In an evening filled with glamour, anticipation and cinematic brilliance, the First Features project, a collaboration between Native Filmworks and Michelangelo Productions, hosted the private screening of “Love and Life”.
The exclusive event, held at the Ebonylife Place in Lagos, witnessed some of Nollywood’s biggest names and unveiled a drama that explores the depths of relationships and the resilience of the human spirit. The film, due for a Prime Video release on December 29, 2023, captivated the audience with its raw portrayal of life’s complexities.
Rita Dominic, who plays the film’s lead character, Abike, shared, “Playing Abike was a profound journey of emotional depth and resilience. In the film, she stands as a pillar of strength among her friends, guiding them through challenges they face in love and life, even as she navigates her complex journey of grief.”
Dotun Olakunri, a driving force behind the First Features Project, added, “Our ambition has always been to produce cinema that resonates on an emotional level. With ‘Love and Life’, we’ve moved closer to this goal. This film is about grief, life, challenges you face daily, and how you use friendship and sorority to tackle those problems.”
“Love and Life” delves into the intricacies of relationships, highlighting themes of love, friendship, and the enduring power of hope. Directed by Ruben Reng and written by Brenda Ogbuka-Garuba, the film follows the lives of three women grappling with various relationship challenges. Their journey of rediscovery and empowerment underscores the film’s core message: the resilience of human connections.
Director Ruben Reng expressed, “Directing this film was about capturing the essence of hope and friendship. Our goal was to create a story that would touch hearts, and I believe we’ve achieved that.”
Nse Ikpe-Etim, who plays Osas, commented, “This role allowed me to explore the complexities hidden behind a seemingly lighthearted facade, and I believe Osas’ story will resonate with many who are finding their path in the intricate world of love and personal connections.”
Michelle Dede, who plays Ivy in the film, said, “Ivy’s story in ‘Love and Life’ intertwines with themes of resilience and personal growth, mirroring the experiences many face in their search for meaningful connections. It’s a role that challenged me and will, I believe, resonate deeply with our audience.”
Steve Gukas, co-founder of the First Features Project, stated, “This film is more than a narrative; it’s a reflection of our mission to bring forward new, compelling voices in Nigerian cinema. ‘Love and Life’ is a testament to this vision, and I am proud of how Reuben Reng brought it to life.”
About First Features
First Features is a groundbreaking initiative designed to nurture and empower the next generation of visionary Nigerian film directors. Founded in 2020 by Dotun Olakunri and Steve Gukas, it provides a platform for emerging filmmakers to bring their unique visions to life, contributing significantly to the richness and diversity of global cinema through training, mentorship, and funding.
Since its inception, First Features has developed five feature-length films. These include “Cake,” released in 2022, and “Love and Life,” directed by Reuben Reng, the second release in a 12-film slate scheduled for release under this project. Other titles already developed under First Features are “It Blooms in June,” “Kill Boro,” and “A Father’s Love.”