COVID19-Cinema: Nigerian Filmmakers Not Missing Out On Lockdown-Inspired Movie Rush

by Yinka Akanbi

We live in unusual times. But March, April and May of 2020 were significantly different. That was the period the entire world was on lockdown!
We are still forced to live with the reality of the dreaded Coronavirus and the attendant new normal, even as more people are getting vaccinated against the dreadful scourge.

In this new reality, movies inspired by the global ‘lockdown’ are now just about everywhere you turn, confirming, just like it’s observed in the literary and book publishing spheres, that there is an avalanche of films with COVID-inspired themes.
Interestingly, some of such films share similar titles as they flood cinemas across the country.

From Ṣeun Oloketuyi’s ‘Lockdown Heart’, which will premiere innLagos this weekend, to Moses Inwang’s ‘LOCKDOWN’ which is currently at the cinemas; to Ken Chris’ film of the same title and a host of others, Nigerian filmmakers, just like their contemporaries in other climes are not resisting the urge to tell the story of several months of global restriction of movement through the lens of their cameras.

The films treat different subjects around what transpired beyond the fear of an unseen virus while self-isolation and quarantine were forced on humanity.

Doug Liman’s ‘Locked Down’, which starred Chiwetel Ejiofor and Anne Hathaway, is one of the key lockdown-inspired international films, which expressed the bitter mix of introspection and grief that characterised quarantine.

Also, filmmaker, O’Femi Familoye, in a statement announcing his short film, which he described as ‘LOCKDOWN SELF-SHOT EXPERIMENT’, said he “spent two days and two nights to shoot the film without access to many equipment (with social distance in mind of cause).”

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However, to be trapped in a cinema with these films or wherever the movie lover finds comfort watching films, the current season offers various options for those who wish to travel back in time to the unprecedented months in 2020 when normal activities were suspended in every country of the world.

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