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The Delivery Boy and the tipping point for Nollywood and Nigerian films

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At the just concluded 2018 AFRIFF Globo Awards, two unexpected films by young filmmakers took home the big awards of the night: ‘Delivery Boy’ won Best Nigerian film and ‘Kasala’ was awarded the Audience Prize.

Nollywood

Delivery Boy (2018), a 66-minute passion project, was directed by Kunle Adejuyibe – better known as Nodash—a young Nollywood veteran who has lensed music videos, commercials, and films such as The Encounter, Isoken, In Line, and The Bridge.

In his directorial debut, Adekunle also writes, directs, produces and edits the piece.

What he has accomplished with ‘Delivery Boy’ is remarkable; “delivering” (pardon the pun) a well scripted thriller on a shoestring budget. That ‘Delivery Boy’ is better written, directed, shot and edited film than many Nollywood films which have had far more significant budgets to work with is simply extraordinary. In the vein of Robert Rodriguez’s ‘El Mariachi’ (1992), he has squeezed every last drop of storytelling from his budget, producing an engaging piece of work that hits all the right notes.

Adekunle has joined the pantheon of filmmakers around the world who despite limited resources, made films which are as good as most films with 7-/8-figure budgets on a storytelling level, and stronger than many of them. He is the perfect example of something I have always believed: budget is less important than putting the work into the hands of a skilled storyteller.

The film finds the time to deftly tackle issues like domestic terrorism, the indoctrination of child soldiers, and the sexual abuse of young boys, and is a much-needed reminder that there are talented filmmakers out there, capable of making genre films.

Shot in five nights, Adekunle Adejuyigbe and the new generation of Nigerian filmmakers are rewriting the story of what it takes to be part of the Nigerian film industry today. With the focus on quality, tight storytelling, and a willingness to deliver to modern audience tastes the new vanguard in Nollywood are upping their game and we can only hope that they get the success and backing they deserve.

The choice is ours.

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