Worth-listening to conversation with British/Nigerian director Christian Ashaiku, whose pscho-drama/thriller Amina, is scheduled to open next week Wednesday, October 17th, at Empire Cinema in Leicester Square, London.
The film fits nicely under that category of diaspora cinema that sees cross-continental collaborations between Africans and people of African descent outside of Africa. The Nigerian/British co-production stars Nollywood megastars Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde and Van Vicker, as well as black British actors like Wil Johnson.
Told in flashback, Amina centers on the life of a gifted young woman (played by Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde) who, devastated by a series of life changing events suffers a total breakdown and finds herself incarcerated in a mental hospital. Only one person can help Amina, her doctor (Wil Johnson), but he must overcome his own demons before he can help Amina confront her past.
And like recent cross-continental films by other Nigerian filmmakers like Jeta Amata and Obi Emelonye, Amina is said to be the kind of movie that will help push Nigerian cinema forward, challenging outside perceptions of Nollywood cinema, and getting that cinema to a place where it can compete on the international marketplace of films.
In the 8-1/2-minute interview below, courtesy of SmartMonkey TV, Ashaiku talks about his latest film Amina, of course; but he also dishes on Nollywood film financing, distribution and exhibition, existing in “2 worlds” (the UK and Nigeria), working on co-productions while still maintaining a integrity in the work, the “Nigerian style of acting,” raising the level of cinema in Nigeria, the future, his next film project, said to be an ambitious work that will be co-produced in the UK and Nigeria, starring a number of “top American and British actors,” as well as some Nollywood actors, and more…
Regarding that next ambitious, multi-continental work, he doesn’t reveal much in terms of story, or specific ators being considered.
A movement I continue to highlight, and watch… we continue to see more of this kind of cross-continental Diasporic collab; and I expect that we’ll continue to see even more of them, which is a good thing, in my humble opinion, and I’m looking forward to seeing where it all leads… in the spirit of Panafricanism.
Watch the interview with director Ashaiku immediately below; underneath the interview, you’ll find the theatrical trailer and poster for Amina: