Berlinale has announced its 2020 lineup for the Panorama section which screens “sexy, edgy, daring and extraordinary cinema”. Nollywood actor, O. C. Ukeje stars in one of the selected films, Cidade Passaro (Shine Your Eyes), a Brazilian-French production that follows a Nigerian musician, Amadi, who leaves Nigerian for Sao Paulo in search of his elder brother Ikenna, whom he hasn’t heard from in a while.
On getting to Brazil, Amadi realizes his brother isn’t the mathematics professor he claims to be, but an unrepentant conman involved in delusional schemes of accumulating wealth. The film is being described as an “enigmatic exploration on multiple levels”.
Ukeje, who relocated with his family to Canada, has been notably absent from the Nollywood scene—his last major film was the 2017 Potato Pothato (and even that was a Ghanaian production), which is currently streaming on Netflix. With movie fans continually asking about his disappearance, the actor was recently forced to explain his continued absence.
“He is still here o,” he replied to a tweet asking about his whereabouts. “But mans has to find other tackling strategies. The one I’ve played in for 18 years isn’t enough. And it takes time to navigate new stuff, you know. But I’m still working.”
“New stuff” includes working on international projects and expanding his already impressive resume. Cidade Passaro was shot mainly in Brazil around 2017. The film is directed by Brazilian filmmaker, Matias Mariani, who works with a screenplay from Chika Anadu, Chioma Thompson, Francine Barbosa and Maria Buhler.