Watch 'Japa!' Trailer - Isioma Osaje Directs Jide Kene Achufusi and Adesuwa Etomi in a Full-Circle Moment

Watch ‘Japa!’ Trailer: Isioma Osaje Directs Jide Kene Achufusi and Adesua Etomi in a Full-Circle Moment

Isioma Osaje, in a remarkable full-circle moment, has unveiled the trailer for her directorial debut, ‘Japa!,’ a collaborative effort between Inkblot Productions and her 1 Pod Pictures.

Scheduled for release on Prime Video on March 8, 2024, ‘Japa!’ features Osaje directing two of her former talents, Blossom Chukwujekwu and Adesua Etomi, marking a seamless transition from talent manager to director. This project is a co-production between Inkblot Productions, where Osaje previously served as a producer and an assistant director on multiple projects, and her own 1Pod Pictures. The collaboration with Inkblot Productions dates back to 2015, solidifying a longstanding creative partnership.

In an exclusive interview with Nollywire, Osaje expressed her enthusiasm, stating, “I made the film with people I consider my friends and family. I enjoyed every moment of creating this film, and I can’t wait for people to see it because it’s a sci-fi comedy.”

Reflecting on the film’s genre and subject matter, she added, “A sci-fi comedy is a really amusing genre. Everyone wants to ‘japa,’ and it’s a national conversation. However, our take on ‘japa’ is uniquely wacky, promising an enjoyable experience for the audience.”

Watch 'Japa!' Trailer - Isioma Osaje Directs Jide Kene Achufusi and Adesuwa Etomi in a Full-Circle Moment

Taking on the lead role is Jide Kene Achufusi, whom Osaje first connected with in 2016 on the set of Obi Emelonye’s ‘Crazy, Lovely, Cool.’

Achufusi and Etomi assume lead roles in ‘Japa!,’ and the trailer provides glimpses into the story of Mezu, portrayed by Achufusi, who is determined to ‘japa’ the country. However, unexpected twists, including encounters with kidnappers and a mysterious lady, complicate his resolution to leave.

In a 2018 interview, BellaNaija described Osaje as “the go-to talent manager,” acknowledging her years of managing the careers of actors such as Adesua Etomi, Ireti Doyle, Blossom Chukwujekwu, Timini Egbuson, Michelle Dede, Linda Ejiofor, and others. Starting with musical talents like Niyola, Osaje transitioned into Nollywood to address the need for proper representation, establishing Agency 106 Talents & Co., her talent management company.

Beyond talent management, Osaje has proven herself as a formidable film producer. Her journey began when Naz Onuzo led her to become a producer for hire. While she started with Inkblot on ‘Out Of Luck,’ her collaboration extended to co-producing ‘My Wife and I,’ the studio’s fourth title. Described as a “Swiss army knife on set” by Inkblot’s co-founder, Damola Ademola, Osaje has collaborated extensively with the production house.

Despite being an established talent manager and producer, Osaje harboured an unspoken fear of directing. Osaje considers directing the most daunting, acknowledging the tendency for blame to fall on the director if a project isn’t well received. However, her perspective has shifted.

“Directing isn’t as scary as I thought. While directing ‘Japa!,’ I questioned why I found directing frightening. Most of the crew members were my frequent collaborators, making the process seamless. Directing is becoming my favourite part of filmmaking,” she revealed to Nollywire.

Featuring Layi Wasabi, Seun Ajayi, Mofe Duncan, Bolaji Ogunmola, and Chinyere Wilfred, ‘Japa!’ promises an impressive onscreen experience for Nigerian audiences as its debut on Prime Video approaches.

Expressing her love for comedy films, Osaje emphasised her interest in bringing joy through her work. “Comedy and rom-coms are my favourite genres. Nigeria is hard enough. And if I can make something that brings joy and laughter to people and makes them forget what they are going through, I will do that any day,” the filmmaker declared.

Watch trailer: ‘Japa!’ by Isioma Osaje is set to premiere on Prime Video on March 8, 2024.

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