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    Thursday, May 4, 2023

    Tunde Kelani's Movie, "Cordelia", to feature at 30th New York African Film Festival

    Veteran Filmmaker Tunde Kelani is one of the few African producers whose latest work, ‘Cordelia’ will feature at the 30th New York African Film Festival on 15th May.

    The Director of the Festival, Mahen Bonneti, in a statement on Saturday, said Mr Kelani’s film will screen at 7.30 p.m. alongside the short film “Employee of the Month” by Goga Clay.“

    “Cordelia”, set in Nigeria during the early 90s under military rule, is an adaptation of a work of fiction by renowned dramatist and poet Femi Osofisan.

    The 75-year-old founder and director of Mainframe Productions stated that it is a product of collaboration with people from different cultures and backgrounds, united by a creative force without boundaries.

    The movie features talented Nigerian casts, including Omowunmi Dada, Keppy Ekpeyong, Yvonne Jegede, William Benson, Kelechi Udegbe, Femi Adebayo, Taiwo Ibikunle and Ropo Ewenla

    The New York African Film Festival is an annual festival running for over 30 years that showcases a selection of top African movies every year, intending to celebrate the African movie culture.


    Cordelia is a period drama adapted from Femi Osofisan’s novella, set in Nigeria during the early 90s under military rule.

    The story follows a university professor who unwittingly becomes embroiled in a military coup. One morning, he arrives at his office worried about his wife’s strange behaviour and is soon visited by two curious students, one of whom is Cordelia Nwaeze Peters, daughter of a popular Colonel Nwaeze Peters of the Nigerian Army was recently implicated in a military coup.

    As a result of the coup, there is general unrest, with students on a rampage and Cordelia’s life in danger. The professor decides to save Cordelia’s life and becomes further enmeshed in the national crisis.

    General Peters, encouraged by the professor’s altruistic action towards his daughter, can foil the coup. After settling into a new position as head of government, General Peters offers the professor a cabinet position as compensation for saving his daughter’s life.

    Cordelia is a gripping tale of sacrifice, bravery, and the lengths a person will go to protect those they care about in times of crisis.

    Birthing ‘Cordelia’

    The outing at New York Festival marks another milestone in Mr Kelani’s illustrious career, easily Nigeria’s foremost filmmaker.

    He recently earned an honorary doctorate from the Lead City University, Ibadan, for his immense work in the field of cinema and contribution to the propagation and preservation of Yoruba cultural heritage.

    Uncle Tk, as he is fondly called, tagged “Cordelia -A Goddess of Cultural Diversity and Collaboration,”

    Speaking on how he made Cordelia, he explained the film was a result of a collaborative effort that spanned different continents and cultures.

    He said “ As a filmmaker, I have always sought to promote cultural diversity in my films and celebrate the rich heritage of Africa’s many cultures and languages.

    “This is why I was excited to collaborate with Professor James Anderson, the Director of Orchestral Activities at the University of Delaware and founder of the UD Cultural Fusion Initiative.” He said.

    He also revealed that the collaboration involved two levels. The first level was in Nigeria. Cordelia was written by Mr Osofisan and adapted for the screen by himself and with the help of a talented cast, crew, and a Nigerian composer, Michael Ogunlade.

    While the second level took place at the University of Delaware in the US, where a premiere of Cordelia was held. American student orchestras played the music score while the film was shown to a live audience.

    “The project involved about seventy-five musicians, including student orchestrators and arrangers, a four-time Grammy-winning recording engineer, and faculty members from the School of Music.”

    “The recorded and edited music was sent to us in Nigeria for the final sound mix of Cordelia, which will be presented at the New York African Film Festival in mid-May 2023.” He added.

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