Sparkling ebulliently at the premiere of the movie “Christmas Is Coming” were Ufuoma McDermott and her constellation of stars. Starry was the night of November 18th 2017 when the whole of nollywood moved to Imax Cinemas, Lekki Lagos and stood still in honour of the writer, producer and director of “Christmas Is Coming” – Ufuoma McDermott.
Kate Henshaw, Ali Baba, Ini Edo, and many more graced the occasion in stunning attires, with distinct words for the writer and director.
The stars aired their views of the movie and their relationship with Ufuoma. Hilder Dokubo confirmed that she was there to support her friends and family. This of course gives up nollywood as one big supportive family. She opined that she was mesmerized by the actors.
For her, the performance is what really matters. Her ideology of movies is: “just do a good job.” When asked what her take was on the movie, she gladly said, “I think it’s a simple storyline, good acting, relaxing.” The lesson she learnt from the movie: “don’t brood over one thing for too long. Let go. Move on. Do the right things.”
Joke Silver, with a knowing foresight looked forward to “seeing Ufoma play a tomboy.” That expectation was based on what she had heard about the lead character’s role in the movie. She spoke of her relationship with Ufuoma, “Oh yes, we’ve done a lot of works together. We’ve travelled round America and the Netherlands together.” Her philosophy of movies is that movies are good for relaxation. She sent her Christmas wishes to youths who look up to her.
Deyemi Okanlawon who played the role of Koko Williams commented about the movie, “We had a great script, we had a great cast, and then Ufuoma was directing and producing at the same time. Directing, meaning that it was so easy to work with whatever ideas that she had, and then producing, making sure that the set was such a fun place to work. It was a really good project to be on.”
When asked about the challenges encountered, he optimistically stated, “It goes to show that even with the challenges, Ufuoma was able to rise above them and lift the entire team above them. It’s superhuman to do all those three things: to be an actor, director, and producer all at the same time. I said to someone earlier that Nigerian women have shown some dexterity in film making, and Ufuoma has put herself in the caliber of such women.
Concerning his character in the movie, he asserted, “I found it pretty interesting to play the gentle, down to earth son of a big man because I don’t get to play such kinds of characters regularly. I’ve played a lot of bad characters, bad boy.”
Mrs Apotha Chioma who played Lola has this to say about the movie: “It’s a lovely movie. I played a very interesting character. It’s not what I’m used to. It’s not what people are used to seeing me do. So I am like,' wow', so Chioma can do this, Chioma can do that. I think I have a flair for comedy.” Her movie ideology is “A movie should be interesting, it should stimulate you intellectually. You should be able to enjoy it. You should be able to learn something from it.” Her lesson for us from the movie: “Christmas is a good time to share love, be with your family.”
Before the movie started showing, Ufuoma herself described her experience while writing the movie, “Writing the movie spanned about three or four years because I actually started piecing the ideas together in 2013. So, erm, it’s been a long time coming. I’ve had a lot of time to put ideas together and perfect them.” When asked what inspired the movie, she replied thus, “I think it should be my love for chistmas. I’m a Christmas freak. I think it’s the inner peace about the season that makes me happy.”
She hinted that she already had another comedy movie but would not like to be stuck with comedy. In her own words, “The truth is I don’t want to limit myself. I want to write all sorts of genres; I wanna write thrillers, I wanna work on, you know, maybe even an action film, maybe even horror.” She explained that she had a great crew and cast but then it was challenging having the locations.
Richard Mofe Damijo screamed, “I love it! I love the movie.”
Shola Shobowale adjudged the movie to be, “A lovely movie, beautiful family story. The family is expected to bond up at Christmas.” When confronted with the question of her role as a funny mother in-law and her comedy-ridden manner of SHOUTING, she gracefully responded, “It’s what I know how to do best.” Her lesson for the viewers “we should all become one. Let the family unite.”
She explained what caught her attention when she got the script, “The lady that wrote the story is lovely, fabulous, and respectable. The story she has for us is what everybody will love.” Her advice for young persons looking up to her, “God provides for birds, but not for birds in the cage. So you must come out and work, and let God bless the fruit of your labour.” Her philosophy of movies “You see movies because that is what your eyes eat. Movies are the food for the eyes. Watch.”
Mary Lazarus was speaking about her role in the movie when she said she played the role of “a normal very good girl.” Concerning the movie, she said, “It’s about Christmas. It’s a romantic comedy. It preaches love.” When asked why we need to see movies, “To relax,” she responded.
A rising star, Amanda Oruh, who played the role of company executive also have a word for the audience about the movie “That was the first time I played the character of a company executive.” It’s her first cinema feature movie. She thus described the movie: “The story line is beautiful from start to finish. I like the fact that it came during the Christmas Period. I love all the twists. I wasn’t bored at all. I just wanted to know what would happen next though I am a member of the cast.” For her, a movie should be a tool of passing important messages across. It should not be limited to entertainment. It should be a voice for the voiceless.”
She was able to pick forgiveness from the movie. “Whatever happens in life, learn to forgive, and learn to move on.”
Omo, a member of the audience commented thus, “I think it’s an awesome way to start the Christmas celebration. I didn’t expect this much. It’s an awesome movie.
For Treasure, Business Manager with Silverbird Galleria Cinemas, the “movie is a little world” where whatever one person does affects all other persons. “Beautiful. You can actually see the hard work put in. The deliberations for each scene, quite nice. Collection of a few veteran actors. As the movie progressed, it became more interesting. More like a journey.” When asked to share a lesson she picked from the movie, she said, “You can see that there are connections. All things happening are connected. It’s like a little world, and what this person did was affecting what that person did.”
Ufuoma later grabbed the mic to thank all of the people that graced the occasion. “Thank you all so much for being here, for honouring our invitation to be here to see our…our film.” She explained her ordeal at a particular location. She got all mushy at a point as she broke down in tears. She showed her gratitude by calling out the names of all the crew members and cast. She received several rounds of applause when the credits began to roll up the screen.
The movie opens in the Cinemas on the 24th of November, 2017.
Written by Omidire Idowu.
Omidire, Idowu Joshua catches every meaningful moment with his special eyes for stories. He writes and edits for online magazines and publication firms. Get him to report your events @ firstname.lastname@example.org