It’s no longer news that filmmaker, CJ Obasi’s last effort, Ojuju, was a critical success. Whether or not it was a commercial success is what we don’t know. Despite the film being very well accepted by critics, cinema houses across the country were reluctant to screen the film.
In an exclusive interview with TNS, the Owerri-born filmmaker disclosed the reason he thinks was behind the reluctance.
“Ojuju took what to a large extent was an unexplored territory so there was this lack of eagerness to jump on the train. Cinemas want to make money, and the film is a risk.”
Despite the foregoing, Obasi has not been dissuaded from doing what he does best: exploring previously unexplored territory in Nigerian filmmaking. His latest work, O-Town, which we’ve covered extensively on this blog, takes on the Gansta story, and gives it a CJ Obasi spin.
The film follows the story of a small town as told from a mysterious filmmaker’s point of view. O-town is the town of his birth, and Peace, a two-bit hustler is at the center of all that has gone wrong with the town. O-Town is expected to be released before the year runs out. Hopefully, this one will make it to cinemas in time.
The 2015 AMVCAs Trailblazer Award winner also spoke on the ripple effect associated with showing more Nigerian films in cinemas across the country.
“You can’t encourage people to watch more Nigerian films if there aren’t more cinemas showing Nigerian films. It’s like a puzzle, you can’t have one without the other,” he said. “When the filmmakers also see that when they finish their films they can put it on this platform, they will start working harder to do better films,” he concluded.