Multiple award-winning Nigerian filmmaker, Kunle Afolayan’s latest Netflix original film is set for October 1 – Independence Day – premiere on the global streaming giant.
‘Swallow’ is Afolayan’s movie adaptation of a novel by Seffi Atta, the Nigerian-American author, playwright and screenwriter.
The film follows the story of Tolani Ajao (Eniola ‘Niyola’ Akinbo), a naive secretary who, after a series of career failures, considers her roommate’s offer to work as a drug mule in mid-1980s Lagos.
It stars Ijeoma Grace Agu (Rose), Deyemi Okanlanwon (Sanwo), Eniola Badmus (Mrs Durojaiye), Chioma Akpotha (Mama Chidi), Kevin Ikeduba (OC), Offiong Anthony Edet (Johnny), and Olusegun Remi (Mr Salako).
The film is the first of the three-slate original projects Afolatlyan is delivering for Netflix between 2021 and 2023.
But the October 1 premiere will be heralded by a “four-in-one” September 30 event that is bound to set tongues wagging.
The moviepreneur and indigenous culture promoter will unveil his exotic 120-seater cinema, located within his KAP-Hub headquarters in Ikeja, Lagos.
He will have an exclusive premiere of ‘Swallow’ at the cinema; launch the Afefeyeye Restaurant and Bar at the multi-purpose complex and also unveil his globally-recognised KAP Film & Television Academy.
“Celebrated filmmaker Afolayan is a main stage performer, so it comes as no surprise that his next film will be released on a date that holds meaning for Nigerians. With a screenplay by Sefi Atta and Kunle Afolayan, Swallow will arrive on Netflix on October 1st – Independence day”, Netflix says in a statement announcing the premiere.
“This is the first film from Kunle Afolayan’s multi-title Netflix slate and the drama-thriller explores the burgeoning drug trafficking trade, set against a backdrop of 1980s Lagos, struggling under the weight of austerity measures and the infamous War Against Indiscipline. In Swallow, Kunle Afolayan opts for a retro film look that pays perfect homage to a nostalgic past and this cinematic masterpiece will take viewers on a memorable ride,” the statement added.
Speaking on the project, Afolayan himself explains how he approached making the film, saying: “This is the very first book I am making into a movie. Once I read the book, I had to decide on what aspect of the book I wanted to focus on and whose perspective I wanted to share based on the story, because Swallow as a book focused on the life of Tolani’s mother and Tolani herself. Once that was sorted every other thing was put in place.”
Recall that TCN had reported in March, how Netflix partnered with Afolayan, for the production of three original feature films which included a historical drama, a folklore fantasy, and a character drama.