At 7pm this evening at the IU Cinema, Director Tunde Kelani will present his 2011 feature film MAAMi. The screening is free and the film will be followed by a Q&A session with the filmmaker. During his visit to Indiana University, Kelani will also participate the workshop program, “Digital Paradox: Piracy, Ownership, and the Constraints of African Screen Media,” along with Jean-Marie Teno, Mahen Bonetti, and others.  The “Digital Paradox” workshop, to be held at the Black Film Center/Archive on October 18, is being coordinated by Akin Adesokan, Beth Buggenhagen, Marion Frank-Wilson, Maria Grosz-Ngaté, and Marissa Moorman.


Filmmaker Tunde Kelani

As one of Nigeria’s finest filmmakers, Tunde Kelani is known for his ability to seamlessly blend the energy of Nollywood with rich traditional Yoruba culture.  Tunde Kelani received a diploma in Art and Technique of Filmmaking from the London International Film School.Working as a cinematographer, Tunde Kelani has produced films on 16mm which include: Anikura, Ogun Ajaye, Iya Ni Wura, Taxi Driver, Iwa, and Fopomoyo.  Tunde Kelani has also produced and directed two digital features: Saworoide and Thunderbolt.  Tunde Kelani has an eye for capturing traditional African culture and presenting it to the world in a highly engaging fashion. His film, MAAMi, which will be screening at 7pm tonight, is a keen representation of his abilities behind the camera.

MAAMi Poster/Sanya Communications

Adapted from a novel by Femi Osofisan, MAAMi is the story of a poor single mother who is raising her young son, Kashimawo, on her own in the Southern Nigerian town Abeokuta. Though struggling with parenting, Maami successfully raises her son, who evolves into an inspirational hero after accomplishing international prominence by joining an English football club.

On the eve of the 2010 World Cup, Kashimawo returns home from England to Nigeria and his hometown of Abeokuta. The football-mad nation is wild with speculation about whether or not he will decide to play for the Super Eagles and lead Nigeria to victory in South Africa. Kashimawo, however, has other things on his mind.

He returns with questions about his absent father and begins to piece together his bittersweet early years growing up in poverty with his mother. Old and painful memories are stirred up and must be confronted. This film, about love, perseverance, and fate, unfolds through Kashimawo’s reminiscences of his hardscrabble childhood in the southern Nigerian town, Abeokuta. The film is in Yoruba with English subtitles.

~Chinedu Amaefula

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