In 2021, a new wave of up-and-coming female directors and filmmakers are pushing through the fold and becoming bright spots on the bleak canvas that is the androcentric industry in which they operate. Nowadays, courtesy of a milieu of big-ticket female directors such as Mo Abudu, Genevieve Nnaji, Funke Akindele-Bello, and more who are breaking glass ceilings and dominating conversations in this field, a class of young female directors challenging orthodoxy are emerging in the country including names such as Uyiade Ikpe-Etim, Danielle Mbonu and more.
Cue in Jola Adeboye, the 22-year-old director who has keenly been documenting the best of Lagos’ creative class in their natural day-to-day stints, particularly nightlife. Although the budding director has mostly kept her portfolio on her Instagram, sharing bits and snippets of grainy footage of Lagos’ best creatives and artists with her growing followers, her recent music video for Fresh Meat alum, SGaWD‘s debut music video “Feel Right” shows us a different side to her art.
View this post on Instagram
Speaking about the recently released video, Jola Adeboye shares that the team had been working on the release since June last year. “At the time, I got the call from SGaWD, I didn’t think it was going to be a huge project but it ended up spiraling into something more. I am really proud of the end result and I am really excited this is my debut”. The creation process was pretty much seamless as Jola and SGaWD had both employed a number of female cast and co-workers including stylist A’alia Boyo, creative director Mojoyin Durotoye and cinematographer, Stephanie Amata who then brought their collective visions to life.
SGaWD herself says about the cast and crew:
“It was very important for me to make my debut as an artist, practicing what I preach and believe in. I will always go up for women doing the job when they are available, not only because they are capable, but also because of the gender disparities in the entertainment and filmmaking industry.”
“The entire concept of the video was focused on black love ‘90s black love and love that we witnessed on old Nollywood films,” says Jola divulging a list of influences that included films such as ‘Poetic Justice’, ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’, and the legendary meme king Paw Paw rapping a love song on an old Nigerian film titled ‘Mr Ibu’. Love and gratitude drive the video’s central storyline as Jola and her dynamic team bring the song’s romantic message to life using sounds and sights to embody love. One of the standouts was the video’s zoomed-in shots on SGaWD and her muse’s acts of physical intimacy. The 4-min video is bookended with several of these shots keying in on the lover’s most intimate moments.
Jola notes that this technique was employed purposely, saying “Personally one of my love languages is physical touch. I love being expressive with touch and it’s one of the things that tells me a couple loves each other so we brought this alive in the video”. In today’s world where we’ve had to remain distance-width apart from our loved ones due to the effects of a global pandemic, viewing physical touch this intimate and finely-done on-screen paints a picture that visualises experiences we may all be missing. Few people have emerged from the seismic effects of the ongoing pandemic unscathed but Jola shows that these moments can never be forgotten when capturing human experiences.
Currently, the video has already amassed over 1.3K views on Youtube currently and is on the right track to reaching greater heights within the week. All the little achievements so far are ones that Jola does not take for granted so early on in her career but it’s her inspiringly firm sense of identity that informs the direction of her next passion projects. Already in the works is her upcoming solo film project titled Ìfémidé, and if this current visual offering is anything to go by, we can expect meticulously thought out, well-researched, and thought-provoking comments from one of Lagos’ brightest young minds.
Watch her debut with the video for SGaWD here.
Featured image credits/courtesy of Monjola Adeboye
Doing what I can to make sure the culture isn’t slept on @tamimak_