing at The Juilliard School, he has also been nominated for an Emmy Award. Page has won an MTV Video Music Award for his work with Beyoncé, whose creative team has included him for more than 12 years. His work was featured on Beyoncé’s “The Formation World Tour,” in her historic Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival performance, and in two of her HBO specials. He was the associate creative director for Mariah Carey’s “Sweet, Sweet Fantasy” European Tour, and has been a featured choreographer on Fox Television’s “So You Think You Can Dance.” He was in the original, award-winning Broadway cast of Fela! (Eugene O’Neill Theatre). He worked alongside Tony Award-winning composer Jeanine Tesori to choreograph the hit Broadway musical Violet starring Sutton Foster (Roundabout Theatre Company).

DAVES GUZHA (Zimbabwe)

Actor, director, producer, administrator and social justice activist, Guzha in addition to directing and producing numerous plays, films and TV series, has starred in over 20 plays and 15 films. Founding artistic Director of Rooftop Promotions based in Harare, Guzha, in a career spanning over 35 years, has created unique theatrical styles that incorporate elements of activism, civic education and dialogue. This style often culminates in a dialogue-based event, designed to address political and social justice issues with indirect name and shame strategies. He constantly endures censorship, arrest and intimidation from the nationalist regime due to his anti-establishment stand. He served as the Regional Coordinating Director and board member of the Artists Trust of Southern Africa (ARTSA) from 2009 to 2011; and in 2018, was appointed Chairman of the Pan-African Cultural Congress Bureau 5, a unit of the African Union. He also sits on the board of the African Culture Fund as a member.


With master’s degree in Public Policy (The George Washington University, Washington D.C.) and a Ph.D. in Social and Political Philosophy (Loyola university Chicago), Ndidi is a public policy, social and international development consultant. She is on the executive board of International Development Ethics Association (IDEA); has worked and studied in the Americas, Europe and Africa. She has conducted research and taught courses in public policy, ethics, philosophy, international development as well as business and military ethics at the university level. Her current research interest includes the relationship between global existential threats (for instance, pandemics), global justice and equity. “Whether at the individual, social or global level, I consider all forms of injustice as crises that should be addressed urgently. I also believe that the greatest tool persons have to combat injustice is their ability to think.” (excerpted from


She teaches French language, conversation and phonetics, as well as French and Francophone literatures and cultures at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Her teaching also includes courses on French literature in translation, such as Masterpieces of French Literature, and Women in French and Francophone Literatures. Earning her PhD in 20th century French Literature from the Sorbonne University in Paris, France; Dr. Maisier’s research interests, of late, have focused on Francophone and Anglophone Caribbean literatures, and more specifically on the presence of violence in Caribbean narratives. She has published book chapters and articles on Caribbean literature, and on the French Caribbean authors Gisèle Pineau and Patrick Chamoiseau in Nouvelles Études Francophones, Journal of West Indian Literature, and French Literature Studies. Her monograph Violence in Caribbean Literature: Stories of Stones and Blood was published in 2015 in the Lexington Books’ series After the Empire: the Francophone World and Postcolonial France.


With a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial and Fine Arts (2002, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda), he studied film festival and event management at the Deutshe Welle Akademie in Berlin and later enrolled for film production at the One Fine Day Film Workshop in Nairobi. He has been fascinated with blending visual arts and audiovisual media over the years. His interests range from documentary films to features and he has a series of international co-productions in development. He worked as programme manager and later a director of Amakula Kampala International Film Festival, Uganda’s oldest and premier social event until 2012. He wrote and directed his first short film, Missing in Berlin (2013), shot mainly in the Berlin metro and the snow-laden boulevards. Nathan is a founding director of Sword Entertainment Inc./Coronation Pictures, a content development and distribution company based in Kampala, Uganda.

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