See Feem’s Enyi Omeruah co-produces new Nollywood comedy and wants to create a fund for a five-film slate
1 December 2017
Nollywood is in the slow process of professionalizing. Key players are beginning to work out the business of the business. Russell Southwood talks to Enyi Omeruah, Managing Partner, See Feem, a talent agent turned film producer, who wants to create new opportunities for the talent he represents,
Enyi Omeruah started See Feem through one of those accidents we call life:”I went to a US college and at the time I wanted to be a singer. But the fees were so expensive that there’s no way I could be a singer”.
After college he worked at Deloitte and Touche. He went back to Nigeria for a ‘sabbatical year’ during which time his father died:”So I then asked myself: what do I really want to do? By that stage, I was way too old to get in front of the camera….I was always interested in the business end of entertainment”.
He worked with a musician called Bez who got to be the first African act to premier on an MTV show and he also played SXSW and the Apple store in New York:”I began to become a Manager.”
His sister, comedian Chioma Omeruah (AKA Chigul), put out the Being Black Voice Note which “went viral”. She quit her job as a translator at ECOWAS and started her career as a comedian and singer. Her brother worked with her as her agent. She has appeared in Biola Alaba’s film comedy Banana Island Ghost (released last August) and will be in Wedding Party 2 that is released in December.
As a talent agent Omeruahe had worked with many different people and wanted to create new opportunities for them that he could shape. ”I had worked with musicians, scriptwriters and producers. I felt the need to find vehicles for talent I represent so that they could express themselves. I also wanted to find capital for them to set them off (in their career). There were a crop of actresses who came to me and we built a movie for them in this pace.”
He worked with an actor who was coming into her own and found the money for a new film project:”I became Executive Producer for a comedy called Makat Must Sell coming out next year. It just flow and we raised money from friends and family.” Also film production company Film One (part of cinema chain Filmhouse) is a co-producer on the film:”It has already created very positive content in the space.”
“I found that we had inadvertently built some level of trust because we had worked in a particular kind of way. We were able to talk well with professionals who were MBAs and chartered accountants and we had a deck to show the potential of the numbers. And they would say to me you should meet X, Y or Z person”.
The future plan is to build a film production fund and Omeruah makes comparisons with China where this has already been done. He has already had preliminary meetings with equity funds and with a company in the UK about a multi-million dollar deal.
”It’s not just for Nigeria with Nigerian stories. I believe film and TV affect people’s behavior. If you show people the epitome of what things can be, they will become that. I want to use film to tell stories about who we are and who we want to be so that we can take our place up the in storytelling (globally).”
The idea is to create a slate of 5 new films. One of the planned films is called A Week with Yoruba Demon. Yoruba Demon is a phrase coined by the Nigerian Twittersphere:”It describes a badass guy who is charming, well-to-do and blows through girls with no commitment. The story is told through the prism of a foreign journalist who comes to tell the story of this phenomenon. It’s a fun story that’s really dope.”
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