Rehashing Emmanuel's March 23rd post on the project, when it was announced that it would be seeing theatrical releases in Nigeria and Ghana…
Director Kunle Afolayan's romantic-comedy Phone Swap, stars Nigerian-British stage/film vet Wale Ojo (Meet The Adebanjos) and the very lovely Nse Ikpe-Etim (Guilty Pleasures) in the lead roles.
The synopsis for Phone Swap reads:
Akin and Mary meet for the first time at an airport where they accidentally bump into each other and mistakenly swap their identical Blackberry phones. This leads to a destination mix up after they receive one another’s text regarding a travel destination. Consequently, Akin ends up traveling to where Mary is supposed to go and vice versa. Neither knows about the swap until they have reached their opposite destinations and “the phone” stops ringing (In Mary’s case) and “Won’t stop ringing” (In Akin’s case). As a result of the phone swap, they agree to help carry out each other’s missions, armed with the information and data on each other’s phone.
But it’s not as easy as they both think as new obstacles and complications rise at every turn as they both struggle to adapt to their alien environment and situation. Mary has to walk in Akin's shoes and represent him in a company meeting while Akin has to represent Mary in her family meeting. This they do with hilarious results…
Following its release in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Enugu, and Uyo in Nigeria on March 30, the film was then opened in Accra, Ghana on April 5.
Today, I received word that UK and USA distribution rights for Phone Swap have been acquired by London-based OHTV for both UK and USA release, with a UK released planned for next month; no word on when a USA release can be expected.
OHTV is an international TV network providing contemporary entertainment, reflecting the black experience worldwide. Based in London England, the OHTV Network comprises of OH UK & Europe (broadcast via Sky Channel 199), OH USA (broadcast via the OH Box, an IPTV player) and OH Africa (broadcast via satellite Eutelsat W4).
This looks like a subscription only TV service, so, we're not talking about a theatrical release of the film.
I wonder if iRokoTV will, at some point, get its hands on the film. It's far more accessible than OH Box is at the moment, which means, more opportunities for interested audiences in the USA to see the film that has drawn lots of positive attention since its debut.
Director Afolayan is already on to the next one – an international collaboration (the first for Afolayan) titled Dead Alive.
In a recent interview, Afolayan broke the news about this new project, adding that it'll be something totally different from anything he's ever done, as he collabs, for the first time, with producers and production companies from outside Nigeria, as well as an international cast of actors.
He added that he thinks it's the film that will get him "there" – "there" being, a film that can compete on the international cinema stage, and that, as he boldly claimed, could get Oscar nominations.
We'll of course continue to keep our antennae up for both Phone Swap's release, as well as Dead Alive developments.
Two looks at Phone Swap follow below: