The Book REVERSAL FILM MAKING by Matthew Simpa

Foreword

A lot of the new entrants into the business of motion picture production in Nigeria think that the business of filmmaking started with Nollywood. It did not. Nigeria had an indigenous film industry that dates back to the 70’s. Then, filmmakers such as Dr. Ola Balogun, Late Chief Adeyemi Afolayan, late Chief Hubert Adedeji Ogunde, and Chief Eddie Ugbomah amongst many others made films on celluloid either on 35mm colour or 16mm colour.  But while the exploits of most of these pioneer filmmakers may have been fairly documented in some of the early books written on the film industry in Nigeria, notably Francoise Balogun’s The Cinema in Nigeria and Professor Hyginus Ekwuazi’s Film in Nigeria, there have been very little mention about a period in the history of the Nigerian film industry where making films using the reversal technology reigned. That was the period of the 80’s when filmmakers such as the late Yemi Meshioye led the crew at Meshfilms Limited to pioneer the unconventional shooting of feature films with reversal film stocks as opposed to negative film stocks which was standard for making films at the time.

It is a part of the untold story of that period in the evolution of the film industry that is told in From Reversal Filmmaking To God’s Bedroom and Back… Untold Story of the Nollywood Revolution, the bookby the accomplished filmmaker Matthew Simpa who was a member of the Meshfilms family and a key figure in the production of some of the film projects by Meshfilms. Those films including Lori-Ere, Ijagbemi, Gbegede Gbina and Iji Aye unarguably became pathfinders for filmmaking in Nigeria.

I am familiar with most of the books that have been written and published on the Nigerian film industry. This book by Simpa is probably the second book on the Nigerian film industry of the 70’s and 80’s devoted to the career journey of a versatile thoroughbred professional with ramified experience and multi-faceted professional training. The first of this kind of work that I have read is the book by the late legendary filmmaker Eddie Ugbomah titled Eddie Ugbomah. But unlike the book by Chief Ugbomah, which is an autobiographical account, Simpa saves the full account of his life for another publication and shares just the story of his career journey pre-Meshfilms, his personal recollection of how they made ‘magic’ with films like Iji Aye at Meshfilms and then his journey post-Meshfilms in this book. The result is a very personal story of those moments that shaped his dream, about the field experiences that sharpened those dreams and about the struggle to fulfill them. It is the story of a hardworking, humble and an honest personality who should be righty acknowledged for his invaluable contribution to the evolution of the Nigerian visual media industry that is today a global household name.

The contributions of this book are manifold. But two things particularly stand out for me. First is that through an account of his career, the author offers a very resourceful and highly engaging book that lends tremendous insight to the creative exploits of Meshfilms and that of other filmmakers of the era of reversal films. Secondly, each chapter of the book is lucidly presented to justify the competence and professional experience of the author in filmmaking.

Although there are still so many efforts to be recorded regarding this period of Nigerian cinema (and the author makes no pretence about writing a definitive book on that period and history of Nigerian film industry), we must commend Simpa for taking this bold step in documenting a significant aspect of the story, which I consider central to our understanding and appreciation of the history of the Nigerian film industry. Although usually a labourious task, but am sure Simpa considers it an honour and a great responsibility to add to the growing body of works that are helping to define the emerging trends with the vibrant Nigerian film industry.

I can imagine that Simpa’s saddening thought and our own thoughts too will be that nearly all the reversal films and even the films that were produced on bigger gauges may not have been preserved for posterity, I think we should be consoled by the fact that one of the key players of that period has at least captured and told a compelling story of the essence of that period in our filmmaking history.

I believe that this book is a valuable contribution to the field. The ultimate value of the book for me is that it points us both backwards to the past and forward to our future. I recommend it to everyone who is interested in the history of the Nigerian reversal film tradition especially and in the history of the Nigerian film industry before Nollywood. It is a welcome addition to the growing body of works on the Nigerian cinema and I feel honoured to be able to greet this new book in its opening pages.

Shaibu Husseini, PhD

Senior Teaching/Research Fellow

Department of Mass Communication

University of Lagos

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

The Author Mr Matthew Simpa

Matthew Simpa was born in, Agege, in 1964. He began his film making career with Meshfilms as an Assistant Film Director in 1986. This was two years after graduating with a cinematography certificate from Nigerian College of Film, Owo, Ondo State. He was actively involved in the innovative film making process of using reversal film stocks to shoot theatrical films. He was also part of a series of hit Yoruba home movies in the early 1990s. In 1995, he veered into evangelical film making. Between 1995 and 2000, he directed over twenty movies on video among which was Valle de Baca, the first successful home movie shot in Benin Republic. Since 2004, he has been involved mostly in Christian television programming. He has also directed two soap operas, one in English (The Burning Spear) and the other (Angeli Nigeria) in Yoruba.

In recent times he has worked at Galaxy Television and is presently the General Manager of Ben Auto/Stedik Resources Entertainment Ltd in Lagos. His two most recent movies are Outside the Box (2014) and yet to be released Yoruba film titled Ito Okurin which he produced.


					

Eko Int’l Film Festival set for 11th edition, reward professionalism

The Eko International Film Festival is an annual film festival that has spanned through the years with pump and pageantry attracting all entertainment razzmatazz.

