Set in Nigeria, Òlòtūré is the story of a young, naïve Nigerian journalist who goes undercover to expose the shady underworld of human trafficking. Unused to this brutal environment, crawling with ruthless traders and pimps, Òlòtūré finds warmth and friendship with Blessing, Linda and Beauty, the prostitutes she lives with. However, she gets drawn into their lifestyle and finds it difficult to cope. In her quest to uncover the truth, she pays the ultimate price – one that takes her to the verge of no return.
Mo Abudu, CEO, EbonyLife Films
In just four short years, EbonyLife Films has been incredibly successful at carving out a unique space for itself in Nigerian cinema, with the three most successful Nigerian films of all time. Despite this amazing commercial success, we wish to remain true to our purpose – to tell authentic African stories from an African perspective.
Human trafficking and modern slavery has been one of the global stories with its own unique African twist and we felt compelled to tell it from a Nigerian angle. In doing so, we hope to humanise the victims and help international audiences to see beyond the headlines and into their very souls. At the same time, we hope that these characters are relatable to people in Nigeria and across Africa, creating more awareness of the poverty and desperation that feeds this miserable trade.
Mo Abudu, an entrepreneur with a predilection for television, launched EbonyLife TV, Africa’s first global black entertainment and lifestyle network in 2013. In her quest to change global perception about Africa, Mo took the plunge into filmmaking, with the creation of EbonyLife Films.
She is the Executive Producer of Fifty, the no.1 Nigerian film of 2015; The Wedding Party (2016), the most successful Nollywood film ever at the Nigerian box office; The Wedding Party 2: Destination Dubai (2017), the highest-grossing Nollywood film of all time; and Chief Daddy (2018), the third-highest-grossing Nigerian film.
Òlòtūré is a love letter to Lagos. It’s about the hustle and struggle for survival, in the huge belly of a city crammed with over twenty million Nigerians. It is in this city, which never lacks humanity or character, that we made a gritty film about friendship, survival and what it means to be Nigerian in a different socio-cultural context.
Lagos is a hard city but everyone goes there to make a living. I remember coming to Lagos for the first time in 2006 and I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of people, the loudness and impatience of the millions of souls out there and the heat! Coming from the cold, serene, mountainous city of Jos, in the middle belt of Nigeria, this was a culture shock.
It is with the eye of an ‘outsider’ that I made a vérité-style, visual narrative about the hustle and resilience of the people. Everyone in Lagos is working non-stop, with a goal in mind, and our camera walks with the characters, exploring these goals. The will to survive and make a living is what drives the inhabitants of this city, and that is my approach in our multi-character film, set in the underbelly of Lagos. The camera and its organic movement is right in the faces of these characters, without intruding.
Òlòtūré, the central character of the film, is a naïve, middleclass young woman who goes undercover to write about the international problem of sex trafficking from the shores of Nigeria. Through her, we are introduced to and immersed in the world of characters like Linda, whose central goal is family and survival; the competitive Vanessa; the down-on-her-luck Blessing, with a vicious pimp; and Alero, a woman who had been trafficked before.
Coming from a so-called moralistic society that frowns at sex workers, my approach to this film is never about making a statement. It is about life through the lenses of young women who want to escape from all the ills associated with third-world countries. In humanising these characters, I intended to make them relatable.
The city of Lagos will come alive in this film about friendship and soul-searching, with the aid of great music from the masters of Nigeria’s yesteryears, the colours of the underground and strong characters who are driven by bravery to take a risk, in order to make a profound statement about their various choices in life.
EbonyLife Films and Creative Artists Agency Co-Host Screening of Òlòtūré
(LOS ANGELES) 24 June 2019 – Nollywood blockbuster producers EbonyLife Films and Creative Artists Agency (CAA) co-hosted a screening of Òlòtūré at CAA’s Los Angeles headquarters on Monday, 24 June 2019. Guests included Hollywood influencers, writers, producers, agents and EbonyLife Films Executive Producer, Mo Abudu. A bold step in a new direction for Nollywood, Òlòtūré tackles the serious issue of human trafficking through a distinctive ‘art nouveau’ lens.
What an honour it was to cohost the premier of Òlòtūré with the extraordinary @MoAbudu. Òlòtūré is the best Nigerian film I’ve seen. It is hard-hitting and deeply touching. A story of #humantrafficking that must be told- and seen. Please watch it and act @UKinNigeria pic.twitter.com/cCBtbNIBqf
— Laure Beaufils (@LaureBeaufils) May 29, 2019
Feature Film Òlòtūré Breaks Bold New Nollywood Ground
Lagos, 27 May 2019. Nollywood blockbuster producers EbonyLife Films hosted an exclusive private screening of their latest offering, Òlòtūré, inpartnership with The British Deputy High Commissioner, Ms. Laure Beaufils at the IMAX – Lekki, in Lagos, Nigeria on Monday, 27th May 2019. A bold step in a new direction for Nollywood, Òlòtūré tackles serious issues through a distinctive ‘art nouveau’ lens.