Following an extensive tour of film festivals around the world, GDN Studios, a subsidiary of The Guardian Group, has announced the premiere and release of its debut movie, Eyimofe (This is My Desire).
The film will premiere on Sunday, April 18 at EbonyLife Place, Victoria Island, Lagos and would be in cinemas nationwide on Friday, April 23.
The outstanding effort of Arie and Chuko Esiri, brothers and co-directors of their first feature film, Eyimofe has been praised by international audiences, festival directors, critics and industry media. The movie takes an unflinching look at the pressures of everyday life in Nigeria, the desperate measures people take to survive, and the unrelenting desire to escape to a better life abroad, by whatever means. It also traces the parallel lives of Mofe, a stoic electrician and part-time security guard, and Rosa, a struggling hairdresser, both trying to navigate illegal ways of fleeing the country.
Eyimofe has represented Nigeria globally, having been selected for festivals in 20 countries to date. These include the prestigious Berlin International Film Festival 2020, where it had its world premiere, British Film Institute’s London Film Festival and American Film Institute (AFI) Film Festival. It has garnered several festival awards including ‘Winner, Best Fiction, New Filmmakers’ at the São Paulo International Film Festival (Brazil), and ‘Winner, Achille Valdata Award’ at the Torino Film Festival, Italy.
According to executive producer, Toke Alex Ibru, the film has exceeded expectations. Hear her: “We’ve been encouraged by the tremendous reception the film has received in London, Berlin, Sao Paolo (Brazil), Los Angeles and other cities. It’s really exciting to bring Eyimofe home to Nigeria and see how audiences react to seeing our lives portrayed onscreen in such a realistic way.”
In a statement issued to mark the film’s release, the co-directors, Arie and Chuko, says, “Eyimofe is very special to both of us, not just because it’s our first full-length feature but also due to the amazing support we have received from the cast, crew and a host of backers. We’re grateful to GDN Studios for allowing us to tell this touching story without compromising on production values and for helping to give the film the global exposure it has received. Audiences abroad have taken this movie to their hearts and we look forward to having Nigerians embrace it, even as they discuss some of the issues it raises about the human condition.”
Some leading international publications have sounded positive about Eyimofe. According to Variety (USA), the film is “a clear-eyed portrait of a vibrant informed by two talented native sons”. The British Film Institute’s Sight & Sound called it a “stunning feature debut” and Frieze (UK) suggested it’s “an outstanding story of interwoven tales”. And for The Hollywood Reporter, it was “carefully observed and well-performed drama… a love-hate letter to a great and flawed city, from two talented young filmmakers”.