A Song From The Dark… Okpue’s first big fruit as director — Saturday Magazine — The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World News

UK-based award-winning multidisciplinary designer and creative director, Ogodinife Okpue, is not new to filmmaking.

The filmmaker simply called Ogo Okpue has produced and directed a number of short films that have been nominated and screened at various UK and international festivals and events such as London Independent Film Festival, British Urban Film Festival, Crystal Palace Intl Festival, Creative Arts Festival, African International Film Festival, Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards and KUSH Film Exhibitions in the UK.

Okpue also runs Adverto Studios, whose client list includes SKY, BBC, A+E Networks (History, Lifetime, and Crime Investigation), NBC Universal, ITV, BT Sports, Facebook, Coca Cola, Adobe, Citi Group and Prada. However, the filmmaker has moved from producing and directing short films to producing feature films.

Okpue recently revealed the first glimpses of his first feature film as a director titled A Song From The Dark, starring Nollywood’s Nse Ikpe Etim, Wale Ojo and gripping performances from the likes of Britain’s Ghanaian Vanessa Vanderpuye, Lola Wayne, Garcia Brown, Peace Oseyenum and Paul Coster. others.

Promoted as a fantasy horror, positioned to inculcate heroes and heroines of African traditional mysticism with the same brutality that Western films have anchored the Superman, Wonderwoman and Ironman, Okpue, whose short films like Saving Cain, Cat Face have been recognized and screened at major film festivals around the world, said the film draws a lot of inspiration from the stories he heard as a child when he visited the village with his parents.

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“The inspiration of the story goes back to a certain period of my childhood when my family visited my grandmother in our village. She happened to be a respected traditionalist. Stories about her would intrigue us and as I got older I regretted not knowing her. She was a mystery and I wondered what it would have been like if some of her stories had been recorded in books. The world of African mysticism has not yet been explored enough in world cinema. And most of the time it is maligned. America has Superman and Ironman; the UK has James Bond and Harry Potter. Japan and China have flying swordsmen and mystical ninjas, India has tons. What do we have? I think our superheroes in Africa have slept long enough; African stories are as diverse and as entertaining as the continent itself, so I thought, why not add more African heroes to the fictional world of cinema?

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Born in northern Nigeria and raised in Lagos, Okpue is slated for an official release in 2023 and described A Song From The Dark as a film unlike any film seen in the black film landscape.

Some call it ‘Lovecraft country meets Buffy the vampire slayer, but with a Nigerian twist.’ With striking visuals, thrilling scenes and captivating performances, A Song from the Dark is not your typical horror film. At least it embraces suspense and drama like the great horror classics, so there’s something in the story for non-horror fans too. At its heart is a family drama and cautionary tale with gripping social commentary. The confident mix of drama and multi-layered subtexts will keep viewers searching for reruns and days of post-credit conversations,” he said.

A Song From The Dark revolves around Ashionye (Vanessa Vanderpuye), a reluctant Nigerian shaman living in the south of England who faces a known force that caused her trauma from childhood. Produced with a diverse cast and crew who have been involved in various high-end British and West African productions throughout their careers, Okpue’s A Song From The Dark has won the 2022 Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) in categories such as: Best Actress in a Leading Role, Best Supporting Actor, Award for First Feature Film by a Director, Michael Anyiam Osigwe Award for Best Picture by an African-born director living abroad, and Award for Best Achievement in Makeup.

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Okpue, who has a degree in computer science and an MA in digital film and animation from London Metropolitan University, is encouraged by the nominations and is looking forward to a successful outing, just as he is looking forward to his debut film that universally travels.

“This was a project that my cast and crew were proud to be a part of and hope to see it travel worldwide; I hope so too. Africa needs stories that can travel universally. As a Nigerian-British filmmaker, my goal is to bring African stories to the world stage, just as the great Japanese, Chinese, South Korean and American film legends I admired and grew up bringing their stories to the rest of the world and we embraced the. African stories are as diverse and as entertaining as the continent itself. And I’m proud to be one of her storytellers,” he explained.


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