It is not even mid-month in a new year, yet some screen celebrities have already started hugging movie sets. Some had a good run last year and it is expected that they would also have their hands filled this year. Here are a few of them that were nominated out of a pool of 50, as players to watch last year. However, the list is not in any way exhaustive.
Nollywood’s new girl, Somkele Iyamah-Idhalama, had a fantastic year in 2016. The Agbor, Delta State native got the spotlight fixed on her after her beatific performance in three of the big movies released last year-93 Days, Arbitration and The Wedding Party.
Her performance in those three quality Nigerian movies, which all made it to the City-to-City programme of last year’s Toronto International Film Festival (TIIF) earned Somkele and the actor, OC Ukeje, an invitation to be part of the TIFF’s Rising Star Programme, which spotlights two up-and-coming actors from an industry that is in focus under its City-to-City programme.
A warm and friendly personality, Somkele revealed that she would have been a health worker if acting had not called her up. She hinted that this year would be a busy one for her, as she has a couple of offers to feature in some movie productions and television soaps.
POPULAR actor, Majid Michel, had a good year last year, featuring in couple of critically acclaimed ad (adverts) and big budget productions, including the wave-making movie with the signature of notable producer, Emem Isong, Ayamma.Indeed, Majid was everywhere a leading actor was required. Observers expect nothing but a superlative performance this year from busy actor, who is popular as Shaker. They expect him to retain his status as one of the leading actors of the Nigerian and Ghana movie industries this year.
IF there is any award for the most featured actor in a big budget movie for last year, then the award would rightly go to the popular actor, Richard Mofe-Damijo. RMD, as Richard is called for short, was in nearly all the best films and television programmes produced and released on television and in cinema last year. RMD is in Hush, the fresh television soap on Mnet, and he played leading roles in acclaimed productions, such as Opa Williams 3 Wise Men, Dinner and closed it with a superb performance in Kemi Adetiba’s The Wedding Party, a movie that has so far earned N220 million in box office revenue. RMD hinted that he has his hands filled and was already scheduled to begin work on a big budget production. He also hinted that he might try his hands on funding some productions this year.
AWARD-winning actor, OC Ukeje, had a busy year last year, appearing in Arbitration, and his performance in the movie earned him an invitation to Toronto to be part of last year’s TIIF’s City-to-City segment.The star of the South African well-travelled film, Ayanda, Gone to Far and The Department hinted that there are a few movies he took part in last year that would be released this year.He also disclosed that he has received invitation to star in a couple of films, including two international productions.OC also yearns for an opportunity to delve into personal projects this year.
NOTABLE actress, Bimbo Akintola, had a fantastic year in 2016.The talk about her superb performance as Dr. Adadevoh in the Ebola movie, 93 Days, is still on many lips. Bimbo exhibited competence as an actress in that role and it was the competence she exhibited that made the role believable. Clearly, Bimbo not only delivered the role with unerring skills, she also made playing ‘Ameyo Adadevoh’ look as if Gukas and the other producers of the movie- Bolanle Austen-Peters and Dotun Olakurin- commissioned the writer to do the script with Bimbo in mind.No, Bimbo was exceptional in the role of Ameyo Adadevoh, a role she said she felt honoured and privileged to play.She is looking forward to a busy time this year, hinting that she has received a couple of scripts and should be on location soon.
FUNKE Akindele had a busy time last year, featuring week-in-week-out on her widely accepted television comic series, Jenifa’s Diary. She also spent valuable time working hard to satisfy industry producers who wanted her in their movies. Funke starred and lit up the box office hit, A Trip to Jamaica, produced by Ayo Makun, aka AY, which is still showing in cinemas across the country and has grossed over N200 million.The actress hinted that she has her hands filled this year, stating that she would lead her crew to continue work on Jenifa’s Diary and then on a new television series and a movie. She also intends to empower more young people through The Jenifa Foundation (TJF).
DELECTABLE actress, Rita Dominic, had a time last year, promoting the big budget film, 76 and the just held African International Film Festival (AFRIFF).The award-winning actress, star of the award-winning movie, The Meeting and co-founder of The Audrey Silva Company (TASC), is an ambassador of the Nigerian-domiciled AFRIFF.Rita also spent the better part of the year working and helping to promote Surulere, another production by TASC, which was released last year. The star actress hinted of a busy year this year, part of what she would be engaged in working on a few other productions, including a new television series from the stable of TASC, The Bank, featuring Joke Silva and Ego Boyo.