Kunle Afolayan, the director and producer of award-winning movie Figurine, has revealed that he was stripped of his Globacom (Glo) ambassadorship due to his refusal to remove Hafiz Oyetoro (popularly known as Saka) from his movie, Phone Swap.
The multi-award winning director made this known at the School of Media and Communications (SMC) during a forum organised to discuss ways of improving film-making in Nigeria. Afolayan, who became famous in the industry at the tender age of 13, explained that Saka was the genesis of his fallout with giant telecommunications company, Glo.
Before the movie was shot, Saka ran an advert for rival telecommunications company, Etisalat, on contract basis and not as an ambassador. After Glo sponsored the shooting of the movie, Mike Adenuga, its chairman, viewed the movie’s preview and demanded the removal of Saka, who had worked with rival Etisalat. Afolayan insisted that he could not let any other person play Saka’s role, and this led to the termination of Glo’s sponsorship of the movie.
He said he forfeited the N4.5m that Glo ought to have paid while also losing his ambassadorial deal in six months later. The 40-year-old graduate of New York film academy also disclosed that award-winning movie, Figurine, was the most difficult film of his career, with a budget of N50m.
While highlighting the importance of storytelling in movie-making, the astute filmmaker said the Nigerian movie industry had no more than 10 good movie writers. He admonished filmmakers to invest in the art of storytelling, production value and the art of marketing, if the want to make good movies and good business.
Afolayan who is the son of famous theatre and film director and producer, Adeyemi Afolayan (Ade Love), said DVD sales should be the filmmaker’s last resort in order to avoid piracy. “If you make a movie with N20m in Nigeria, you comfortably make N15m back from screening at the cinemas. “Guide and protect your content as much as possible, good distribution channels using the right channels like cinemas, video on demand to protect the movie from being pirated” “DVD marketing should be a moviemaker’s last option of selling his movies because of piracy,” he said.
The ex-banker who surprised folks by dumping a lucrative bank job for filmmaking in 2005, said he spent N200m on his latest movie “October 1”, adding that for Nollywood movies to hit the international market, you must time the release of blockbusters, so you don’t get crushed. Kunle Afolayan is the director and producer of award-winning movies, Figurine (2009), Phone Swap (2012) and October first (2014), who has been described by New York Times as the “Martin Scorsese” of Lagos.