Surreal16, a film production collective, anchored by the trio of Abba T. Makama (The Lost Okoroshi, Green White Green), Michael Omonua (Visions), and C. J. ‘Fiery’ Obasi (Ojuju), recently released the official trailer for JuJu Stories. JuJu Stories is a three-part anthology exploring magical stories rooted in Nigerian folklore and urban legend. The trio individually directed one part of the three-part anthology. Michael Omonua directed “Love Potions”, which sees an unmarried woman find an ideal partner for herself with juju. Abba T. Makama directed “Yam”, which is about a street urchin who picks money on the street and must face the spiritual consequences. “Suffer the Witch” is directed by C. J. ‘Fiery’ Obasi; it is about love and friendship taking a dark obsessive turn when a stalker attracts her victim’s attention.
Surreal16, according to its owners, has pledged itself to rid Nollywood of its aesthetic and stylistic stereotypes and uniformity. According to Michael Omonua, they “felt that Nigerian cinema had genres no one was really exploring. We wanted to push ourselves into surrealism and genre films and encourage others.” As is evidenced by their earlier project, Visions, and now, JuJu Stories, they have kept their word.
Juju Stories has been announced as an official Locarno Festival selection. The Locarno Festival is held annually in Switzerland. It is amongst the oldest platforms for art house films. Having gone on its successful festival hunt, Juju Stories has returned home to haunt us.
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