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In April, we brought news of Nigerian writer and cultural entrepreneur Onyeka Nwelue’s new Igbo-language film, Agwaetiti Obiụtọ. “Agwaetiti Obiụtọ” is Igbo and means “Island of Happiness,” which is the name of the novella by Nwelue on which it is based. The film is a satire focused on four friends who are drawn from their different lives by a promise, by Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), to pay the youth in their community, Oguta, Imo State, Nigeria. Shot there in Oguta, it has since been nominated for two awards at the 2018 African Movie Academy Awards (AMAAs): Best First Feature Film by a Director and the Ousmane Sembene Award for Best Film in an African Language.

Recently, in his office in Lagos, Wole Soyinka hosted Onyeka Nwelue and his crew to a private screening of the film. Present at the screening were Peace Anyiam-Osigwe of the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA), Aboyeji Iyinoluwa of Flutterwave, Azafi Omoluabi of Paressia Publishers, Ayodele Arigbabu of DADA Books, Odinaka Jeff Nwelue of Blues & Hills Pictures, and the Chief Priestess of Oguta Lake Goddess, Akuzzor Anozia. Soyinka is said to have called the film “a magnificent work of art.”

Nwelue, who shot the Flora Nwapa documentary The House of Nwapa (2016), is currently shooting one about Wole Soyinka titled Soyinka: A God and the Biafrans. He recently called Kunle Afolayan his filmmaking inspiration.

The film trailer for Agwaetiti Obiụtọ can be watched HERE.

See the photos below.

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OTOSIRIEZE is a writer, literary journalist, former academic, and Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. A judge for the 2019 Gerald Kraak Award, he is an editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective which has published two volumes: WE ARE FLOWERS and THE INWARD GAZE. He is the curator of ART NAIJA SERIES, a sequence of themed e-anthologies of writing and visual art exploring different aspects of Nigerianness: ENTER NAIJA: THE BOOK OF PLACES (October, 2016) focuses on cities in Nigeria; WORK NAIJA: THE BOOK OF VOCATIONS (June, 2017) focuses on professions in Nigeria. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition, and has been shortlisted for the Miles Morland Writing Scholarship and the Gerald Kraak Award, both in 2016, and a Pushcart Prize in 2015. He attended the 2018 Miles Morland Foundation Creative Writing Workshop. He has completed a collection of short stories, YOU SING OF A LONGING, and is working on a novel. He is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He combined history and literature at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and taught English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. When bored, the boy just Googles Rihanna. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts editing and writing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze.

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