Bolanle Austen-Peters Thrills at AFRIFF 2021

+ Secures rights to Funmilayo Ransome Kuti’s story

No better way to end the film screenings at Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) 2021 than with the closing film, ‘Collision Course’. The end-of-festival screening of the feature film, which doubles as its Nigerian premiere on November 12, had enthusiastically been acknowledged by the industry amazon, Bolanle Austen-Peters who also produced the multiple award-winning 93 Days and directed the high-grossing feature film The Bling Lagosians. With her new film ‘Collision Course’ affirms her relentless upward trajectory in the industry.

Her film production company, BAP Production, is not only noted for its first-rate feature films, but also for exhilarating Broadway-style musical stage plays, which have been shown on international platforms, especially in the UK and South Africa. Back to the ‘Collision Course’ which outshined several entries received for the 2021 AFRIFF film showcase. Recall that the Creative Director of AFRIFF, Jenny Alonzo, had announced the festival received over 4,000 submissions from over 100 countries for this year’s festival.

Only 48 films including ‘Collision Course’ made the final list, and also stood out among the best 48 films including short films, documentaries, feature films and animation screened at this year’s AFRIFF. Festival closing films are typically the centerpiece film of festivals. They are important films that satisfy the festival’s critical screening and review criteria to deserve the festival closing night spotlight. ‘Collision Course’ was directed by Bolanle Austen-Peters (BAP) and produced by Joseph Umoibom and James Amuta.

Already ‘Collision Course’ has snapped up multiple nominations at the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) 2021 coming up soon. The movie which had its working title as ‘Palava’, is a heart-thumping story told in 24 hours that dives into the lives of a law enforcement agent, a young man and some rogue element. Austen-Peters unveiled the production back in February while celebrating her 52nd birthday. Speaking on the project, she wrote: “Palava is a thought provoking drama addressing topical issues such as family conflict, corrupt agents and love.”

Written and co-directed by ‘Nightfall in Lagos’ director, James Amuta, “Collision Course” stars Kenneth Okolie, Daniel Etim Effiong, Kelechi Udegbe, Bimbo Manuel, Chioma Akpotha, Kalu Ikeagwu, Ade Laoye, Gregory Ojefua and Big Brother Naija reality star Bamike ‘Bambam’ Olawunmi-Adenibuyan. With its successful opening at AFRIFF, ‘Collision Course’ marks its way to more screening at international film festivals as viewers awaits its official debut.

Meanwhile, BAP Production has secured the rights to produce a Biopic on the legendary Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti from the Estate of FRK.

To be directed by Bolanle Austen-Peters, the movie has cameo appearances by Funmilayo’s grandchildren representing their own parents. With a working title Funmilayo: The Lioness of Lisabi, the film is intended to hit the big screen in 2022/23.

Bolanle Austen-Peters said: “Having directed the stage version of the story of great women such as “Queen Moremi”, “Oluronbi” and “Fela and The Kalakuta Queens” (the story of the 27 women that danced and married Fela Ransome Kuti), acquired by STER Kinekor and being aired as a screenplay in cinemas across South Africa; I am interested in telling the story of this phenomenal woman, Funmilayo.

“She was a woman with many parts and was first in many things. She was the first girl to attend an all-boys school, first woman to drive a car in western Nigeria; a political activist who fought for the rights of women; first woman to found a political party, confronted traditional and colonial authorities in unprecedented mass protests. Apart from these, she was a loving wife and mother who raised four successful children amongst whom is Fela Anikulapo Kuti.

“This is an inspirational story. We need positive role modeling for young African women and the world at large. At BAP Productions, we believe in telling uniquely African stories. This is a story of a brave and courageous woman, a leader, an activist and a family woman.”

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