NYU Black Renaissance Noire NYU Black Renaissance Noire Volume 16.2: Fall 2016 - Page 129

A BIOGRAPH ICAL & H ISTOR ICAL BAC KGROU N D TO TUNDE KELANI
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Tunde Kelani was born in Lagos state , Nigeria , on 26th February , 1948 . He kicked off his entertainment career over four decades ago as a cinematographer . He proceeded to the London International Film School , where he obtained a Diploma in the Art and Technique of Filmmaking , after which he came into the limelight as an international filmmaker of repute . Before his heydays as an auteur , tk as he is popularly called in the entertainment industry , had an experience in media and broadcasting in the 1970s , when he worked in several capacities as a BBC-TV and Reuters ’ news reporter . This occupation gave him the exposure of travelling outside the shores of Nigeria to cover events that made world headlines , which in turn furnished him with the prerequisite skill needed in the areas of video camera photography , directing , and production of world-class movies deeply rooted in the promotion of indigenous arts . As a boy , tk developed a strong affinity with photography , which motivated him to pursue a career in filmmaking . In 1990 , he became part of the production crew of most Yoruba Travelling Theatre ’ s stage plays .
At present , Tunde Kelani ’ s ardent love for the promotion of the rich cultural heritage of Nigerian arts has made him one of the most celebrated auteurs in Nollywood . In 2014 , he made the Oduduwa Book of Record , after he received two awards including the “ Custodian of Yoruba Culture .” His MainFrame Film and Television Productions , an entertainment outfit
geared towards the speedy thrust of Nollywood into the international scene , has premiered several of his films in Africa , Europe , parts of Asia , etc . The part-time lecturer at the University of Ibadan has also greatly influenced a generation of neo-Nollywood auteurs like Kunle Afolayan , amongst several others . Upon returning to Nigeria after a successful training at the London Film School in 1990 , tk took up the major task of co-producing his first film with Adebayo Faleti , entitled Idaamu Paadi Minkailu ( The Dilemma of Rev . Father Michael ).
An advocate of ‘ Alternative Technology ’ in motion picture production in Africa , the veteran Tunde Kelani has successfully produced and directed over nineteen movies , some of which are : Anikura , Ogun Ajaye , Iya Ni Wura , Taxi Driver , Iwa and Fopomoyo shot in 16mm . In the area of video productions , he has to his credits the following award-wnning feature videos : Oleku ( 1997 ), Saworoide ( 1999 ), Thunderbolt ( 2001 ), Ti Oluwa Nile 1-3 ( 1993 ), Ayo Ni Mofe ( 1994 ), Koseegbe ( 1995 ), White Handkerchief ( 2001 ), Agogo Eewo ( 2002 ), The Campus Queen ( 2004 ), Abeni ( 2006 ), The Narrow Path ( 2006 ), Life in Slow Motion ( 2008 ), Arugba ( 2010 ), Maami ( 2011 ), and Dazzling Mirage ( 2015 ). He has won several national and international awards on his films . One of his biggest films was his 2001 movie , Thunderbolt , produced with a budget of between $ 60,000 and $ 75,000 . He consistently distinguished his works and himself from other metteur-en-scene directors
in Nollywood who spend only about $ 15,000 maximum to finish a movie . Tunde Kelani sees the industry on a more optimistic note :
People criticize the Nigerian film industry but they forgot that it is a very young industry . But the interesting part of it is its rich cultural heritage . We have vast literary resources . We have people who are talented and very hard working . We have the technology on our side and so I think Nigeria is close to a breakthrough . Within the next few years , you will see another breed of the Nigerian films . The major problem I think we have and needs to be tackled is piracy . I mean these guys reap bountifully from the sweat and labour of these hardworking Nigerians in the entertainment world ( Kelani , as cited in , Zooming in …, 2012 ).