It’s been a fruitful year, says actress Vanessa Nzediegwu
After it won Best Feature Film, at this year’s Zuma International Film Festival held early this month, in Abuja, Nollywood romantic thriller, ‘What Lies Within’, produced by the trio of Paul Utomi, Tope Tedela and Vanessa Nzediegwu, recorded another great outing last Saturday as it carted away four awards at the just concluded Best of Nollywood Awards,BON. The awards ceremony was held last Saturday night at the Cultural Centre, Abeokuta, Ogun State.
The movie won the Movie of the Year, Best Actress for the lead actress, Mitchell Dede; Best Director and Best Editor for the co-producer(Nzediegwu) to be the biggest winner of the night.
Released in September 2017, “What Lies Within” chronicles a day in the life of two women, Fiona (Mitchell Dede) and Ireti (Nzediegwu) who are unwittingly thrust into the centre of an incident that had far reaching consequences on their lives and those of their loved ones. In a chat with WG on Whatsapp, Nzediegwu described her feeling as “surreal” adding “Winning the awards makes one feel like you are on the right path, and also, makes you feel like any other project you embark upon is to prove that the previous wasn’t a miscue.”
She revealed that “Making What Lies Within wasn’t easy but directing it was quite an experience. We tried to tell a simple and enjoyable story that explores quite a few themes and we are glad at the reception and raves it has been getting.”
Present to receive his award for Best Actor in a Lead Role was Bolanle Ninalowo for his variegated role in Picture Perfect written and produced by Biodun Stephens of The Visit fame. The movie went on to win the award for Best Use of Nigerian Food in a movie. Visibly ecstatic, the brawny actor was escorted on stage by fellow nominee, IK Ogbonna.
For the trio of Katherine Obiang, Kate Henshaw and Omoni Oboli, it was the joint statuette for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for their roles in the critically acclaimed box office hit, The Women, that came their way. Produced by Blessing Egbe, The Women also won the award for Movie with the Best Screenplay. Nollywood’s most controversial movie, Behind the Wheels, which became famous for its action sequence and fire stunt pulled by Ani Iyoho, won the categories for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (English) for Kelechi Udegbe; Movie with the Best Social Message and Movie with the Best Special Effect. Not surprisingly, comedian, AY’s A Trip to Jamaica won the Best Comedy Movie and Movie with the Best Cinematography.
Other winners were Jumoke Odetola who emerged Best Actress in a Lead Role (Yoruba); Niyi Johnson Best Actor in a Lead Role (Yoruba), Gabriel Afolayan Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Yoruba) and Tim Ebuka, Best Actor in a Lead Role(Igbo). Yvonne Enakhana and Timini Egbuson won The Revelation of the Year (Female and Male Respectively).
Anchored by iconic thespian, Segun Arinze, this year’s BON Awards was hosted by the Ogun State government. Though he made a whistle-stop visit at the venue before travelling to Abuja on national assignment, Governor Ibikunle Amosun expressed his delight and satisfaction with the organisation of the awards and the presence of many Nollywood stars. He was represented at the ceremonies proper by the Secretary to the State Government, Taiwo Adeoluwa; Chief of Staff, Chief Tolu Odebiyi; Speaker of the House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Suraj Adekunbi and Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Dayo Adeneye, among other top government functionaries .
Welcoming guests to the event, Seun Oloketuyi, executive producer, Best of Nollywood Awards, said, “Ever since Nollywood, as a sub sector of the Nigerian entertainment industry, has been underscored as a contributor to the GDP of Nigeria, it is imperative that as industry players, we continue to do all within our capacity to give wings to the Nollywood brand with the view to making our practitioners do better.” He thanked Governor Amosun for believing in and supporting arts and tourism, especially the film industry. Indeed, this year’s BON Awards could best be described as a night of rising stars.