From Jade Osiberu’s “Isoken” to Asurf Oluseyi’s “Hakkunde” to Dare Olaitan’s “Ojukokoro” and Ufuoma McDermott’s “Christmas is Coming,” the year 2017, for Nollywood, has been more about debut directors.
But despite the reviews, good or bad, their works were critically overshadowed by “Ojukokoro,” the crime comedy film by Dare Olaitan.
With impressive dark humour and deadpan comedic performances, the movie is the best thing we saw on the big screen in 2017.
A 26-year-old filmmaker, Olaitan signals the arrival of a bold new voice in the industry with “Ojukokoro,” reinvigorating our hope for the future of distinct genres and movies.
A graduate of Economics and Business Management in his undergraduate studies in Illinois Wesleyan College, after he decided that the biggest area for growth in the African Market was FIlm Production, he got a Directing/Screenwriting Degree at the Colorado Film School.
His debut film, a terrific crime-heist comedy starring an ensemble cast such as Wale Ojo, Tope Tedela, Charles Etubiebi, Seun Ajayi, Shawn Faqua, Ali Nuhu, Somkele Iyamah, Emmanuel Ikubese and Afeez Oyetoro, was an instant sensation at the Africa International Film Festival when it premiered.
The movie tells the story of a money-strapped manager of a shady Petrol Station, who decides to rob his employers, but along the line, he finds out, in a sudden twist, that he is not alone in his ambition and that a good reason isn’t always a right one.
It’s a low budget film, but considering the gap between the available resources and the quality of the end result, there’s no bigger winner than Dare Olaitan in 2017.
His hunger as a creative who just wants an opportunity to make art is evident in his unique and unwavering direction. His style, which is arguably influenced by the likes of Guy Ritchie, is exceptionally thorough for a neophyte.
He became the year’s most thrilling discovery and had everyone who pays attention to Nollywood, anticipating his next work. His follow-up, a web series titled “Lagos Big Boy,’ was, unfortunately, a flop.
However, despite this unforgivable misstep, Olaitan, with his confident touch on “Ojukokoro,” remains the director of the year.
He gifted the movie industry with a movie from 2017, that won’t be forgotten for years to come. And we can’t wait to see his next plan for the big screen.