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  • Alum Kemi Adetiba Makes Her Name in Music Video Production

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    Kemi Adetiba’s ambition within the entertainment industry has expanded the breadth of her career from fashionista to lawyer to DJ to director and producer of music videos. Perhaps the first Nigerian woman to have successfully broken into this many branches of the industry and made a name for herself in music video production, the New York Film Academy filmmaking graduate is known for her impeccable attention to detail when conceptualizing, shooting and editing her videos. She’s attracted attention in the Nigerian entertainment industry for pushing herself to keep learning more about filmmaking techniques and technology even after becoming successful.

    Her drive to diversify her talents is how Kemi ended up studying filmmaking and production with us at the New York Film Academy. She explained her journey to NYFA in an interview last year.

    I’m a restless person, highly ambitious, and I hunger to learn more. You tend to get the ‘side-eye’ though, because you are a woman and have no formal training. Well, I couldn’t do anything to change the former, but I ‘heck-sure’ could do something to change the latter. So I picked up my junk and went back to school.

    A lot of people thought I was crazy for leaving at the supposed height of my career, but I went through it, graduated, and I’m now better for it. I’m actually gearing up to do a more concentrated course in cinematography. I want to stand anywhere, open my mouth, and know what I’m taking about – at least within my industry.

    A 2008 graduate of NYFA, she drew from her heritage when producing her thesis film, Across the Bloodied Ocean. The film tells the story of a wealthy African family living in the United States, dealing with their daughter’s refusal to return home to take part in a traditional coming of age ritual.

    Right now, Kemi splits her time between Lagos and New York City. She has recently signed with an American management agency and is frequently invited to speak at film festivals and music conferences when she isn’t producing videos.

    Above, we’ve posted her most recent video for the artist Bez. Check out more of Kemi’s work in fashion and music video directing and production on fashion blog Ladybrille.

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    August 16, 2010 • Acting • Views: 4382

  • NYFA Graduate’s Film Sweeps African Academy Awards

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    The African Movie Academy Awards saw quite a bit of NYFA graduate Kunle Afolayan’s feature film, The Figurine, during their 2010 ceremonies. Out of the ten awards for which it was nominated, The Figurine took Best Picture, Achievement in Visual Effect, Heart of African Award for Best Film from Nigeria, Achievement in Cinematography and Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role. The film has solidified Afolayan’s future in filmmaking and attracted well-deserved attention to Nigeria’s rapidly growing film industry, Nollywood.

    Son of Ade Afolayan, the famed Nigerian actor, Kunle Afolayan didn’t exactly start out following in his father’s footsteps. A banker by profession, the Nigerian filmmaker at first regarded entertainment as more of a hobby. He spent a few years taking small acting jobs while working in banking. It wasn’t until 2005 that Kunle took a leap of faith and left his career to study digital filmmaking at the New York Film Academy in London.

    Irapada, his first work, gained recognition at a number of international film festivals and won the Best Indigenous Award at the 2007 AMAAs. Set in modern Nigeria, the film is colorfully injected with elements of Nigerian myth culture. After a successful building contractor tragically ignores an old relative’s devastating premonitions, he is forced to reassess his long-standing rejection of ancient superstitions.

    Kunle once again peppers a contemporary story with Nigerian folklore in The Figurine. A group of friends finds an effigy of Araromire, a goddess believed to grant good luck, and must confront the negative aspects of supernaturally bestowed fortune.

    Boasting relatively enormous production values, Afolayan’s work on The Figurine has made him a special effects pioneer in Nollywood. His intentions to revolutionize and promote the Nigerian film industry have also extended to his method of distribution. The film was shot with a movie theater audience experience in mind. In a move to reinvigorate Nigerian cinema culture, Kunle Afolayan has pushed for The Figurine to remain in theaters for as long as possible, in contrast to the usual DVD distribution goals of the average filmmaker.

    Kunle Afolayan’s unconventional approach to filmmaking and film distribution has put him at the top of the African film industry. Having recently run a filmmaking program in Abuja, those of us at the New York Film Academy are excited to see one of our graduates work to further advance the Nigerian industry.

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    May 26, 2010 • Acting • Views: 4871

  • New York Film Academy Teaches Film Workshops in Abuja, Nigeria

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    This past spring, the New York Film Academy visited Abuja, Nigeria, to train aspiring filmmakers in a four-week film workshop. Thirty faculty members from our New York and LA locations traveled to Nigeria and, in partnership with Del-York International, spent two months giving students hands-on, practical training in film production.

    Listed ahead of the United States’ in productivity, the Nigerian film industry, colloquially referred to as Nollywood, is second only to India’s Bollywood in number of films released per year and is the second-largest employer in the country. Linus Idahosa established the media communications company, Del-York International, with the intent to further develop Nigeria’s extremely active yet largely unknown film industry.

    During a time of national rebranding, a modernized film industry could be a powerful unifying agent for the country of Nigeria. Idahosa believes that, through mass publication of creative expression, Nigerians can harness their cultural capital and more tangibly portray their country’s identity. If talented filmmakers were better trained and equipped to record their personal testimonies, then Nigeria’s collective story could be captured, preserved and publicized to a wider audience.

    Idahosa’s ideas about the power of film are undoubtably shared by his fellow citizens, and the program was met with considerable enthusiasm. Over the course of a month, NYFA gave a passionate group of students, ages ranging from 18 to 40, instruction in directing, acting, producing and animation. Together, Del-York and NYFA were able to give roughly 370 up-and-coming Nigerian filmmakers and actors essential training to advance their craft and better communicate their message.

    The New York Film Academy was honored to be invited by Linus Idahosa and Del-York International to help launch a filmmaking program in Abuja and hopes that the Nigerian film industry will continue to grow and gain recognition.

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    April 23, 2010 • Acting • Views: 10026