Mary Nnah

It was a celebration of film, music and fashion, and the Creme de la Creme of the film and music industry, when Biola Alabi Media’s world premiere of its 2018 hit production ‘Lara and the Beat’, held recently in Lagos.

The lavish event was a resounding evening of fabulous fashion presentation and a mesmerising music concert, taking cues from key themes explored in the movie – music, fashion and culture.

With less than two weeks to the movie’s cinematic release nationwide on July 20, the cast and other members of the production team took to the carpet to hint about the excitement that ‘Lara and the Beat’ promises.

“We had a lot of fun on set making this movie, and I am particularly excited about the cultural elements that stand out in this movie,” said Seyi Shay, who plays LaraGiwa in the movie.

“Music is a big part of this movie, and to see how it was perfectly fused with this production, makes me really proud as a music artiste.”

“We are now starting to see a brilliant collaboration between Nollywood and the music industry,” said Tosin Coker, Director of Lara and the Beat.

“This is very special for me because I started my career as a music video director, and to see this happening now and to be a part of it, is something I am really proud of.”

Like the director of the movie, Seyi Shay who plays the role of the lead protagonist, and Vector who plays her love interest, Sal, also have a music background, both being major music stars.

Other cast members from the music industry include DJ Xclusive (who plays Jide), and Toni Tones (who plays Trish).

“It’s great to see how this blend of movie and music has played out tonight, all the brilliance shown not only by the music cast members, but especially by the traditional Nollywood cast members as well, who really made this a pleasant experience,” said Vector.

Lara and the Beat also has an original music soundtrack produced by ace music producer Tee Y Mix, with significant input from the team at Universal Music Group in Nigeria.

Tee Y Mix who has worked with some of the music artistes in this movie before, said “Regular studio recording is not quite the same as when you’re making an original music soundtrack for a movie, but it’s not any less fun. I’m really proud of what we’ve created.”

“What drew us to this production was the vision they had to fuse music with movie, and this is something our mother brand has done in other parts, and we were glad to be able to do the same in Nigeria,” said Eze Ezegozie of Universal Music Group (UMG) Nigeria.

Lara and the Beat produced by Tolu Olusoga stars award winning Nollywood heavyweights Somkele, Chioma Akpotha, Chinedu Ikedieze, Uche Jombo, Lala Akindoju, Bimbo Manuel, Wale Ojo, Shaffy Bello, and Saidi Balogun. Other cast members include Deyemi Okanlawon, Demola Adedoyin, Folu Storms, Sharon Ooja, Anne Icha, Akan Nnani, Dara Egerton Shyngle, Bollylomo, David Jones David, Cookies, Keira Hewatch, Patrick Oke and Demi Banwo.

With such an elaborate cast list, diversity of themes explored and an impeccable creative production team, Lara and the Beat has all the characteristics of a reveling movie experience.

According to Alabi, executive producer of Lara and the Beat, “what you have witnessed here tonight is the outcome of many months of hardwork and creative collaborations with talented professionals in the industry.

“Biola Alabi Media is committed to telling our rich African stories, and sharing it with the rest of the world. I am proud of what we’ve created with Lara and the Beat, and with the reception we’ve seen here today, I am certain everyone will enjoy it.”

Alongside Biola Alabi other Co-Executive producers include Mr. Sunday Agboola, Mr. Lanre Onasanya, Mrs. Adetayo Okusanya and Mr. Niyi Toluwalope.

On why they partnered Lara and the Beat, Mr. Ayo Subair, LIRS Chairman said, “We have an important story to tell about our work in Lagos state, and we believe that Nollywood is a powerful vehicle for telling our story.

“Lara and the Beat had a brilliant storyline that sat very well with the message we are trying to tell the good of people of Lagos state, so it made sense for us to partner with them on this project.”

Other partners for the movie include: FIRS, Fidelity Bank, Close-Up, Knorr, M-Cash, Jumia, Kilimanjaro, Studio 24, Nuli, Cruz Vodka, Dominos and Coldstone.

Lara and the Beat is about the young and beautiful Giwa sisters caught in the centre of a financial scandal with their parent’s media empire. The sisters are forced out of their privileged bubble, and must learn to build their own future and salvage their family’s past.

The movie also tells a love story between Lara and Sal (a.k.a The Beat), who helps find her voice and jumpstart her musical journey. It is a movie about loss, love, music…and a dream.

This phenomenal movie premiere and the resounding satisfaction expressed by guests at the movie premiere, gives much credence to the fact that Lara and the Beat will be an instant cinema delight for movie lovers.

The film was distributed by FilmOne and was available in cinemas nationwide from July 20, 2018. Group ED/COO of FilmOne Distribution, Moses Babatope said, “This is another brilliant production from the Biola Alabi Media team, and we are delighted to be a part of it. We are optimistic this will be a cinema viewing delight.

“I had looked forward to this movie from the first time I saw the trailer and seeing the movie tonight it didn’t disappoint at all. From the cinematography to the music soundtrack, everything moved the story along so well…It’s been an awesome evening of fun and music for me. “Lara and the Beat is indeed the movie to see, and what I’ve seen tonight excites me for what the future holds for Nollywood,” said Hazeez Balogun, a movie critic.