• A group of Nigerian teens make sci-fi movies with broken Smartphones

    A group of Nigerian kids is using their talent and enthusiasm to break into the Nigerian movie industry equipped with just their smartphone. The group of eight has attracted the attention of international media groups like Reuters and Aljazeera by making Nigeria’s first sci-fi movie.

    The group came together in 2016 and started creating their work by learning the techniques of generating special effects from YouTube. They saved money for a month to create the fund for buying the green fabric for the chroma key. By using a broken microphone stand as a tripod and a smartphone with a broken screen, they shot their first film “Redemption”, which was 10 minutes long.

    The group which calls themselves as “The Critics”, had to overcome power outages and irregular internet connectivity. Raymond Yusuf, a member of the group said that,” The system is really slow; it takes time to render. Our five minutes short film called “Chase” took us like almost two days to render and not only the fact that this system is slow, the electricity where we stay here is pretty poor. ”

    The online acclaims for their production attracted the attention of veteran producer Kemi Adetiba, who helped them to raise $5,800 for updating their equipment.

    When asked about their online popularity, 19 year old Godwin Josiah mentioned that “Well the main aim was not for our stuff to go viral, we just wanted people to see that okay there are kids in Kaduna doing something different, so that was just the main aim. So it all of a sudden just happening, it blew our mind and it made us happy.”

    While “Redemption” tells the story about two boys who discovered an organic bio-fuel, the other movies they created deal with superheroes, aliens and supernatural powers. They have to keep the length of their movies within 10 minutes as longer lengths will take too much time to get uploaded.

    The effort of the group is praiseworthy as they come from a region in Nigeria which is educationally backword with plenty of teenagers shying away school. The Kaduna state governor, Malam Nasir El-rufai has praised the team’s effort and invited them to the statehouse where he assured them of assured them of his government’s support.

    Sci-fi is not a common theme in the multi-million dollar film industry in Nigeria, popularly called Nollywood. The Critics are looking forward to make the biggest film of the industry and even beyond.

    Josiah adds, “We want to do something crazy, we want to do something great, something that has not been done before, and from what has been going on now, we believe quite well that it is going to happen soon enough.”

    The team is busy with a new project, whose plot is being kept as a closely guarded secret.

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