Dare Olaitan & Kayode Kasum’s film ‘Dwindle’ is out in cinemas nationwide this month

A short conversation with the pair on their co-directorial duties

Despite the pandemic’s effect on the global film industry, there remains a huge demand round the clock by consumers for new films and entertainment shows in cinema and online streaming platforms. According to Forbes, the entire global theatrical and home/mobile entertainment market totaled $80.8 billion in 2020, a significant decline from the previous year and the lowest recorded since 2016. In Nigeria, the numbers are not readily available, however, the global pandemic further exacerbated existing local hindrances such as lack of funding, and in turn, impacted the number of Nollywood films that we were receiving on a regular basis.


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A post shared by Dare E. Olaitan (@darthcoal)

However, in the face of these challenges, there were recorded milestones. Earlier last year, Funke Akindele’s ‘Omo Ghetto’ broke the record for the highest-grossing Nigerian film surpassing earlier released films such as ‘The Wedding Party’. We also saw an influx of new African-centered content on Netflix including ‘Sugar Rush’, ‘Living in Bondage Breaking Free’, and ‘Ojukokoro’ which was directed by Dare Olaitan. This year, the film rooster is bigger and better than ever, for both traditional cinema and online entertainment with forthcoming releases such as ‘King of Boys II’ and ‘Dwindle’ already weeks away from their release.

‘Dwindle’, the brainchild of two close director friends Dare Olaitan and Kayode Kasum follows the story of two policewomen (played by Bisola Aiyelola and Funke Akindele-Bello) who are blamed for the disappearance of their boss, the governor of Dakawa state who has just been kidnapped. On a mission to clear their name, find the culprits and bring them to book, these two women soon find out that there’s more to meet the eye with their boss who is in possession of two insane taxi drivers.

Ahead of the nationwide cinema release this month, we spoke to the co-directors of the film about how the idea was conceptualised, the realities of filming on a budget in Nigeria and what we can expect from the film.

Our conversation which follows below has been lightly edited for clarity.

NATIVE: Hi Dare and Kayode, how was the idea for ‘Dwindle’ conceptualised?

Kayode: I am fascinated with films such as ‘Pineapple Express’ and I hadn’t seen a Nigerian film explore body friendship so I had this idea that I had been mulling over for over a year. While I had a lot of people write it seven times, it just didn’t fit in and at that point, I knew that I needed Dare on the project because I am a big fan of his work. We’ve been friends for a while now since the Nollywood Film Festival in Paris where we hit it off and I always wanted to work with him. My instinct jumped in and I began thinking ‘Maybe this is the film that you and Dare should do together’. So I approached him and he read the script and put his Dare Olaitan magic on it and we decided to direct it together. We’re just two friends who liked a story that they wanted to explore.

Dare: Kayode actually tricked me. He told me he wanted me to help him take a look at it and then edit it and also put in some money for its production. But then gradually, we were making the film together but it’s been a wonderful process. We first spoke about this film in September last year and we wanted to shoot it in January but you know how production is, we just found ourselves doing it in March this year.

NATIVE: What were the memorable and challenging moments from production?

Kayode: Dwindle is a film made on a budget because we had a really tight budget to make something this big. It was difficult and very stressful to shoot but one of the most memorable moments would definitely be us splitting up. At the time, we were running out of money and time and we were just like we had to make this film work. So in the end, two directors were shooting the same movie at the same time but with different casts. That was quite insane for me. We had a meeting on what we wanted the film to look like then we just split up to accommodate ourselves.

Dare: A lot of the directing, co-directing was actually directing in two split units to get everything economically sound. it was a lot of work but there was no way we could have done this with just one person. We tried to pack a movie that looks two times the budget in two weeks.

NATIVE: What are the realities of filming on a budget?

Dare: I think almost every film in Nigeria is shot on a budget but because of what we were trying to do, we were trying to stretch the limits of a budget film to make it seem bigger than it was. So we had to do a lot of thinking and make sure we went over all the decisions beforehand. We couldn’t afford for many things to go wrong so we did a lot of pre-production and planning.

NATIVE: How was working together as co-directors?

Dare: As Kayode said, we met in Paris during the Nollywood Film Festival and we’re kind of similar because we don’t really get on well with a lot of people but we kind of get along with each other. So we spend a lot of time, not just making music, but just chilling and being friends. That’s the biggest problem usually in this creative industry, which is their egos, but we’re both committed to doing the work and doing it well.

NATIVE: How was working with the cast on the film especially people like Funke Akindele-Bello & Brother Shaggi?

Dare: This film has three producers, me Kayode and Film One so they have a larger share and have a very good idea of these kinds of things. Almost every decision we make was done on a roundtable so we’d come in and people would make suggestions and we would see what could be done to have an impact on the market in the times we are trying to put it out exactly.

NATIVE: When is the film out officially?

Dare: We are coming out in cinemas on July 16th. For now, we tackle the cinemas first before all the other platforms but yeah, we are definitely trying to get into these streaming sites.

Watch the teaser below.


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A post shared by Dare E. Olaitan (@darthcoal)

Featured image credits/DareOlaitan/Dwindle

ICYMI: Pride 2021