It really came as no surprise that Elfike Film Collective’s The Wedding Party made the Toronto International Film Festival’s selection of the Spotlight City to City programme. The much-heralded and anticipated film’s premiere is scheduled for Thursday, September 8 at the historic Elgin Theatre. The romcom, directed by Kemi Adetiba, stars some of Africa’s biggest stars led by Richard Mofe-Damijo, Sola Sobowale, Alibaba, Iretiola Doyle, Banky W, and Adesua Etomi, with the stars of the film expected to attend the premiere.
“We are pleased to welcome The Wedding Party by award-winning filmmaker Kemi Adetiba to the Festival, and are proud to present it to a global audience,” said Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director of the Toronto International Film Festival. “Adetiba has delivered an exciting character-driven film on a grand scale, while putting her own unique spin on a familiar genre.”
According to Executive Producer, Mo Abudu, “This will be the second time an EbonyLife movie is selected to screen at an International Film Festival of great repute, TIFF’s selection of ‘The Wedding Party’ is a true honour. I can’t think of a better place, or a better global audience for the film’s festival Premiere.”
Written by playwright Tosin Otudeko and Kemi Adetiba, ‘The Wedding Party’ is an Elfike Film Collective production – a first of its kind initiative designed to raise the bar in African storytelling through unrivalled technical achievement in filmmaking and creative media arts. Elfike Film Collective is a collaboration of Africa’s leading powerhouses – EbonyLife Films, FilmOne Distribution, Inkblot Productions and Koga Studios. It is the first time industry giants will partner on a film project and with TIFF’s recognition is proving that Collectives can grow and prosper the continent’s film community.
Set in Lagos, Nigeria, The Wedding Party is the story of Dunni Coker (Adesua Etomi), a 24 year old art gallery owner and only daughter of her parents about to marry the love of her life, IT entrepreneur Dozie (Banky W). The couple took a vow of chastity and is looking forward to a ground-breaking first night together as a married couple.
Alibaba and Sola Sobowale play the role of Dunni’s parents while Iretiola Doyle and Richard Mofe-Damijo play Dozie’s parents. Other notable names in the stellar cast include Zainab Balogun, AY, Beverly Naya, Emma OhMyGod, Lepacious Bose, Somkele Idhalama, Daniella Brown, Ikechukwu Onunaku, Ayo Makun, Enyinna Nwigwe, Kunle Idowu, Sambasa Nzeribe, Hafiz Oyetoro amongst others.
The Wedding Party will take guests on a journey to the rockiest wedding day in Nigeria’s history. Wedding guests will have to take their seats and see whether the wedding planner succeeds or if the groom’s ex-girlfriends will disrupt the day’s proceedings. One thing is certain The Wedding Party will be the talk of the town.
After its premiere at the 41st Toronto International Film Festival, which runs from the September 8 to 18, its Lagos international premiere will hold at The Landmark Centre in November and promises to be an unforgettable night of pomp and pageantry.
Just last year, EbonyLife Films ( a sister company of EbonyLife TV) had a grand premiere of its first feature film, Fifty, at Eko Hotel and Suites in Victoria Island, Lagos. Both outfits “are dedicated to telling the full range of African stories as they have never been told before”. They also preen themselves on being strongly rooted in Africa while connecting to a global audience through a shared identity and common values.
The film’s director Kemi Adetiba is a Nigerian music video director, filmmaker and television director, whose production credits have featured on Channel O, MTV Base, Soundcity and BET. She’s an alumni of the prestigious New York Film Academy, her short film Across a Bloodied Ocean was screened at the 2009 Pan African Film Festival and National Black Arts Festival.
The film is being distributed by FilmOne Limited an independent distributor of filmed entertainment which provides top-end film release services with emphasis in English-speaking West Africa territory. Based in Lagos, Nigeria, it distributes a wide-range of mainstream, commercial pictures including international and indigenous titles.