Nigerian helmer Jeta Amata has produced the first musical by his country’s prolific film industry.
The veteran filmmaker teamed up with music star Bongos Ikwue to lens “Inale,” featuring an original score by the Nigerian musician.
Pic will bow Oct. 21 in Lagos, with broader theatrical release in Nigeria set for the following week. The release was timed to coincide with celebrations of the country’s 50th anniversary of independence.
Far from setting out to break new ground in Nollywood, Amata says he was lucky to get pic made.
Ikwue had approached the helmer about producing a musicvideo for his latest album, but Amata, who was wrapped up in other projects at the time, had planned to turn the musician down. After visiting Ikwue in his village, though, the filmmaker had a change of heart.
“When I listened to the music he had just made, I got the inspiration to make the film,” he says.
The collaboration paired one of Nigeria’s most famous musicians with a third-generation filmmaker. Though the two had their creative differences, Amata says “Inale” was able to reconcile “two very big egos” and bring the pair closer together.
“We had a couple of arguments,” he says, “but it helped us … to understand each other better, and it became a very smooth working relationship.”
Ikwue provided most of the coin for pic, which was co-produced by Ikwue’s B.I.K. Entertainment and Amata’s Jeta Amata Concepts.
The helmer says other musicians had already begun calling him about future collaborations. He had no doubt “Inale” would set a new standard for Nigerian filmmakers.
“You know how it is in Nollywood,” he says. “The moment one person starts something, every other person will do it.”