***Nigeria Unveils ‘Fifty’ Film Premiere in High Style
A watermark for the Nollywood film industry, Fifty received its African premiere in Lagos.
Beemer, Benz, Bentley, Porsche, Ferrari, Range Rover Jeep, Mercedes, Mercedes, Mercedes. A traffic jam of luxury cars snakes up the Eko Hotel driveway in Lagos, Nigeria. It’s just another night during a festive season on Victoria Island… or is it? With a population of over 160 million (22 million of which live in Lagos alone), Nigeria is the economic and population powerhouse of the African. Lagos is the third largest city in the world after Shanghai and Karachi, and during Christmas holidays, it feels like every Nigerian in the diaspora returns home to live it up and chop money. But tonight is a homecoming of a slightly different sort.
Under the haze of a setting sun, large fruit bats swoop to devour moths caught in the spotlights while scintillating evening gowns of sequins and taffeta mingle with bejeweled melanin. At exactly 7:30, armed guards rush to open car doors as Louboutin beauties and Armani-tuxedoed gents spill out onto the red carpet, inciting a crescendo of flashing paparazzi and champagne corks.
EbonyLife TV founder/executive director Mosunmola Abudu spared no expense in creating an Oscar-worthy event for the Lagos premiere of Fifty. “Fifty is a celebration of all that is good in and about Lagos and Africa as continent,” she says.
A two-year veteran in the TV space, Fifty is Abudu’s first foray into feature-length filmmaking, and she’s already leading the pack in terms of execution. The event was on time. In one fell swoop, Mo Abudu created a blueprint for quality and presentation. The event (held December 13) is already being spoken about as the biggest film premiere in the history of Nigerian cinema. Normally, you cannot outdo Nigeria when it comes to hyperbole, but this is spot on.
The Lagos event is Fifty’s second premiere. The first was held at the 59th annual BFI London Film Festival amidst huge fanfare that exposed Leicester Square to African drumming from U.K.-based talking drummers. The film was selected in the festival’s Love Category and issued resounding applause from the mostly White audience in attendance. But nothing tops Lagos.
Once inside the Eko venue and beyond the velvet ropes—past the paparazzi, the steady flow of waitress with unlimited glasses of wine and champagne, the TV-crew presenters with outstretched microphones and digital recorders, the 3D selfie printer (where they do that at?), the shotgun-wielding armed guards—the red carpet flowed through the long and spacious corridors of the hotel. It spilled out into a cavernous ballroom fitted with over a 100 white high-thread-count tableclothed round tables and the chitter-chatter of Nigeria’s crème de la crème.
Click HERE for the original article by EBONY Magazine.