The 11th edition slated for March 8-12, 2021 has attracted entries from over 55 countries globally. The film festival has also attracted collaboration over the years which includes the US, Consulate Nigeria, Makido film Austria, Polish Embassy Nigeria, Niger State Government (Niger State Book and other intellectual Resources Development Agency, Multichoice Nigeria Ltd Nexim Bank and Bank of industry (BOI) for their immense support during the festival 10th anniversary edition.

The festival is also grateful to the Nigeria Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) under the able leadership of Executive Director Alhaji Thomas Adebayo whose immense support cannot be quantified.

The Silverbird Group (Silverbird Cinemas) has sustained their support for the festival from inception to the present edition which we are eternally grateful.

The President / Founder of EKOIFF Mr. Hope Obioma Opara is also the founder of a new initiative in the global entertainment industry, The UNIVERSAL MOVIE AWARD (UNIMAA).

The event is designated to run an academy for the development of contemporary talents among the youth brackets in the motion picture industry. The aims of the academy is to train and empower young people in film making, photography and music thereby creating job opportunities for Nigerian teeming youths.

He stated that these platforms are keys to increasing the development of the tourism industry for any state and country at large. He also reiterated the readiness of his team and their foreign partners to work and partner with any corporate organization and state government in Nigeria willing to host and leverage on these platforms for tourism and cultural exchange.

He said that the Universal Movie Awards is an annual international Award based in Nigeria, but with a global appeal and presence. The mission of Universal Movie Awards is: “the celebration of professional excellence in the Global Film/Television Industry.” It will also promote the appreciation of Arts and Culture through motion picture arts and sciences globally.

The first edition of UNIVERSAL MOVIE AWARDS (UNIMAA) is slated to hold in August 2021. We are looking forward to all-encompassing partnerships as we drive and sail to greater height and destination.

Happy Birthday Stella D’lyte

Stella D’lyte is a Nigerian songstress who has carved an itch for herself in the Nigerian  music industry. She is now based in Unites States of America’

Today is her birthday  and this goes with her new Hit Song ”DEAR GOD” with wonderful lyrics “Oluwa bless us ooo . Do not forsake us ooo . I’m begging you pick up your phone cos I really need to talk to you . Do not forsake us o make you protect us all . I’m begging pls pick up your phone cos I really need to talk to you”.

Her new song dropped at the right time for the celebration of Christmas and new year ahead. Her Teaming fans are yearning for  watch her live performance after leaving the stage for some time.

We wish her a happy birthday and many more years to come. God bless you more Stella D’lyte.

THEO LAWSON, ARCHITECT, WORKS OUT OF LAGOS, NIGERIA.

Arc Theo Lawson

Studied architecture at the Architectural Association School, London between 1978 and 1985, where he experimented with both traditional African and High-tech design principles.

Back in the Fatherland (Nigeria) he studied earth construction techniques culminating in an invaluable invitation to design and build the Bauchi State museum in the year 1987, this availed him the liberty to use traditional Tubali brick construction.

In 1990, he established Total Consult, a design and builds practice, and worked on numerous commercial and residential projects. The firm also grew to become the leader in stage and set designs in the 80s and 90s; it also executed many cutting edge product launches and concert sets.

They designed TV studio sets for programmes and commercials into the bargain. Clientele include MTN, NB PLC, GTB, First Bank, MNET, inter alia. In the year 1999, Theo Lawson teamed up with other designers to form the “C.I.A.” (Creative Intelligence Agency), a collaborative venture to spearhead and streamline ideas for Lagos in the Millennium.

This led to his conception and realisation of Freedom Park, Lagos, now Lagos’ most engaging arts space.
He has equally worked on other public space projects including: Motherlan’ Performance Centre, University of Lagos Anniversary Park, Kalakuta Museum, Chimedie Museum and Art Gallery, Onitsha and the Kuti Heritage Museum, Abeokuta, to name just a few.

He is a formidable fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Architects and he is on the advisory board of several Arts Foundation.

Let’s homage and honour this Epitome of Excellence

By Balogun Olamilekan

SIGN TO SAVE NEVERLAND : MICHAEL JACKSON ESTATE TO MAKE IT A MUSEUM AND TOURIST SPOT.

Please Save Neverland. Make Neverland a Museum and Tourist destination for Michael Jackson fans and people all around the world . Neverland is not MJ’s property anymore and MJ fans are not allowed to visit it. Fans are sad and heartbroken. MJ estate should buy Neverland back from Santa Barbara county , and open it to public just like Elvis Presley’s Graceland. Kindly sign this petition if you want to visit Neverland and want to preserve MJ’s legacy .

SEE LINK TO SIGN https://www.change.org/p/mj-estate-buy-neverland-and-make-it-tourist-spot?

Another thing is that it is a very profitable investment and with this MJ Estate will earn millions every year so kindly cooperate. If someone else would buy Neverland ,we will never be able to visit our MJ’s beloved place and we will left with nothing . We can’t let this happen!! guys i need your support so kindly take it seriously cause we have NO TIME !! Thank You..!!!

Courtesy: Change,com