kweliTV | O-TOWN

O-TOWN \ 111 mins \ NIGERIA

Viewer Discretion Advised: Adult Language \ Adult Content \ Rated: R

The story of a small town as told from a mysterious filmmaker's point of view. O-Town is the town of his birth, and Peace, a two-bit hustler is at the center of it all that has gone wrong with the town. The mysterious filmmaker has a near omnipresent overview of the pimps, the scammers, and the drug dealers as they ravage the moral backbone of the town wholly subjugated by a sadistic and suavely mannered gangster, simply known as The Chairman...but not for much longer.


Winner, Achievement in Soundtrack - African Movie Academy Awards (2016); Nominee, Best Promising Actor - African Movie Academy Awards (2016); Nominee, Best Nigerian Film - African Movie Academy Awards (2016); Nominee, Favorite Int'l Film - Screen National Awards (2016); Winner, Best Director - Lake City Film Festival (2016)

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CJ Obasi

C.J. fondly called “Fiery” or “The Fiery One” is a genre-­‐filmmaker from Nigeria, whose feature debut “OJUJU” -­‐ a zero budget film, premiered at the Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) in November 2014, and won the award for “Best Nigerian Film”. OJUJU has screened in about 20 film festivals, including the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles, Shockproof Film Festival in Prague, New Voices in Black Film Festival in New York, Nollywood Week Festival in Paris, and Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal, garnering universal acclaim despite its zero budget status from the likes of Screen Anarchy (formerly TwitchFilm), Bloody Disgusting, Shadow & Act, IndieWire, The Hollywood Reporter and many others. Obasi for his ‘groundbreaking work’ on OJUJU was awarded the Trailblazer of the Year award in March 2015, at the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCA). 

Obasi’s sophomore effort is the feature film “O-­‐Town”, a crime thriller piece, which he calls his “Western in an Eastern land” and describes as his “exploration into genre-­‐filmmaking”. O-­‐Town premiered at the 2015 Africa International Film Festival, followed by a Nordic premiere at the 2016 Gothenburg Film Festival, Sweden. It was nominated for Best West African Int’l Film at the Screen Nation Awards, UK, and won the Achievement in Soundtrack award at the 2016 African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA), as well as two nominations in the Best Nigerian Film & Most Promising Actress categories. O-­‐Town won the award for Best Director at the Lake City Film Festival (LACIFF), 2016. Obasi acquired the option to Hello, Moto an African-­‐Futuristic short story by the World Fantasy, Hugo & Nebula award winning Nigerian-­‐American author, Nnedi Okorafor. The short film titled “Hello, Rain” had its world premiere at the Oscar-­‐ qualifying International Competition of the Internationale Short Film (Kurzfilmtage) Oberhausen in May 2018, and has gone on to screen in over 20 festivals, including a headline screening at Africa Utopia hosted by the Southbank Centre in London, as well as a North American premiere at Fantasia Film Festival where it received the Special Mention of the Jury prize. Hello, Rain was also selected for the BFI London Film Festival where it was also shortlisted as a nominee for the prestigious Short Film Award. Hello, Rain has also been featured on CNN and BBC for its strides in Afrofuturism and fantasy.

As a screenwriter, Obasi is a writer on the comedy-­‐drama Lionheart, directed by Genevieve Nnaji. Lionheart had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), and is the first Netflix Original Film from Nigeria. Obasi also contributed his writing to the forthcoming Living in Bondage sequel by Ramsey Nouah. Obasi has acquired the option to 2017 Caine Prize winner – The Sudanese love story “The Story of the Girl Whose Birds Flew Away” by Bushra al-­‐ Fadil for a short film adaptation. Obasi is one-­‐third of the new cinema collective from Nigeria known as Surreal16. Together they produced & directed the anthology short film Visions, which premiered at the 2017 AFRIFF, and was also part of a video installation at the LagosPhoto Festival. Visions won the Jury Prize for Best Film at In-­‐Short Film Festival, and was nominated for Best Short Film at the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA).

Obasi is presently in the funding/development stage for Mami Wata – a black and white female-­‐driven fantasy thriller based on the popular Mermaid Goddess of Western Africa and African Diaspora. Mami Wata was selected to participate in the Ouaga Film Lab, Burkina Faso, where it won the European Audiovisual Entrepreneurs (EAVE) prize, and will participate in the EAVE Producer’s Workshop taking place in Luxemburg, Serbia and Germany in March, June and October 2019 respectively. Mami Wata was also selected to participate in Le Groupe Ouest’s Less is More (LIM) European development lab for limited budget films taking place also in March, June and October/November across Poland, Romania and France respectively.

All from this director.