By Ben Njoku
Bolanle Austen-Peters productions has announced that it has secured the rights to produce a biopic on the legendary Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti from the Estate of FRK.
To be directed by Bolanle Austen-Peters, the movie has cameo appearances by Funmilayo’s grandchildren representing their own parents. With a working title “Funmilayo; the Lioness of Lisabi”, the film is intended to hit the big screen in 2022/23.
According to the lawyer-turned- film director,“having directed the stage version of the story of great women such as “ Queen Moremi”, “Oluronbi” and “Fela and the Kalakuta Queens” (the story of the 27 women that danced and married Fela Ransome-Kuti), which is presently acquired by Ster Kinekor and being aired as a screenplay in cinemas across south Africa, I am interested in telling the story of this phenomenal woman, Funmilayo.
“She was a woman with many parts and was first in many things. She was the first girl to attend an all-boys school, first woman to drive a car in western Nigeria; a political activist who fought for the rights of women; first woman to found a political party, and confronted traditional and colonial authorities in unprecedented mass protests. Apart from these, she was a loving wife and mother who raised four successful children among whom was Fela Anikulapo Kuti.
“This is an inspirational story. We need positive role modelling for young African women and the world at large. At BAP Productions, we believe in telling uniquely African stories. This is a story of a brave and courageous woman, a leader, an activist and a family woman.”
Funmilayo; Lioness of Lisabi is following the success of other productions from the stables of Bolanle Austen-Peters production, including: ’93 days’ which was screened at several international film festivals like Toronto international film festival, Chicago film festival, pan African film festival, Los Angeles film festival, San Francisco film festival, African film festival cologne and Johannesburg film festival, winning an award at the festival in Los Angeles.
“The Bling Lagosians” was credited as being one of the top grossing films of 2019, and also acknowledged by Netflix as one of the films whose performance ignited their interest in Nigeria and the successful production of two more films; “Collision Course and “Mog(Man of God)” that have started garnering awards.