It promises to be a night of arts, glamour and fine dining as Filmhouse Cinemas partners Moët & Chandon to showcase the creativity of the film industry.
According to the organisers, the 1st Annual Film Gala will feature the best of Nollywood and initiatives that have left strong imprints in the Nigerian society.
It will equally celebrate and honour the works of game changers and ground breaking members of Nollywood.
To be hosted by former Miss Black USA and actress, Osas Ighodaro-Ajibade and singer cum actress, Toni Tones, the event will hold on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Lagos.
Speaking about the event, Co-founder and Group Managing Director of Film-house Cinemas and FilmOne Distribution and Production Limited, Kene Okwuosa says: “Filmhouse Cinemas recognises that indigenous filmmakers are changing contemporary cinema, producing an astonishing volume of content that continues to change the film game in this country. It is thus important and necessary that we have an initiative such as the Film Gala which gives them the platforms they deserve in order to better tell our stories and create space for us on the global stage.
“Being the first of its kind in Nigeria, the Film Gala is set to celebrate an exceptional year of filmmaking, highlighting the outstanding contributions by filmmakers and the like that have propelled the Nigerian and the African industry at large to greater heights. The Film Gala will showcase the business of film, provide recognition to filmmakers, foster alignment and leadership within the film industry, celebrate and show-off film business in Nigeria and give back by showcasing less popular filmmakers through short films. The event will offer quite an exciting experience from the arrival by boat of guests, to the champagne hour at the very beginning until the after party at the very end.”
On their partnership with Moet, Okwuosa explains: “We wanted to partner with a brand that understands the essence of film, who has film as one of their major pillars. As a brand, Moët & Chandon are known for their ground breaking artistic partnerships. They are committed to supporting and providing visibility to the arts along with worthy causes, events and meaningful inputs infused into to the arts, particularly here in Nigeria. This is a brand that has supported our industry for so long internationally and locally and we are so proud to be partnering with them on this.”
Highlighting the differences between Filmhouse Cinemas and FilmOne Distribution, Okwuosa explained that the two brands co-exist as one entity while striving to achieve the same goal. “Filmhouse Cinemas is in the business of showcasing blockbuster films. We are what our name says: a film house. Our company’s mission is to continue to create magical experiences through content that entertains and inspires. We are driven by the need to continue discovering new and innovative ways of creating inspiring experiences, delivering world-class service and bringing the magic of cinema to life,” he said.
On his part, Group Executive Director, Filmhouse Cinemas, who doubles as the Managing Director of FilmOne Distribution, Moses Babatope stressed that while creating Filmhouse Cinemas, it was important to all stakeholders that they also create an avenue for original content and as such, FilmOne produces original content or serves as the licensed distributor for companies producing original content.
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On FilmOne’s vision for 2019, Babatope said it includes partnering with international studios to produce Nollywood/Hollywood content, powerful enough to be critically acclaimed both at home and abroad. “One such example that FilmOne uses as inspiration for this goal would be the Bollywood/Hollywood masterpiece, Slumdog Millionaire,” he stated.
Already, Filmhouse Cinemas has 10 cinemas spread across Lagos, Ibadan, Kano, Benin, Akure and Port Harcourt. It boasts of IMAX, the largest cinema screen in West Africa, with the largest footfall since its inception. Now the company has plans to open in three other locations this year. These include an IMAX at Circle Mall, 4D Cinema in
Landmark, Lekki, Lagos and 3D screen cinema in Osogbo, Osun State.
According to Okwuosa, Filmhouse has been able to stay ahead of its competitors due to various strategies such as the campus tour, where the cinema experience is taken to higher institutions around the country. “Our campus tour is a useful way of whetting the appetite for premium cinema in the locations we have yet to enter,” he said.
Babatope, however, asserted that unlike other cinema groups in the industry, FilmOne Distribution continues to support indigenous movies such as The Vendor, The Ghost & The Tout, King of Boys, and Merry Men, which have kept top spots for several weeks since their releases.
“We see growth in the indigenous titles in Nigeria, which can sometimes be a marathon or a painful investment, but we are committed to its development as the indigenous market is key to the growth of Nigerian theatrical movie industry,” he quipped.