Sunday, October 01, 2006

From Nollywood to Hollywood in "This America"

This America
Last October I wrote an entertainment review on "This America"-a popular Naija movie.UAA Official Logo
Ever wonder how the Nigerian accent sounds like when it tries to pronounce American words? "Porrato Chips!!!" The poor pronunciation of 'potato chips' not only echoed United African Artists' slogan, "Bridging the gap between Nollywood and Hollywood" but also mixed the cultures and values of Nigeria with America through the underground flick This America
Written by UAA Executive Oliver O. Mbamara, America's plot rested upon the shoulders of long-time friends Eddie and Ozobio, who are both trying to make a decent living in America. Eddie (Bethels Agomuoh) is a Nigerian immigrant exiled from his country hoping to obtain his US residency through his loveless marriage with his alcoholic baby mama, Anita (Rena Anakwe). Upon his visit to see his friend Eddie in America Oziobo (Mbamara), who lost his job as a bank manager in Nigeria, got setup on a blind date from hell with Jeannie (Angelinah Ada). The two friends soon realized there's more to this America.Clash of culture between Nigeria and America provided the film's strength.
Film director Agomuoh used something as simple as a hug in one of the many funny scenes. When Ozobio arrived in America he tried to give his friend, Eddie, a hug (a customary Nigerian tradition) only to understand it's 'not right' to hug the same sex because as Eddie says, "it sends out the wrong message."The strength of the film came from memorable scenes scattered through the movie. In one scene, Ozobio was on his way from the airport to Eddie's apartment. He encountered the 'joys' of cabs in the city. Halfway to his destination, Ozobio notices that the meter reads $45 and he questions its authenticity to the cab driver (Fanzy). The cab driver tells Ozobio, "You pay 50 dollars or get out!" Shellshocked Ozobio tries to negotiate the fare by saying, "I'll pay you $45!" This infuriates the cab driver who stops the car and after going back and forth they settle on a price. Ozobio gets the last word with a insult, "Nne Kegi!!" which means in English 'your own mother.''
Another memorable scene came when Ozobio meets Eddie's friend Andre (Godwin Nwachukwu). Andre calls Ozobio "Malcolm" because he can't get the correct pronunciation of his name or as Andre simply puts it-"You look like a Malcolm." United African Artists is a non-profit organization spearheaded by three friends Felix Nnorom, Oliver Mbamara, and Bethels Agomuoh. One thing the three shared in common was their cultural background-Nigerians. So they used their background as a platform to their mission-"bridging the gap between Nollywood and Hollywood." Nollywood was Nigeria's verison of Hollywood, America's movie industry capital.
Nnorom, Mbamara, and Agomuoh started the company three years ago to aid unknown artists to be known in the competitive movie industry. Nnorom acted as the technical director and second director of photography. Mbamara served as the writer and Agomuoh directed the film. This America is the group's first feature film. Due to positive feedback from its early May Tribeca premiere, UAA has offered monthly screenings and has released the film internationally on DVD. Because of overbooked screenings each month, there are talks of a sequel already. No official word from UAA about the specific film plot as of press release.
the cast of This America at NYC Tribeca premiere
Pictures of the critically-acclaimed film can be viewed on the website: African Events.com .African Events is a website engineered in part by Oliver Mbamara and his close friend, famed director and photographer, Sir Citor of Golden Studio, Inc. African Events provided current photo ops of African nightlife in the Metropolitan area .
For a low fee of $9.99, This America can be yours. To find out more about This America, check out African Film Company.
{pic credit: African Events}

1 comment:

Miss Chi Chi said...

support this film and you wouldn't regret it!