Ace movie maker, Kunle Afolayan, has finally revealed what his new movie, Roti featuring ace actress, Kate Henshaw, is all about.
Read his interview with The Nation below:
WHAT is Roti all about?
Roti is a story of this small family with a son. And it took the family a while to bear a child. And eventually, God gave them a child, after a few years, the child passed. And they go through a lot of trauma. But, somehow, the woman one day stumbles upon a child that looked exactly like their son. And that sort of brings some kind of delusion. She becomes very worried and gets attached to this new boy that she stumbles on. She now has to deal with what the parents of that very boy have to say. All of that causes that family a lot of problems.
The story is about reincarnation. What inspired such story?
Well, a reincarnation story is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. But this very story really didn’t go into the depth of what reincarnation is all about. We just tried to play with the idea and now leave it to people to also help in deciding whether this is a reincarnation story or not. It’s not purely a reincarnation story, so to say, because there is science angle to it. There is spiritual angle to it. And there is coincidence angle to it. We leave it more to people to decide.
Initially, Roti was scheduled to be a TV production. What happened?
It’s meant to be a television movie, meaning, short, one-hour kind of Film, but for me, I just felt, any of my content. The difference is this is not going to be shot like TV. It’s going to be shot more like a film, meaning it’s going to have more depth, more attention would be paid to detail because production value will be higher. And I might be a bit longer because for TV, it’s between 45 minutes and one hour but this might be like one hour 20 minutes. That’s the difference.
Did that involve increased costs?
Yeah, the cost of doing TV is minimal, but, for me, anything that my name is attached to, I need to defend. So, it’s difficult to explain to people why certain things are not done. How many people will you tell your budget is? But, for me, content is content and it has to be handled with every energy and every detail. And that is why I am applying the same technique and the same model I’ve always used for my big budget film to this one.
So, in terms of the cost implications, how did you get to negotiate with Multichoice? Are you including your personal funds?
Multichoice have their own Standard Commissioning Fee. But I decided to go into this agreement – It’s actually Mnet not Multichoice. They have their standard commissioning fee. But, for me, I’ve partnered with Mnet on several projects and this is just another one. And I just decided that, look, I’d rather continue to, whatever it takes, whatever content that would go on their channel, whether their budget is enough or not, I’ll add my own resources and make it worth everybody’s while.
How about awards? Will you be taking Roti to film festivals?
Well, that I’m trying to see. According to them (Mnet), they don’t expect this kind of film to do that because they expect it to be a TV film, but since we’re putting all of these resources forth, we’ll be in touch with them to see if the film will be given the rights to do festivals.
By when do you intend to complete Roti?
Well, Roti will be in cinemas by June, Umogwo will be in cinemas in April. Actually, April 7 for Umogwo that we haven’t even shot; Roti, June 30 and Tribunal will now come in July.
With such tight timeline, how are you going to make sure you do it?
Well, that’s why all hands are on deck. We’ll do the best that we can and we’ll leave the rest to God.
It’s tough that Umogwo is billed for April and you haven’t started
Well, we’re going to start shooting that (Umogwo) next week because we’re editing Roti now. And as soon as we start Umogwo, we’ll start editing. As we’re shooting, we’re editing. So, that’s it.
What’s the challenge been like for you?
It’s really tough. I’ve never done this before. But I think it’s also a way to task one, to see your strength and see what you can pull off with little budget in no time.
Recently, a Nollywood actor and producer complained about harassment by ‘area boys’ in Lagos. How has your experience been like?
Well, we got harassed here yesterday too. But, for me, I think the manner of approach is also very key. In fact, it’s not as bad in Lagos as Abeokuta and Ibadan. In fact, there, they (area boys) would hardly even listen to you at all. But here (Lagos), for me, I’m always able to control them. I just need to speak to them and we’ll now put them to use. Once they come, we’ll give them roles, give them things to do. Sometimes, we’ll make them as security. Sometimes, we’ll use them as extras in the film. And they would get paid for it. So, that’s how I’ve always handled things.
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