The story for Funke Akindele-Bello’s directorial debut, ‘Your Excellency’ was written by Mo Abudu.
Akindele-Bello, who also featured in the film said, “I must give it up for Mo Abudu, she created the characters, she wrote the story for ‘Your Excellency’. She owns the original story and Yinka Ogun developed the script. The story is different, what was she thinking, she went out of the box and I give it to her, it’s a different story and I love the story so much that I was happy getting the opportunity to direct.”
The actress, director, and producer further revealed that she got the opportunity to make some changes while working on the film.
“She’s somebody that I respect so much, she inspires a lot of us, she helps a lot of us to grow and she gives people opportunities. She gave me the opportunity to tweak things, change things on set, we worked hand in hand all through,” she said.
Funke Akindele-Bello managed to both direct and feature in the film. She plays the second wife of a presidential aspirant Chief Olalekan Ajadi.
Poking fun at the Nigerian politics and the huge impact of social media, ‘Your Excellency’ tells the story of a bumbling, billionaire businessman and failed presidential candidate, who becomes a credible contender when his dance moves and gaffes ignite social media. The story also shows how politics and social media are shaping Nigerian society in equal measure.
‘Your Excellency’ features Akin Lewis, Kemi ‘Lala’ Akindoju, Shaffy Bello, Kunle Coker, Eku Edewor, ‘EmmaOMG’, Alexx Ekubo, Osas Ighodaro, Seyi Law, Bimbo Manuel, Deyemi Okanlawon, Ini Dima-Okojie, Chigul, Ikechukwu, Helen Paul and Toni Tones.
Mati Diop, French-Senegalese actress and director, has become the first black female director to win an award in Cannes Film Festival’s 72-year history.
The Grand Prix award, bestowed by the jury of the festival on one of the competing feature films, is the second-most prestigious prize of the festival after the Palme d’Or.
The 36-year-old however said she was a “little sad” to make history as the first woman of African descent to even have a film screened at the festival.
“My first feeling to be the first black female director was a little sadness that this only happened today in 2019.
”I knew it as I obviously don’t know any black women who came here before,and I knew it but it’s always a reminder that so much work needs to be done still,” she said.
South Korean director Bong Joon-ho also made history for clinching the ‘Palme d’Or’, most prestigious award at Cannes.
The Palme d’Or was given to the filmmaker for his film ‘Parasite’ a dark comedy that explores the dynamics of social class.
Bong is the first Korean to win Cannes’ top prize, but received acclaim at the festival in 2017 for his film Okja.
The Cannes Film Festival is reputed to be one of world’s most prestigious film fiesta.
The 2019 edition held from May 14 to 25, with Nigeria and other African countries holding the Pavillon Afriques, a platform where filmmakers, investor and other stakeholders meet to discuss business of film making in the continent.