Irapada: Big screen hit goes public

By Abimbola Adelakun
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Award-winning film, Irapada, was finally launched on Sunday by the immediate former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Apart from having been screened at the Pan-African Film Festival, Los Angeles and the London Film Festival, the film won both the AMAA award as 'Best Indigenous Movie 2007, and 'Best Yoruba Film' at the Zuma Film Festival early this year.

It was, however, released for sale on VCD/DVD right at the venue of the premiere.

Tinubu, who launched it with an undisclosed sum of money, said he was happy with the progressive narrative and dramaturgy in the film. According to him, the message neatly conveyed in the film is a reason not to lose faith in Nigeria.

“It is obvious that Nigeria is still going to be better. There is no point losing faith in the country as yet. This film shows that good things can come out of Nigeria as well,” Tinubu said.

Tinubu, who is the current patron of the KORA All African Music Awards, with a rising profile in the arts, also commended the efforts of the film's co-producer, Kunle Afolayan, for his good work in putting the film together. The Ashiwaju further said, “I am particularly fascinated by the scene where they made a Nigerian train worked. It shows a lot and I am happy Afolayan is showing himself a true sense of a legend.”

Afolayan, who is also the Manager of Golden Effects Services, the company that produced Irapada, said that the distribution of the film would take an unprecedented direction. Apart from the usual way that will be handled by AY Production and Marketing in Idumota, the VCD and the DVD will also be sold during road shows in major streets with sales agents who will make it available to buyers.

“We have also concluded arrangements with Afrika Kreations, a reputable movie distribution outfit based in London and they will be distributing in UK and Europe.

Arrangements concerning distribution in other areas will be made public as soon as they are concluded. The strategy, apart from the fact that it would ensure rapid distribution of the films, will also be a step ahead of pirates who may want to sell inferior copies of the VCD,” he said.

Golden Effects is partnering with Unilever for the successful release of the film into Nigerian market. The company's representative, Mr. Ademola Adedoyin, had earlier said its management was very happy to be a partner. “We look forward to bettering the Nigerian film industry with our support and contribution,” he said.

Irapada is the movie nominated by the Nigerian Film Corporation to the Pan African Film festival in Los Angeles, USA. It was the first Nigerian film invited to the 51st edition of the London film festival, Queen's festival and also to Women of Colour Festival in Atlanta, Georgia.