Monday 19 December 2016

The Afolayans Awaken A Lost Era Of Nigerian Motion Picture

Image result for Ade Love’s 20th Remembrance in Lagos

There is a winsome era of filmmaking which most Nigerians are oblivious to, and the Afolayans are resurrecting that era, starting with the classic Adeyemi Afolayan's "Kadara."

In commemoration of the life, legacy and works of the late filmmaker, Adeyemi Afolayan AKA Ade Love, a 20th remembrance ceremony held on December 15, 2016, at the National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos. Celebrating his works, his movie "Kadara" (Destiny) which was first released in 1980, officially premiered at the event.

Watching the classic movie, it is impossible to forget the artist imagery created by Afolayan. More than the narrative structure, it was the images, shots and production quality that took the older generation through a nostalgic journey, and the younger generation through an enlightening journey.
Many of today’s younger filmmakers will know of Ade Love perhaps in passing, at best. I grew in Lagos and his works were an integral part of my childhood.

Ade Love’s wives with veteran actor, Lere Paimo at the event
Ade Love’s wives with veteran actor, Lere Paimo at the event
I knew nothing of his influence on the great Hubert Ogunde. To find out, thanks to the documentary, that he was perhaps the major influence that made Hubert Ogunde switch from travelling theatre productions to film.
This is major. Hubert Ogunde stands as the reference point in the travelling theatre to film movement in our film history. To learn that Ade Afolayan influenced that move is important.

Ade Love's sons
The Afolayans
For decades, Ade Afolayan’s family did not have access to his films. Thanks to the heavens for someone like Babatunde Raji Fashola. Through his intervention, three of Ade Love’s classics: Kadara, Taxi Driver 1 and 2, have now been digitised and will be screened in the cinemas this December.

According to the filmmaker, the pursuit to restore Ade Love's films started over 12 years ago. "It's a shame that we couldn't get this done  until 12 years after I started pursuing the idea of getting this films out," he said. "It was difficult for the family because there was an outstanding debt of 9000 pounds that our father was owing the lab. More so, technology has also changed."

On some of the challenges the family encountered, Kunle Afolayan said, "When we got there, they said "your father is owing 9000 pounds." At that time, I think it was about 3 million naira, but, the family couldn't raise it. But God has purpose and there is always a perfect time. When it was time, we were able to restore it."
"It was stated there that if after certain years, the producer isn't able to retrieve or restore their films, the films will be sold, and the producer cannot do anything. It's in the law, the UK Law, and it was stated in some of the letters sent to my father."
Image result for Ade Love’s 20th Remembrance in Lagos

Kunle encouraged the audience, veterans in attendance including Jide Kosoko, Dele Odule, Yemi Solade, and thespians who starred in the 1980 "Kadara" to support the restoration of lost Nigerian films.

Speaking earlier to Pulse Nigeria, Afolayan revealed that the restoration of the three Ade Love films which will be screening this season was as a result of the support they received from former Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola.

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