ADE LOVE’S SON CAUGHT IN TRIANGLE OF NEED
He might have screened his film, Irapada, at the Pan African Festival of Los Angeles in February and won an award at the African Movie Academy Awards. But what promises to be Kunle Afolayan's biggest break till date is about to unfold in a major film collaboration with an American producer.
The son of the late celebrated actor and producer, Adeyemi Afolayan (Ade Love), has just sealed a deal with the American producer, Catherine Sullivan, to work on the Triangle of Need, a feature film that was inspired by the e-mail messages that some Nigerian fraudsters send abroad to lure unsuspecting victim into parting with huge sums of money.
Afolayan, who is getting married in Lagos on May 26, expressed happiness in sealing the deal on the multi-million naira project that will be premiered in the United States and England between August and October 2007.
“It is a big project that will serve as a big boost for my career,” he told our correspondent. “This film represents for me the kind of collaboration that we need in Nigeria. Hopefully, it should serve as a springboard to the mainstream global cinema for me.”
Shooting that is expected to commence in June will serve as a post-wedding blues for Afolayan as he is expected to jet out to the US in the second week of June for shooting in Miami and Chicago.
He said he would be taking with him two of his crew members on Irapada, including Biodun Aleja, with whom he co-directed the film.
Afolayan accepted to work on the project after his mentor, Tunde Kelani, had turned it down for personal reasons. However, he explained that he had satisfied his conscience that Triangle of Need would not depict Nigeria in an unflattering way after having an extensive meeting with Sullivan in London.
“I have read the script and spoken to the key people behind it and I am convinced that it is a story that will not harm our country's image. I will serve on the project as a guest director to shoot a few scenes, and I have been assured of the freedom to either edit the script or re-write any aspect,” he stated.
The overall theme of the film, he added, had much more to do with the fantasy of wealth depicted in the 419 e-mails, “more as a critique of the concentration of wealth in America.” He said the 419 problem would not be explicit in the film.
Quoting Sullivan's words of assurance, he said it is the narration of needs. Because the e-mails are considered relevant to a multi-channel story idea by Sullivan who received several of them over two years, the film has been scheduled to be shot largely in the home of a wealthy American industrialist from the turn of the last century, James Deering.
As such, the only fixed aspect of the project is the location consisting mainly of the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens in Miami, built in 1916 by Deering.
The thrust of the scripts is woven around the fiction about an industrialist who is trying to get the last two Neanderthals to reproduce. Afolayan said it was Sullivan's way “to create a kind of science fiction, one which draws together the monolithic and the mundane.”
The producers of the project include the A Foundation, Liverpool; Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, Miami; and the Walker Art centre, Minneapolis, US.
The film, Afolayan explained, would be keen about its technicalities. Shooting is on 16mm, which is planned to be transferred to D5 and DVCam for an online edit, and then sent back to D5 for mastering and archiving.