The Lost Okoroshi, the sophomore feature of Nollywood’s indie film director Abba T. Makama, will make its world premiere at the 2019 edition of Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). The film will screen in the Discovery section—a section set aside for new voices in films. The Discovery program has helped launch the careers of some of the most established filmmakers including the likes of Steve McQueen, Berry Jenkins and Christopher Nolan.
Greetings! My second feature length THE LOST OKOROSHI @thelostokoroshi will be having its world premiere at the Toronto International film festival 2019. Kindly watch and share the trailer. Thank you! #thelostokoroshi @TIFF_NET pic.twitter.com/CAb0LfOYHW
— Abba T Makama (@abbaTmakama) August 8, 2019
The Lost Okoroshi is “a fresh take on Afrofuturism. It is distinctive, it’s funny and it provokes thoughts.” The film stars Tope Tedela, Seun Ajayi, Jammal Ibrahim, Chinwetalu Agu, Judith Audu and Ifu Ennada. The screenplay was written by Abba Makama and African Ukoh. The two also co-wrote Makama’s debut, Green White Green. Watch the riveting trailer for The Lost Okoroshi below.
Haunted by dreams of an ancestral Okoroshi masquerade, a disillusioned security guard wakes up one morning to find himself transformed into a mute, purple spirit, in Abba Makama’s surrealist romp through the sprawling city of Lagos.
Green White Green, also premiered at TIFF in 2016; 93 Days, The Wedding Party and five other Nollywood films screened at the festival that year as part of TIFF’s city-to-city program which spotlighted Nollywood and Lagos.
Speaking to Indiewire, Makama discussed the inspiration behind the film: “I want Africans to keep in touch with their cultures and traditions and globalization makes it increasingly difficult for us to connect with our past. Masquerades have generally been demonized and considered bad omens in western religions. With this project, I aim to change the narrative and reintroduce the masquerade as a colorful, playful and benign entity.”
The news underlines the current strides by Nigerian filmmakers towards global recognition. Dare Olaitan (Ojukokoro, Knock Out Blessing) recently hinted at a deal that might take him to Hollywood. C. J. Obasi’s Mami Wota—”a black and white fantasy based on the Mermaid Goddess of West African Mythology”—won Sørfond, the Norwegian South Film Fund, at the recently concluded Durban International Film Festival. Sørfond is a grant for supporting film production in developing countries- it is funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.