By Prisca Sam-Duru
Nigeria’s prolific filmmaker, Rogers Ofime, is pushing the boundary in filmmaking with his new project, ‘Conversations in Transit’; a movie to be shot almost entirely on a moving train.
Coming less than two years after releasing his 26-episode historical movie, ‘The Mystic River’, on the streaming platform Netflix, the award-winning producer is set for a first-of-its-kind of film in Nollywood; ‘Conversations in Transit’.
Directed by Robert Peters, ‘Conversations in Transit’ is written by Tope Bolade-Akinbode and Dichie Enunwa. It stars veteran actor, Richard Mofe-Damijo (RMD), Rhama Sadau, Uzee Usman, Yvonne Nelson, and others.
Ummi Baba Ahmed, Ofime told the press during a conference held at the train station, Ebute Meta, Lagos, “brought the idea for this project forward.
“Conversations in Transit” narrates the story of an heiress, Hajara; event planner, Ini; and a career woman, Adeola, who are on the 8am train from Lagos to Ibadan. They must decide what the future holds for them as they journey on same train with an abusive fiancé, a cheating and an alcoholic repentant husband, with a prospect of indulging in a wild naughty weekend with total strangers after hours, oblivious of how much their lives are about to change.
Renowned for producing several outstanding Nigerian television soap operas, including ‘The Johnsons’, ‘Zone 222’, ‘Zero ‘Hour’, ‘Tinsel’ and ‘Hush’, Ofime disclosed that his latest movie is hitting the screen from the stable of Native Media Ltd, a multi-award-winning television production company, in partnership with Nigeria Railway Cooperation, NRC.
The project, a novel kind in Africa, entails the entire movie shot on a moving train, from its arrival, transit, and departure. “It is with great excitement that we announce the unveiling of a new film experience, the first of its kind in this part of Africa. Great movie production has been achieved in Nollywood over the years. Native Media and our other colleagues in the industry have consistently kept the Nigerian flag flying,”, Ofime, who is also renowned for blockbuster movies such as ‘Oloibiri’, ‘Voiceless’, ‘Zamani’ and ‘Hotel Majestic’, stated.
“However, for the first time in Nigeria and in most of Africa, a movie will be shot almost entirely on a moving train. It is indeed a great feat for us at Native Media, the Nigerian movie industry, and Nigeria as a nation,” he added.
Continuing, the Executive Producer said the movie would be a fun project with its premiere on a moving train, adding that, “It is a good step in the right direction, and we ought to be proud of this as a people. With Native Media taking the lead on a project of this nature, we believe more movie production companies will take a cue from this initiative and do more of promoting our nation’s laudable achievements.”
He further called for support and partnerships from brands and institutions to help in promoting Nigerian image before a global audience, noting that “Your partnerships and sponsorship will go a long way as we proceed on this project”.
Ofime also appreciated the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Ameachi and MD/CEO of the Nigerian Railway Corporation, F.E Okhiria for allowing his team to partner with them and for opening their facilities to the filmmakers.
Sharing their experience as scriptwriters of the film, the duo of Tope and Dichie said they had to travel by train from Lagos to Ibadan, so as to become familiar with travelling by means of train, in order to do a good job.
Director of Mobolaji Johnson train station, Nyi Ali who represented the MD of the NRC at the press conference, said the NRC is open to partnering with filmmakers to showcase the laudable infrastructural developments of this administration not just to Nigerians but to the world. He also disclosed that the train station would commence online bookings and purchase of train tickets in the nearest future.