There is a winsome era of filmmaking which most Nigerians are oblivious to, and the Afolayans are resurrecting that era, starting with the classic
In commemoration of the life, legacy and works of the late filmmaker, Adeyemi Afolayan AKA Ade Love, a 20th remembrance ceremony held on December 15, 2016, at the National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos. Celebrating his works, his movie "Kadara" (Destiny) which was first released in 1980, officially premiered at the event.
Watching the classic movie, it is impossible to forget the artist imagery created by Afolayan. More than the narrative structure, it was the images, shots and production quality that took the older generation through a nostalgic journey, and the younger generation through an enlightening journey.
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Before filmmakers such as Kunle Afolayan, Mildred Okwo, Charles Novia, Tarila Thompson, Lancelot Imaseun, Teco Benson, Kenneth Nnebue, Niyi Akinmolayan, Emem Isong and Tope Oshin, there was an creative era of Hubert Ogunde, Adeyemi Afolayan, Eddy Ugbomaamong others. With the Ade Love Film Week which will feature screenings of "Kadara" and "Taxi Driver 1 and 2" throughout the festive season at the National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos, and various cinemas nationwide, the Afolayans have started a unique kind of restoration.
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Also, during the remembrance ceremony, "October 1" filmmaker, Kunle Afolayan, revealed that the family is setting up a foundation, The Ade Love Foundation, which is aimed at restoring classic Nigerian films.
"The major aim of this foundation is to try and help locate, identify and restore the Nigerian films stuck out there. There áre so many of them in UK and America," he said. "When I went there, I saw the list of Nigerian films that are stuck there."
According to the filmmaker, the pursuit to restore Ade Love's films started over 12 years ago. "It's a shame that we couldn't get this done until 12 years after I started pursuing the idea of getting this films out," he said. "It was difficult for the family because there was an outstanding debt of 9000 pounds that our father was owing the lab. More so, technology has also changed."
On some of the challenges the family encountered, Kunle Afolayan said, "When we got there, they said "your father is owing 9000 pounds." At that time, I think it was about 3 million naira, but, the family couldn't raise it. But God has purpose and there is always a perfect time. When it was time, we were able to restore it."
"It was stated there that if after certain years, the producer isn't able to retrieve or restore their films, the films will be sold, and the producer cannot do anything. It's in the law, the UK Law, and it was stated in some of the letters sent to my father."
Kunle encouraged the audience, veterans in attendance including Jide Kosoko, Dele Odule, Yemi Solade, and thespians who starred in the 1980 "Kadara" to support the restoration of lost Nigerian films.
Speaking earlier to Pulse Nigeria, Afolayan revealed that the restoration of the three Ade Love films which will be screening this season was as a result of the support they received from former Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola.
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"So, we just felt that this is a good time to mark the 20 years, and let people, both the old generation who enjoyed the film before and the younger generation who seem to not even have an idea of the film to see what filmmaking used to be in Nigeria," Kunle said to Pulse Nigeria.