For 45 minutes, man-of-the-moment filmmaker, Kunle Afolayan screened his latest production, The CEO, to the members of the fourth estate, eliciting testimonies of another blockbuster to have come out of Nigeria.
Held at the Silverbird Cinema, City Mall, Alausa, Ikeja, on Wednesday the screening was also witnessed by fans, friends, and sponsors who cheered every moment as the tape rolled.
Speaking after the press screening, Afolayan revealed details of the much anticipated in-flight premiere of The CEO aboard an Air-France trip to Paris, where the film will headline the prestigious NollywoodWeek Paris, a film festival organized by the French-based association Okada Media, headed by Serge Noukoué and Nadira Shakur.
Come June 1, he said, his team shall be having the first-of-its-kind premiere of The CEO aboard Air France to Paris, France.
“This special premiere will begin with a Red Carpet show at the Check-In Counter at the Muritala Mohammed International Airport. There shall be the best of media coverage from partners such as Africa magic, Silverbird Television and other broadcast and print media who have shown us tremendous support from the past. For our sponsors, partners, the cast and crew of The CEO and those accredited to attend NollywoodWeek Paris, the fun continues with a Cocktail Party at the Boarding Gate. We will run a red carpet into the plane. Thereafter, the movie will be screened onboard the plane where other passengers will partake in the show. It is going to be a complete event show with the usual razzmatazz. Just imagine an After Party happening 35,000ft to 40,000ft above the sea level. It is sure going to be a unique experience. It is also good to know that our fans will be waiting for us in Paris where the film has been slated for a special premiere at the NollywoodWeek Paris, taking place from May 2nd to 5th at the popular Cinema l’Arlequin,” Afolayan said.
Corroborating Afolayan’s disclosure on the premiere, Commercial Manager, Air France/KLM Arthur Dieffenthaler noted that there had never been an in-flight premiere of such, even in Hollywood or Bollywood. The initiative, according to him represents some of the big ideas that Air France/KLM and Afolayan’s Golden Effects company stand for. He disclosed that this is the first time a Nigerian film will be shot at the Charles De Gaulle Airport, Paris, France, expressing optimism that the partnership will go on for a long time.
Some of the top dignitaries expected as part of the in-flight premiere are the Minister of Culture and Tourism, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwumi Ambode, Commercial Manager, Air France/KLM Arthur Dieffenthaler and Acting Managing Director of Bank of Industry, Mr. Waheed Olagunju.
Others include officials of DStv, Peugeot Automobile, Adron Homes and Properties, Inagbe Grand Resorts and Leisure as well as several notable filmmakers and actors in Nollywood.
The impressive cast of The CEO who will also be joining the flight in Lagos include, Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter and entertainer from Benin Republic, Angélique Kidjo; Haitian actor and model Jimmy Jean-Louis; consummate actor, Wale Ojo; French-Ivorian actress and model, Aurelie Eliam; South African actor and presenter, Nicolaos Panagiotopoulos; Nigerian actress, Kemi Lala Akindoju; Moroccan star, Fatim Layachi; Kenyan actor Peter King, Nigerian actress, Hilda Dokubo as well as Nigerian singer, Adekunle Gold and Moroccan Afrobian artiste, Ahmed Soultan who made cameo appearances in the film.
Speaking at the conference, the Director, M-Net West Africa, Wangi Mba-Uzoukwu said: “The CEO promises to be unlike anything we have ever seen from Africa. We are familiar with the stellar work that Kunle Afolayan does with his Golden Effects company and were therefore more than excited to jump on board The CEO project right from its inception. This partnership is in furtherance of our continued drive to support Nigerian and African cinema by investing in people, ideas and talent, and we can’t wait for fans and lovers of good cinema to watch this movie.”
Set on a beautiful beach resort on the outskirts of Lagos, Nigeria, The CEO follows five top executives from across Africa who are dispatched on a one-week leadership retreat by a multinational telecommunications firm to determine who gets selected as the new CEO. Things go awry when one by one the executives are eliminated in sudden death circumstances, with the finger pointing to the last two remaining executives as prime suspects.