It might be hard to believe that the two largest film industries in the world (Nollywood and Bollywood) collaborated on/co-produced a feature film for the very first time last year - a film that made its world premiere in the spring, earlier this year, in Nigeria.
Titled J.U.D.E, the film was directed by Chukwuma Osakwe, with Bollywood's Parveen Kurma as assistant director.
Here's how it's described:
Set in Lagos (Nigeria) and Chandigarh city in Punjab (India), the story is about Jude, an advertising executive who ventures into filmmaking as a possible escape from the issues he constantly has at his work place. Little dose he know that the road to redemption is a much longer route, laced with thorns. The movie pegs the challenges that young people encounter in emerging economies, and what two nations could have possibly worked better in the plot than Nigeria and India. Issues of visa denials by world powers like the United States and United Kingdom are just some of the challenges that surface in the story as the plot thickens. Other conflicts like love, race, religion, class are also tackled in the movie.
According to director Osakwe, the plot’s main thrust is on the struggles one is bound to go through in life, which can be overcome through persistence. He said J.U.D.E ought to be an inspiration to the young ones, while adding that the overall lesson in the film is the realization that everybody, Indian or African, are, first of all, human beings, and that this supersedes issues of color, religion or culture.
The film's cast includes Bollywood film stars like Abbey Attri, Amitabh Bachchan and Amanjot Gill, as well as Lavina Qureshi, who stars as the Indian woman Jude falls for.
Among the Nigerian/Nollywood actors are Daniel Lloyd who plays Jude, as well as Lawrence Akabike, Paul Alumona, Uche Nwaezeapu, and Chief Remy Ohajianya.
Speaking on the constraints he faced during shooting, Osakwe said that raising money to make the film was his toughest challenge, as well as language barriers, specifically with crews on both sides.
It's not clear where else the film has screened since its spring premiere in Lagos, Nigeria, or if it's yet available on any home video formats (a thorough search revealed nothing of use). But we've inquired and hope to get a reply soon.
In the meantime, watch the trailer for J.U.D.E. below: