The business community temporarily took over Nollywood last Sunday night as a new web-series, ‘Our Best Friend’s Wedding’, produced by REDTV, a dynamic online lifestyle channel that puts the spotlight on Africa with a distinct global appeal premiered to wild applause at Imax Film House, Lekki, Lagos.
Celebrities, business leaders and theatre goers including, Honourable Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Chairman of United Bank for Africa Plc, Mr. Tony Elumelu, Group Managing Director, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka and players in the entertainment and film industries cheered throughout the end credits of the series which stars Adebola ‘Illrymz’ Olowu, Oreka Godis, Gbemi Olateru-Olagbegi, Chris Attoh, Timi Charles-Fadipe, Unamka Marycolette, Yewande Lawal, Sarah Boulos and Theo Lawson.
Some people in the crowd commended the production crew of the romantic comedy, saying “the new characters and storyline really engaged them.” The series centres on a young man who panics and buys an engagement ring on a whim. He recruits his two female best friends to help go through a list of potential candidates and sets off a series of events that lead to a wedding.
Speaking at the premiere, the Director of Marketing and Corporate Communications, UBA Plc and executive producer of the television series, Mrs. Bola Atta appreciated the critical interventions by the government in creating an enabling environment for the creative industry to thrive, whilst noting that the series, made by Nigerians in Nigeria is of world class standard.
According to her, in just a few days of its release, the series garnered over 130,000 views on the YouTube channel. Earlier, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who was visibly impressed with the quality of the movie spoke glowingly about the unrelenting upport of UBA towards the growth of the creative industry in Nigeria. He noted that UBA is no doubt one of the very few organisations that truly understands the far reaching impact the creative industry can add to Nigeria’s economy.
The minister applauded the high quality of the television series, attesting that Nigeria’s television production and creative industries have come of age with capabilities to contribute significantly to the country’s socio-economic development. This, according to the minister is part of the objectives the recently signed pact between the Federal Ministry of Information and The Tony Elumelu Foundation hopes to achieve. The Tony Elumelu Foundation is founded by the Chairman of UBA Plc, Mr. Tony Elumelu.
“I recall that before the MOU we signed with the Tony Elumelu Foundation, we identified a plethora of problems in the Creative Industry ranging from systemic failure, lack of monitoring of intellectual property and lack of capacity. Having said that, I am particularly delighted to tell you that after organisations like the Tony Elumelu Foundation and the British Council came to the rescue of the creative industries, the story has now changed for good”, the minister said.
Reiterating why the MoU is important for Nigeria’s creative industries, he explained that the film industry, best known as Nollywood, is the most energetic in the world and has a total estimated value of over $500 million per annum. It also provides jobs for thousands of people but sadly, an estimated $200milion is lost to piracy annually because of the absence of formal, legal distribution systems. The series was produced in conjunction with The Naked Convos.