From Nollywood to Hollywood North
Temitope Idowu is focused on bringing the skills he learned on Faces In The Crowd back home to Nigeria to inspire other aspiring filmmakers.
It's been non-stop action for the past seven weeks for Nigerian filmmaker Temitope Idowu during the filming of locally-lensed film, Faces In The Crowd.
Idowu (pronounced Ee-doe-woo) has been in town since April 26 job shadowing on the psychological thriller that stars Milla Jovovich and Julian McMahon, and wrapped filming on June 13.
The International Quorum of Motion Picture Producers pilot mentorship program enables a filmmaker from a developing country to participate in the North American film process.
Idowu says he is honoured to be the first person chosen, and promises to represent the Nigerian film community, or Nollywood, well.
"It feels amazing and I feel highly privileged because it was at a time that I needed a break from what I was used to and so I could take my gifts to the next level," Idowu said on the film's Osborne Village set last week.
Idowu's experience in Nigeria includes theatre work, owning his own production company, and creating and producing the TV series, Shallow Waters. The series had a modest budget of $12,000 and a crew of 18.
On Faces In The Crowd, the budget is in the millions of dollars with a crew of more than 200. Idowu has been privy to every part of this production from the tech surveys to budget meetings.
"I was able to see how everything connects and what amazed me the most was that when we started (shooting) it was like one big machine and everybody knew what to do," Idowu said.
The mentorship program encourages visiting filmmaker to take what they have learned and apply it back home, according to IQ president Kevin DeWalt.
"Whether it makes a difference in the quality of what your doing, or the community you're working in, or if you feel you can change the direction of your country in terms of policy that deals with culture, then that's what I want you to do and there's no strings attached," said DeWalt, who is one of the producers on Faces In The Crowd.
DeWalt hopes to have another visiting filmmaker on his next production later this year. He would like to see more production company's participate in the project.
While the filming schedule has been intense and taken him to locales all over the city, and even Gimli, Idowu has had an opportunity to explore the city and visit with members of the Nigerian community.
Dr. Sunday Olukoju, president of the West End-based Nigeria Canada Congress of Manitoba, said the impact of Idowu participating in this project and what it means to the arts in Nigeria cannot be underestimated.
"It's going to be very huge and I think his coming here will actually improve the level of quality of filmmaking and it should indeed help Nigerian filmmakers be more multicultural in their approach to things," said Olukoju, who lives in Fort Richmond.
Once he returns to Nigeria, Idowu plans to develop a sequel to Shallow Waters and mentor aspiring filmmakers in that country.
"I want to bring up a new generation of professionals in Nigeria and some other countries in Africa so that I can mentor them so we can take it to the next level," he said.