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Film Club: June's Picks

A round-up of our fav picks from African cinema in June.

After what seemed like a slow start, June has breezed past us. In the blink of an eye, a thirty-day sandwich of global upheavals and unrest, protests and progress, broken records and new forays into space has swiftly gone by.

As the world turned another cycle, so did the African film industry. As the saying goes, the show must go on. Despite national uncertainty and personal stress, one thing is constant: new shows for television, new movies for the big screen. The problem with so much content and options is that true gems end up being lost in the whirlpool sometimes.

To help sort this out, we have combed through the plethora of offerings and selected titles released this month we believe are essential additions to your watchlists. Now, we do not claim this is an exhaustive list, but it is a great place to start. Here is a list of movies and shows from the Month of June for your viewing pleasure.

My Village People (2021)

Mostly known for his work on the stand-up stage and television shows, comedian Bovi Ugboma continues to state his case as a proper movie star with the lead role in My Village People, a dark comedy with a heavy rural feel. The story follows Prince, a notorious playboy who becomes entangled with the spiritual underworld thanks to his amorous adventures. Directed by Niyi Akinmolayan and starring notable names in Nollywood such as Nkem Owoh, Rachel Oniga, Amaechi Muonagor, and Mimi Onalaja, My Village People is a must-watch.

Showing In: Cinemas near you.

Pearls of Wisdom (2021)

How much will our dreams change us? What do we gain, and what do we lose when we finally grasp things we have thirsted for? In Pearls of Wisdom, talented and aspiring actress Nhlakanipho is ready to take her craft to the next level when she is accepted into the Johannesburg School of the Arts. However, navigating a new environment alters her in a new way, forcing her to reassess her feelings about friends and family. Starring Amina Jack and Linda Sokhulu, Pearls of Wisdom is an examination of the struggles we all face on the road to accomplishment.

Showing On: Showmax.

Osuofia In London (2003)

Re-released on Netflix this month, Osuofia In London is an evergreen watch. A throwback to the Nigerian movie industry’s breakout years and a sure entry in the Nollywood Hall of Fame, the movie is a Naija spin on the ultimate comedy trope: a local village man travels abroad and receives a culture shock from seeing modern buildings and white people. Directed by Kingsley Okoro, Osuofia In London features Nkem Owoh, who delivers a stellar performance as an unsuccessful hunter who unexpectedly inherits his wealthy-but-estranged brother’s property upon the latter’s death. Sure to have you rolling on the floor, this movie is a great weekend watch.

Showing On: Netflix/Youtube

Dwindle (2021)

Another comedy on this list, Dwindle tries to explain what happens when you combine carjackers-turned-uber drivers with assassins and a kidnapped state governor. Directed by Kayode Kasum and Dare Olaitan, the movie tells the story of Sogo and Buta who, inspired by a desperation to make ends meet, hijack a car and begin to work for a ride-sharing company. All seems to be going well until they meet assassins and get involved in a life-changing encounter. With Samuel Perry (Broda Shaggi) and Jidekene Achufusi (Swanky JKA) playing the lead roles, Dwindle is one of the most hilarious movies you will watch this year.

Showing In: Cinemas Near You.

Ayinla (2021)

Certainly the most anticipated Nigerian feature film in recent times, Tunde Kelani’s ambitious biopic is as excellent and moving as promised. Chronicling the life and times of Apala music’s most famous star, Ayinla provides insight into the booming Apala scene in the 1970s with Ayinla Omoruwa’s hometown of Abeokuta, the perfect setting for a beautiful showcase. Lateef Adedimeji plays the titular character and works to portray the man in all his glory and all his flaws.

Adeptly directed by Tunde Kelani, featuring great actors (including a debut for popular skit maker Debo Adebayo aka Mr Macaroni), and a beautiful music score, Ayinla is a cinematic masterpiece and a non-negotiable addition to your watchlist.

Showing In: Cinemas Near You.

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