“I normally introduce myself as someone who makes people laugh for a living. This is my goal and purpose when I set out to make movies.” – Ayodeji ‘AY’ Makun
When Nigerian TV personality and comedian, Ayodeji ‘AY’ Makun, set out to create his first feature film, 30 Days in Atlanta, it earned him the Guinness Book of World Records’ title as the highest grossing movie in Nollywood.
His second feature, A Trip to Jamaica, broke his first record of 14.5 million naira when it garnered over 180 million naira at the box office.
“I am firstly an entertainer and my background is stand-up comedy. My foray into movies was just my way to further express my style of comedy to a wider audience. When I get on stage, I normally introduce myself as someone who makes people laugh for a living. This is my goal and purpose when I set out to make movies. I am always doing research on how best to surpass my best and make sure my fans have a mirthful time when they see my movies,” says the comedian and filmmaker.
Makun is a trained theatre arts graduate from Delta State University where he majored in directing. He says that he only dabbled in the production of comedy skits as a tool to further enhance his live comedy concerts. However when his work was surprisingly well received by viewers, it motivated him to create a feature length film exploring one of the major characters that have dominated his comedy skits – Akpos.
Makun’s latest offering is a film titled 10 Days in Sun City, which is a romantic comedy, set in the North Western part of South Africa. The film is being distributed by FilmOne Distribution and has been released at 20 cinemas across South Africa through a partnership with Times Media Films (TMF).
Cameron Hogg, the commercial executive at TMF expands: “Times Media Films sub-distribution partner in West Africa is a company called FilmOne. FilmOne is not only recognised as an independent distributor of entertainment content, but is equally involved in production. Considering the current synergy between the two businesses, the opportunity to distribute Nollywood content was explored, which Times Media Films was extremely excited to pursue for South African audiences.”
Makun is the executive producer of the film while also playing his much-loved franchise character Akpos, alongside other comedy icons including American actor and comedian Miguel Nunez Jr., South African/UK YouTube sensation Thenjiwe Mosley as well as one of South Africa’s leading female stand-up comedians, Celeste Ntuli.
10 Days in Sun City sees Akpos with his beauty pageant queen girlfriend Bianca, played by Adesua Etomi, at the centre of a hilarious plot involving love, drama and adventure.
In the film we see the loyal Akpos’ investments in Bianca’s career finally come to fruition as she wins the Queen of Nigeria crown and as part of her reigning prize Bianca becomes the face of OTAWI, a conglomerate which is owned by Nigeria’s richest man, Otunba Ayoola Williams, aka ‘The Old Fox’. As Bianca sets away to Sun City for her long-waited opportunity, will Otunba’s wit and charm as the ‘Old Fox’ win over Bianca as he has done time and again in the world of business? And will Akpos fight back for Bianca’s love?
The film also features Nigerian actor Richard Mofe Damijo and South African TV personality Amanda du Pont.
Speaking about the cast of the film, Makun expands: “My movies are a melting pot of cultures that celebrate great talents from across the globe because the geographical divide between nations blurs almost into oblivion in the realm of entertainment.”
Shot in Nigeria and at the Sun City Resort in South Africa, the film has been hailed by South African Tourism as a shining example of how entertainment and tourism can converge in a credible, creative and effective manner.
South African-based Nigerian filmmaker Adze Ugah, whose previous works include the South African rom-com Mrs Right Guy, is the director of the film. Speaking on directing another rom-com, Ugah had this to say: “People are usually drawn to love and humour, regardless of their age, status, colour, creed or race, so hopefully it will find an audience here.”
“The film was shot on the Alexa and primarily steady cam, no dolly or tracks were used,” Ugah shares. CGI was involved in the action scenes to incorporate the signage and muzzle flashes for the guns as well as for impact.
“The film was also meant to showcase Sun City and it being a romantic comedy also meant making it light-hearted and easy to access so bringing this to life meant using a bright, rich colour palate and a shot template that consisted mostly of wide angled steady cam shots,” informs Ugah.
Editing was done by Nicholas, ‘Nic the Greek’ Costaras, while Sound on Sounds handled the sound design.
Since its release in Nigeria in June this year, the film has topped the box office for two weeks, raking in more than R6 million and being the highest-grossing film to hit Nigeria this year, even surpassing international movies such as the Fast and Furious sequel as well as Wonder Woman.
The film also made its premiere in the country on 25 August 2017 at Sun City. The affair was further marked as the official partnership between SA Tourism and the Nigerian film industry. “The premiere was quite an exclusive and glamorous event, hosted by Sun International at Sun City. South African Tourism played a prominent role as partner in the film and showed great support at this event. The TMF marketing team attended and assisted at the premiere event in conjunction with all the stakeholders,” TMF’s Hogg also highlighted.
10 Days in Sun City is also being distributed in the United Kingdom, France, America and Canada.
- Camera: Arri Alexa
“The film was shot on the Alexa and primarily steady cam, no dolly or tracks were used.” – Adze Ugah
Writer: Kehinde Ogunlola
Producer: Ayodeji ‘AY’ Makun
Director: Adze Ugah
DOP: Trevor Brown
Steady Cam: Chris Vermark
Editor: Nick Cosatars
Art Director: Arnold Oldknow
Sound: Charles Sijaji
1st AD: Nonny Malete