NYFA Graduate Directs Nigeria’s Big Christmas Release

September 20, 2011

Changing Faces Poster

Changing Faces is the first major Nigerian movie to be dubbed in French for commercial distribution in France and francophone countries according to the Ghana Media Group. Oh yeah, did we mention it is directed by New York Film Academy graduate Faruk Lasaki? Changes Faces began as Faruk’s NYFA thesis film, a fifteen-minute short called Six Feet Under, which he later developed into the full feature. The film is slated to be the big Christmas release in Nigeria and Ghana, opening at the Silverbird Cinemas on December 23. The 92 minute metaphysical romantic thriller explores the transference of evil spirits through sex. Faruk comments that the unusual premise of his film is driven by his desire to bring important issues to the forefront of cinema: “My basic objective is creating awareness of issues affecting Africans and ways of resolving it. I’ve realized there are lots of dark issues around us and we hold no decisions, we refuse to accept it. We know it is this but we hide under an umbrella, ‘No, no, no, don’t talk about it, don’t talk about sex.’ We hide.”

Faruk Lasaki

NYFA Graduate Faruk Lasaki

Changing Faces premiered at the Pavillion les Cinema Du Sud of the 61st Cannes Film Festival. It has since screened at the 2008 Black Diaspora International Film Festival of New York, was featured in competition at the 2009 Panafrican Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO), was selected for the 2009 Cairo International Film Festival, and was the opening film of the 2011 Eko International Film Festival in Lagos, Nigeria. Faruk adds that his film has an international audience because the issues it presents are universally relatable: “I wanted an issue that could be seen in any part of the world. Now the issue I’ve picked, somehow, in the French culture, you find it inside. Somehow, in the American, the British, the Chinese culture, you find it inside. You see, me picking just any writer in Nigeria to give me any Nigerian story, it wouldn’t cut across. I wanted a story that somehow, whether you are African, French, British or American, there’s a trace of you inside and there’s part that you go home with. That’s what I have done.” Learn more about the film here.