• Box Office Queen, Funke Akindele, Goes To Cannes As Keynoter

    Box office queen funke akindele goes to cannes as keynoter - nigeria newspapers online
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    By Shaibu Husseini

    11 May 2024   |   3:30 am

    The actress and accomplished producer, Funke Akindele, will be in Cannes, South of France, as headliner and keynoter at the Nigerian International Film Summit (NIFS), which will hold at the sidelines of the 77th Cannes International Film Festival

    The actress and accomplished producer, Funke Akindele, will be in Cannes, South of France, as headliner and keynoter at the Nigerian International Film Summit (NIFS), which will hold at the sidelines of the 77th Cannes International Film Festival, which opens on May 15 and will run through to May 25. But the NIFS, where the keynote speech and conversation will hold with the iconic and award-winning Queen of Nigerian Box Office and CEO of Funke Ayotunde Akindele Network (FAAN), is the African Pavilion Palaise des Festival, Marche du Film, Palais on May 21. Founder and CEO of the Nigerian International Film Summit, Ijeoma Onah, told Moviedom that spotlighting Akindele, whose box office records is not limited to Nigeria, but the entire West Africa, at this year’s NIFS, aims to broaden her global reach while aiming for major international co-production opportunities and collaborations presented at the 77th Edition of the Cannes International Film Festival, especially for her upcoming 2025 projects.

    “As part of her itinerary, there will also be a special meet-and-greet session to connect her with her international audiences as a stellar talent – actress, producer, writer, and director,” Onah said, adding that it will be a whole session of conversation and engagements on the Nigerian motion picture industry at the summit, as a number of leading motion pictures practitioners including the Managing Director of the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC), Ali Nuhu, Co-founder Filmone, Moses Babatope, Co-founder Play Network, Charles Okpaleke, and Founder of the African Pavilion Aminata Diop Johnson.

    But it is the conversation with Funke Akindele that would be the kicker for the summit. No doubt, guest to the summit and to the festival would want to hear Akindele speak on how she has remained committed to telling authentic and original African stories for significant impact and elevation of the richness of African talent to the world.

    Clearly a national treasure to the Nigerian film industry, Akindele still remains a bankable producer/director in Nollywood. From captivating audiences on Nigerian television to making waves in Nollywood and becoming Nigeria’s Box Office Queen with her December 2023 release, A Tribe Called Judah, which grossed one billion naira in its first three weeks of release and later closing at 1.4 billion, Akindele’s film, Battle on Buka Street, grossed over N660 million, solidifying its position as the second highest-grossing Nollywood movie. Additionally, Omo Ghetto: The Saga achieved the remarkable feat of becoming the third highest-grossing Nollywood movie, grossing about N628 million within its first four weeks.

    An actress that has consistently upped her game and broken industry’s all-time records for Nigerian films, the director, entrepreneur, and an award-winning producer with acclaimed projects such as, She Must Be Obeyed, and Your Excellency, and who has gathered a strong followership on social media with a whopping 16.7 million followers has undoubtedly made a mark on the entertainment industry and remained an inspiration to up-and-coming filmmakers, especially female filmmakers, to break boundaries and ceilings of limitations

    Akindele has been able to create stories with iconic characters on film and television such as creating long-standing series Jenifa’s Diary and the highly successful My Siblings and I. For her remarkable work in film and television, Funke is now the most nominated filmmaker in the history of The Africa Magic Viewer’s Choice Awards. She has received numerous local and international awards, including the Special Achievement Award at the 2023 Silverbird Man of the Year Award and the Globe Award Honoree at the 2023 Africa International Film Festival. In 2023, Funke Akindele’s box office hit Battle on Buka Street screened in Berlin, Germany, at a premier film festival dubbed ‘Box Office Around the World’. The festival featured six cinema productions that are audience successes and box office hits in their countries of origin, but have not yet been seen on the big screen in Germany. Curated by international film programmer and juror Dorothee Wenner, Akindele’s Battle on Buka Street which ended its theatrical run in Nigeria in April 2022, and emerged as Nigeria’s highest grossing film was one of the six films—Box office hits—around the world that screened to a full house in Berlin and at Schlüterhof,

    Popular as Jenifa, an alias she earned for her delightful interpretation of the screen character Jenifa, Akindele, an Ikorodu native, is clearly one of the hottest actresses and producer on the turf raking in credits and award as she runs along, Funke, has proven with her numerous offerings that she is cut out for acting and the business of motion picture production. A multi-award-winning actress, Funke has received all the major industry awards that is there to receive including the Future Award, the Best of Nollywood Awards for best actress, the Afro Hollywood Award, the African Magic Viewer’s Choice Award (AMVCA) and the prestigious Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA). In her movie pouch are such other hit flicks such as Final Whistle, Osele, Jenifa, and lately Omo Ghetto, which was declared as the highest grossing movie of 2020/2021. A voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts, Akindele has continued to sign multi-million-naira endorsement and entertainment deals, and has continued to samba well on and off screen.

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