On the heels of Machel Montano’s collaboration with world-renowned yoga and spiritual icon, Sadhguru, and his #SaveSoil mission, along with his performance in India, Montano’s 2015 film, Bazodee, has just raked in six nominations on the African continent.
Last week, the Nigerian-based Realtime Film Festival (RTF) made the announcement that Bazodee had been recognized in the following six major categories:
● Best Lead Actor
● Best Lead Actress
● Best Supporting Actor
● Best Supporting Actress
● Best Screenplay
● Best Lighting Design
Lorraine O’Connor, one of the film’s producers, has described the multi-nomination news as follows: “The Bazodee nominations are really heartwarming, as this film brings a lot of joy and promotes love which is something most needed in the world today: and the Caribbean is all about joy and love. It also shows that the film has a far reach, and this being its African premiere, I am excited that the film was nominated in those categories, and is now being appreciated by another audience and another market.”
O’Connor also holds the position as General Manager of C15 Studios Limited, a company which has invested in Bazodee, and has assiduously been working toward improving the financial prospects for creatives across the Caribbean region.
In light of the commendable news for Bazodee, O’Connor and the C15 team are exploring potential opportunities for creative partnerships between Nigeria and the Caribbean.
O’Connor will be numbered in the contingent representing Trinidad and Tobago in Nigeria for the RTF 2022. She will be on the lookout for opportunities in which strategic partnerships can be forged, and knowledge shared.
“We are very excited about the possibilities that can be generated from our participation in the Realtime Film Festival, opening the door to collaborations/co-productions between Nollywood and the Caribbean.” Lorraine O’Connor.
Echoing O’Connor’s views on the vast benefits of forging a cinematic bridge between the Caribbean and Nigeria, is Sean Valley, one of the founders of Lanniup Consulting. Valley has been instrumental in connecting the Trinidad and Tobago contingent with Nollywood. He recently explained the origins of his initiative on TTT’s NOW Morning Show.
C15 Studios – General Manager – Lorraine O’Connor
Valley stated that he and his Trinidadian-based Nigerian friend, Dr. Oritsetimeyin (Oti) Esimaje, were discussing a few years ago the fact that Nigeria had surpassed South Africa as the largest economy on the African continent. Launching from that, Valley and Esimaje decided to explore the establishment of a trade corridor between West Africa and the English-speaking Caribbean.
“We decided that Nigeria’s creative sector – their media and entertainment space – also referred to as Nollywood, was where we wanted to plant our flag.” Sean Valley.
According to the United Nations, “the Nigerian film industry produces about 50 movies per week, second only to India’s Bollywood – more than Hollywood in the United States. Although its revenues are not on par with Bollywood’s and Hollywood’s, Nollywood still generates an impressive $590 million annually.”
From a financial and creative standpoint, Lorraine O’Connor adds, “as General Manager of C15 Studios, my mission is to take Caribbean creative talent to the world by helping to develop a profitable Caribbean economy. This type of collaboration is exactly in line with my mission of building meaningful economic bridges between the Caribbean and Africa, which can only lead to success”.
O’Connor will be discussing this and more on her monthly online programme: The C15 Show with Lorraine O’Connor. Creatives across the Caribbean are encouraged to register for The C15 Show – Episode 8 (see: C15 Studios on Instagram for the free registration link), as O’Connor’s dynamic guests will be none other than Stanlee Ohikhuare, Founder of The Realtime Film Festival, who will shed his insights on Nollywood’s rise to global success; and Freetown Collective’s Muhammad Muwakil and Lou Lyons, who would speak on strategically planning one’s creative regional and global climb, without ever losing sight of one’s history and culture.
In a month such as August, in which many Caribbean nations celebrate Emancipation and Independence, this show’s topic is extremely integral.
The C15 Show with Lorraine O’Connor will be streamed Live from Nigeria, online (Zoom and Facebook), on Wednesday 24th August, 2022: 6 pm (TT time).
Bazodee will be screened at the RTF on August 26th. The results will be announced on August 27th, at the closing ceremony of the Festival.
The Realtime Film Festival 2022 will run from August 19th – 27th in Lagos, Nigeria. The General Manager of FilmTT, Leslie-Ann Wills-Caton, and Head of Programming of Trinidad and Tobago Television (TTT), Diane Robertson, will accompany Lorraine O’Connor and Sean Valley at the RTF Festival.
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