‘Eyimofe (This is My Desire)’, a Nigeria-America co-production has landed a sales representation deal, in advance of its premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival. The Berlin International Film Festival usually called the Berlinale, is a film festival held annually in Berlin, Germany.
Founded in West Berlin in 1951, the festival has been held every February since 1978 and is one of the ‘Big Three’ alongside the Venice Film Festival and Cannes Film Festival. New York-based Aspect Ratio Sales has taken sales rights of the film. It however, excludes Africa and Asia where producer, GDN Studios retains.
The film is the feature film debut of twin filmmakers, Arie and Chuko Esiri, who are from Warri in Delta State, Nigeria. ‘Eyimofe’ addresses migrants’ endless pursuit for greener pastures in Europe and the reality they often meet at the end. It tells the story of two people’s quest for what they believe will be a better life in Europe. The movie, presented by GDN Studios, was written by Chuko Esiri and produced by Melissa Adeyemo. It featured several characters including Jude Akuwudike, Tomiwa Edun, Temi Ami-Williams, Cynthia Ebijie and Jacob Alexander.
In 2018, the film became a ‘Purple List Award’ winner and one of 10 projects chosen for the 2019 IFP Narrative Lab in New York. It also further showed Nigeria’s impressive record at the Berlin International Film Festival. In 2018, Esiri and Adamu Halilu were the first Nigerian filmmakers to screen at the festival.
While Esiri’s ‘Besida’ played in the short film section, Halilu’s 1976 feature ‘Shaihu Umar‘, an adaptation of Sir Tafawa Balewa’s 1955, was viewed in the forum. Before this, Nigeria’s story had only been told by Hungarian director Andre Libik via his 1962 documentary – ‘The Ancestors’.
The project highlighted ancestral worship in the country. It ended up winning the Silver Bear – one of the most important awards at the Berlin film festival. The 70th Berlin International Film Festival will begin on Thursday, Feb. 20 and end on Sunday, March 1, 2020.