Renaissance man Gbenga Akinnagbe has been somewhat quietly building a production empire of his own, attached in some capacity to two feature film projects that made their debuts in Park City last year (acting in, and co-producing Neil Drumming's feature film directorial debut titled Big Words - at Slamdance; and producing Shaka King's Newlyweeds - at Sundance, both in 2013).
He also stars in and co-produced Jono Oliver's acclaimed drama Home - another film we've covered quite a bit on this blog over the last 12 months, which will be out next month, after a successful film festival circuit journey.
In addition to producing and acting in films in this country (the USA), it may not be as widely known that, Akinnagbe has also been active, creating work for himself at *home*, as in Nigeria, West Africa, where his roots lie.
Most recently, he's starring in and producing a crime drama titled Render to Caesar, which received financial backing from former banker Desmond Ovbiagele. We first alerted you to the project a year ago, when it was still in production.
A year later, the project is officially done, and set for a premiere some time this year.
A brief description of the project, which is being directed by Desmond Ovbiagele, reads:
Caesar revolves around two detectives stalking a psychotic crime lord in Lagos. Two friends who relocate from overseas to join the Lagos State Police command in Nigeria, who are assigned to track a notorious robber named Caesar, who doesn't make their chase easy.
Alongside Akinnagbe, in front of the camera are Bimbo Manuel, Omoni Oboli, Wale Ojo, Kalu Ikeagwu, Femi Jacobs and Kehinde Bankole.
Ovbiagele, Akinnagbe and Omoni Oboli are producing the film.
No exact release date yet, but, as already noted, it'll be out this year. And I'm sure we can even expect it to be released in the USA as well, with Gbenga starring in it - even if it's not immediately.
But I'm glad to see him continue to diversify, as well as seemingly take control of his career, creating projects for himself, and producing for others. That's what one has to do these days - something we've been championing on S&A for years.
I'm especially pleased to see him shoot in Nigeria, with Nigerian talent, and money, seemingly contributing to the changing face of Nigerian cinema on the international film stage.A brand new trailer and poster for Render To Caesar were emailed to me this morning, and are both embedded below:
Here's the poster: