Details Of The Three Nigerian Movies Competiting For Oscars 2023

The Nigerian Official Selection Committee (NOSC) has listed three Nigerian movies that will be nominated for the Oscars next year.

This follows the granting of an extension to present a film for the award by the organisers of the award on Monday. The NOSC had previously expressed regrets that it was unable to present a suitable film for the award.

The committee has now received three epic films in response to its call for submissions.

Nigerian movies oscars 2023

The three epic films are; Anikulapo by Kunle Afolayan, Agesinkole (King of Thieves) by Femi Adebayo, and Elesin Oba: The King’s Horseman by the late Biyi Bandele.


Anikulapo by Kunle Afolayan has risen to be Netflix’s Number 1 film globally, with reviews less than three weeks after its premiere on September 30, 2022.

The movie stars Hakeem Kae-Kazim, Sola Sobowale, Kunle Remi, Bimbo Ademoye, and Taiwo Hassan in the lead role.

The film was shot in Oyo State and Afolayan has described the work as a Game of Thrones’ recreated in Nigeria but with a better representation of Yoruba culture.

Aníkúlápó narrates the story of Saro (played by Kunle Remi) who has recently arrived in Oyo as a stranger and a traditional textile weaver who uses the aso-ofi loom and technique. Saro has an illicit romance with Queen Arolake (played by Bimbo Ademoye) who has an unhappy marriage because she is not interested in the king, but it is her duty to lay with him. She is also young and uninterested in the older king’s constant attention. His favoritism brings up rivalries with the other, older queens, who mistreat her. She and Saro fall in love.

As they make plans to elope, word of their affair gets to the king, who sentences Saro to death. Based on the mythical Akala bird which wakes him from death, Saro, through the astute actions of Arolake, gains the power to resurrect the dead and earns the name, Anikulapo (Aníkúlápó), which means the “one that holds death in his purse.”

As Saro becomes popular in their new village Ojumo, he sets amorous eyes on other women and betrays Arolake. His excessive pride is his hubris as he begins to make inordinate demands from the villagers before he can raise the dead. When Arolake hears that Saro has asked for the king’s daughter before he can restore life to the king’s heir, she undermines the source of his power and deserts him. Saro fails to resurrect the prince and discovers he no longer has the power to tame death.

The movie received an impressive 7.2/10 vote from rating sites(IMDB).

King of Thieves

King of Thieves (Ògúndábède) is a 2022 Nigerian thriller film produced by Femi Adebayo, co-produced by the Niyi Akinmolayan’s Anthill studios, and directed by Tope Adebayo and Adebayo Tijani.

The Movie stars Odunlade Adekola, Femi Adebayo, Toyin Abraham, Broda Shaggi, Adebayo Salami, Lateef Adedimeji, and Ibrahim Chatta.

The movie premiered on April 4, 2022, and was released in theaters nationwide on April 8, 2022.

King of Thieves (Ògúndábède) is set in the premodern Yoruba era (around the 17th and 18th centuries) narrates the story of Agẹṣinkólé (Fẹ́mi Adébáyọ̀), an all-powerful bandit-warrior who will stop at nothing to terrorise and lay waste to the prosperous kingdom of Ajérọ̀mí (wealth comforts me).

During his reign of terror, the kingdom, under the rulership of King Adégbìtẹ́ (Ọdúnladé Adékọ́lá), the great-grandson of Tadénikárò, explores all available strategies and means to defeat Agẹṣinkólé by deploying spiritual and physical attacks through priests, witches, wizards, and warriors, but with each attempt, he becomes more deadly.

It was such a reign of absolute terror that no one was spared and the King eventually lost his only prince to the conflict. Twist and fate eventually brought the head hunter, Ògúntádé (Ibrahim Chatta), to confront the invincible Agẹṣinkólé and his ruthless soldiers.

It was this encounter that eventually revealed Agẹṣinkólé’s identity as a reincarnated Prince Adeoye, the great-grandfather of Ògúntádé who was unjustly robbed of his right to the Ajérọ̀mí throne by an elite-devised scheme led by the chiefs and his opponent, King Tadenikaro (Taiwo Ibikunle), the great-grandfather of the incumbent King Adegbite, thus revealing a story of betrayal, vengeance, friendship, courage, and love.

The movie received an impressive 7.4/10 vote from rating sites(IMDB).

Elesin Oba, the King’s Horseman

Elesin Oba, the King’s Horseman is a new movie coming to Netflix. It is based on Nigeria’s most famous play, Death and the King’s Horseman, written in 1975 by Nobel Prize-winning author, activist, and academic Wole Soyinka. Directed by the late Biyi Bandele and produced by EbonyLife Films

The movie is in the Yoruba language which is generating global attention with a world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Elesin Oba, The King’s Horseman is an adaptation of Wole Soyinka’s book “Death and the King’s Horseman” which is also based on a Nigerian historical event of 1943.

The film stars Odunlade Adekola as Elesin Oba, Shaffy Bello as Iyaloja, and acclaimed musician Brymo as the Praise Singer, making his screen debut. They are joined by Deyemi Okanlawon, Omowunmi Dada, and veteran actors, Jide Kosoko and Kevin Ushi.

The movie is Inspired by true life events, in the Oyo Empire in the 1940’s, Elesin Oba, the king’s chief horseman, succumbs to the lure of beauty and sexual desire on the very evening he is set to die in order to fulfill his lifelong debt of ritual suicide to accompany the dead Alaafin to the realm of the ancestors, he derails from a very important generational and spiritual transaction.

This sets in motion a series of catastrophic consequences, in a spell-binding film of emotions, humour, and tragic role reversals that puts ancient beliefs and customs on trial in an ever increasingly post-modern and Western world.


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