Friday, July 8, 2016 8:56 pm
The professionals take their stuff to the University. Following on the rousing success of its premier outing in June last year, the Second University of Ibadan Red Speaker Series is set to take front seats starting from July 18 through August 1, 2016
In its first outing, the Red Carpet Speakers included Mrs. Taiwo Ajayi Lycett – Nigeria’s premier international Film/Television and Stage Actress; Mr. Ben Tomoloju – Playwright/Director and Art Critic; Mrs. Bolanle Austen Peters – Founder/CEO of Terra Kulture and Executive Producer BAP Productions; Mr. Richard Mofe Damijo – Actor and Ex-Delta State Commissioner for arts and culture and Mr. Yomi Layinka – Television and Film Director and Special Adviser to the Oyo State Governor Ajimobi
This year’s Red Carpet Speakers include Dr. Reuben Abati – erstwhile Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan; Mr Kunle Afolayan – Award winning Filmmaker and Business impresario; Ms. MonaLisa Chinda – Award winning Nollywood Actress, publisher and Television producer and Ms. Tatiana Vintu – Romanian-American trained Film and theater Scenographer and scenic designer who now works and lives in the United States.
The Red Carpet Speaker Series facilitates the presence of successful professionals in direct conversation with our University community. This simple exchange will activate such innovation and creativity that is sure to build revenues and platforms of market power for the arts in Nigeria. It pursues the proven path that the emerging creative industry of Nigerian Film and Theater, presents an alternative economy that will need a highly trained, intellectually savvy and business-minded pool of professionals for the country’s regeneration. The goal is to bridge the existing gulf of knowledge and innovation between the academic Gown and the professionally successful Town, in order for both to independently (and sometimes jointly) validate what either party is teaching and/or doing.
Founded and Convened by Professor Segun Ojewuyi, the ‘Red Carpet Speaker series’ brings together the brains of two Universities – Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois United States where he is Head of directing and the department of Theater Arts at the University of Ibadan, where he was a Carnegie African Dias[ora Fellow in 2015.
Reuben Abati is well known for his editorial work at The Guradian Newspaper and for his meritorious, though controversial service to the nation as the Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan. Before working in government, Reuben Abati was Chairman of the Editorial Board at The Guardian Newspapers. He also served at The Guardian as Editorial Page Editor, and as a columnist, running two columns per week. Abati is a recipient of many prizes for journalistic excellence.
These include the Hadj Alade Odunewu/Diamond Award for Media Excellence Prize for Informed Commentary (which he has won four times), the Cecil King Memorial Prize for Print Journalist of the Year (1998), the Fletcher Challenge Commonwealth Prize for Opinion Writing (2000), the Freedom Peace Prize for Journalism. (2010) and the Red Media Africa Living Legends Industry Award (2015).
Abati graduated from the University of Calabar, Nigeria in 1985 with a First Class Honours and as Class Valedictorian. He later studied at the University of Ibadan as a University Scholar from where he holds a Ph.D in Theatre Arts, specializing in Dramatic Literature, Theory and Criticism (1990). He also has a bachelor’s degree in Law from Lagos State University, Lagos (1999), a professional training certificate in journalism from the College of Journalism, University of Maryland, College Park, United States (1996-97) and a Certificate in Management and Leadership from the Said Business School, University of Oxford (2015).
Kunle Afolayan is arguably one of the most innovative and accomplished Nigerian Filmmakers of this generation. His has won the major awards in Nigerian film but more important is his efficiency and success in bringing a most acute sense of business to his artistry and craft as a filmmaker. Kunle Afolayan’s pedigree is rich and deep in the Nigerian Theater and film industry. His father Ade Afolayan AKA Ade Love was one of the most successful Theater Directors and filmmakers of the Yoruba traveling Theater circuit. Kunle starred in Tunde Kelvin’s acclaimed film “Saworoide) before branching off as a film Director, and Producer.
The works of Kunle Afolayan through his production company Golden Effects have earned international recognition and acclaim. He appeared in 2012 on the CNN program Marketplace Africa, where he discussed the emerging crop of Nigerian filmmakers who set out to produce films of genuine production quality and value. He also appeared on the BBC where he discussed similar transformational attitudes and his own ambitions. His movies, The Figurine, Phoneswap, the notable music video he shot with Dr Victor Olaiya and Tuface Idibia, the soon to be released documentary filmed for the State of Osun, his film OCTOBER 1, and the soon released CEO are outright examples of impeccable artistry, skill and contribution towards Nigeria’s cultural infrastructure and longevity.
MonaLisa Chinda is one of the most successful actresses to have come out of Nolywood. She is a graduate of Theater Arts from the University of Port Harcourt. With many highly acclaimed films under her belt including; “Kiss and Tell, “Girls in the hood”, “Weekend Getaway” amongst others, she is also known for her roles in TV productions like “Heavens Gate”, “Oasis” and more. Monalisa has participated in different film workshops and festivals including; the Georgia Tech Film Festival and workshop in Broadcasting (CNN Tour) 2011; Export of film- Nollywood Roadshow in collaboration with Nigerian Export Promotion Council Kenya 2011, BOBTV Festival (Chinda presented a thesis on “When Talent is not enough”) 2011, Zuma Film Festival Abuja (Women in the media) 2012, the Sithengi Television and Film Festival, a market for content and ideas, in Cape Town, South Africa.
She has also won several awards including Nollywood@20 E-Golden award for Outstanding Character Actress, NEGA 2012 Germany, Afro-Australian Music and Movie Award for Most Outstanding Actress 2010, African Film Awards UK 2009, and several others. In 2012, she became one of the first of four Nollywood actors to be featured on the cover of Hollywood Weekly Magazine. Her new talk-show “You & I with Monalisa”is a half-hour show that uses the vehicle of drama to touch on and explore human angle stories, socio-economic issues, and everyday life in Nigeria. YOU &I airs every Friday at 9.30pm on Africa Independent Television (AIT), and on Rivers State Television (RSTV).
Tatiana Vintu is from Moldova a part of the old Soviet Union. She trained is a trained and practicing Scenic Designer in American and European theatrical production systems. She studied and works in Europe and the United States. Tatiana received her MFA in Theatre/Production Set Design from Tulane University (New Orleans, Louisiana), studied Set Design at The National University of Theatrical and Cinematic Arts (Bucharest, Romania) and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Set Design (Scenography) at the Academy of Music, Theatre and Visual Arts (Chisinau, Moldova).
She has designed a movie production for The International Theatre Laboratorium – USA (New Orleans, LA); several theatrical productions in Lupin Theatre at Tulane University (New Orleans, Louisiana), The National University of Theatrical and Cinematic Arts (Bucharest, Romania), State Jewish Theater (Bucharest, Romania), The National Theatre Mihai Eminescu (Chisinau, Moldova); interned at REP/UD Dept. of Theatre (Newark, DE) and The National Opera and Balet Theatre Maria Bieşu (Chisinau, Moldova). Her designs are displayed at the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space.