Ebonylife Spotlights Human Trafficking, Prostitution

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EbonyLife Films latest offering ‘Oloture’ casts the spotlight on human trafficking, prostitution.Ferdinand Ekechukwu reports

‘Oloture’ is an upcoming movie directed by Kenneth Gyang (The Lost Café, Confusion Na Wa, Blood And Henna), produced by Ebonylife Films and written by Craig Freimond and Yinka Ogun. The movie stars Sharon Ooja in the lead role as ‘Oloture’, alongside other sterling cast like Omoni Oboli, Patrick Doyle, Segun Arinze, Blossom Chukwujekwu, Wofai Fada, Beverly Osu, Ada Ameh, Kemi Lala Akindoju, Omowunmi Dada, David Jones David, Daniel Effiong, Emmanuel Ilemobayo, Sambasa Nzeribe, Gregory Ojefua, Beverly Osu, Yemi Solade and Omawumi.

EbonyLife Films latest offering ‘Oloture’ casts the spotlight on prostitution and human trafficking, a growing menace in the society. Set in Lagos, Nigeria, ‘Oloture’ tells the traumatic story of a young, naïve Nigerian journalist who goes undercover to expose the shady underworld of human trafficking. Unused to this brutal environment, crawling with ruthless traders and pimps, Oloture finds warmth and friendship with Blessing, Linda and Beauty, the prostitutes she lives with. However, she gets drawn into their lifestyle and finds it difficult to cope. In her quest to uncover the truth, she pays the ultimate price – one that takes her to the verge of no return.

With an excellent crew supporting it, Oloture is based on an original story idea conceived by Mo Abudu and Heidi Uys. 

The movie is set to commence its festival run this summer, after which it will be released across cinemas in Nigeria and then to streaming platforms. EbonyLife Films Executive Producer Mo Abudu says, “tackling a controversial, globally-important topic like human trafficking was a challenge – but one that needed to be taken on.” Abudu is known for producing blockbusters including the 2016 hit movie, ‘The Wedding Party’ and its 2017 sequel.

A departure from Abudu’s winning comic formula with such a dark and gritty drama, Abudu says,  “Oloture explores a world very few people know anything about and had to be dealt with in a particular way. 

It’s not a documentary, but it addresses real issues most of our society doesn’t see, harnessing the talents of some of the country’s top actors and filmmakers to produce a film that is both intelligent and profound – and breaks bold new genre and stylistic ground for Nollywood.”

The new film is seen by many critics as a bold step in a new direction for Nollywood. 

Such that promises to be a gripping watch for audiences across the globe and hopes to lift the veil on an almost invisible crime at a time when so many young people, especially women seeking greener pastures, have little idea of just how dangerous the hope of bringing a better future home, can be.

Initial reactions to the film which screened to a private audience recently, are generally positive, as the film’s first viewers praised it for its timely, important story and the efforts of the cast and crew, with special praise for Mo Abudu and Gyang. Mildred Okwo, director of Surulere and The Meeting, praised the film for its truth and the effort of its makers.

Laure Beaufils, UK Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, who co-hosted the screening with Mo Abudu, described the film as the best Nigerian film she has seen. Niyi Akinmolayan, who directed The Wedding Party: Dubai Destination, praised the crew for their hard work. Indie Film Director Abba T Makama applauded the film for its topic. With Oloture, it is expected that more Nollywood productions take on serious issues that has continued to plague society overtime.

JOY M. IMIE