BY SHAMAN MOMOH
When the list of the selected films to feature at the Lagos edition of the City-to-City project of the respected Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) was released yesterday, one of the biggest Nollywood movies of 2016, Kunle Afolayan’s The CEO was conspicuously missing.
The CEO, which premiered on a Paris-bound Air France flight in June 2016 is generally regarded as one of the best productions of 2016. It was therefore surprising to many that the film was not picked, especially as there’ll be a special focus on Lagos (and by extension, Nollywood) at TIFF 2016.
TNS investigations this afternoon can authoritatively reveal why The CEO was not picked. In a conversation with sources close to the organizers of TIFF who wish to remain anonymous because they do not have official permission to speak on the matter, it was revealed to TNS that The CEO was not selected because it had already had a prominent international premiere and selection for TIFF wasn’t necessarily going to add much to the film’s profile. According to one of the sources: “Kunle’s film already had major buzz, with the high-profile premiere and screening at Nollywood Week Paris. So give others a chance at international buzz and still celebrate Kunle.”
Speculations have been rife since the names on the list where released yesterday prompting many industry observers and fans to wonder how The CEO could have been left out when unfinished films like Omoni Oboli’s Okafor’s Law and Kemi Adetiba’s The Wedding Party were picked.
There will be a conversation featuring Kunle Afolayan and Nollywood superstar Genevieve Nnaji on September 11, 2016 at TIFF.
An industry screening of The CEO holds at TIFF on September 12, 2016.