Hoodrush, a musical thriller, starring some of the best and emerging young talents in the industry, would soon hit the movie market. The movie stars O. C Ukeje, Gabriel Afolayan, Chelsea Eze, Ijeoma Agu, Lilian Byoma and a host of others, and directed by a young player in the industry, Dimeji Ajibola, CEO of Flipsyde Studios.
Hoodrush tells the story of two brothers closely bonded by their love for music, but deeply separated by their means for success. Shez and Tavier are two of a kind pursuing a Herculean dream of becoming music stars. But all they have is their amazing vocal talents, good looks, a home in the ghetto and menial jobs that could hardly pay for their clothing and feeding expenses.
They soon realise they need more to achieve their dreams. Participating and winning a credible talent hunt show comes as the only natural option. Being at the bottom of the societal grid, ghetto life’s ugly fabric begins to wear on them and their eventual vulnerability puts them at the mercy of the high and mighty.
Shez, the older one, falls victim of an older lady with a bad reputation in drugs and human trafficking. Reluctant at first, he soon realises that this lady could be the key to unlock his success and open the doors to his long-cherished dream of becoming a music star.
Without his brother’s knowledge, he falls into the wiles of this old lady to chart his financial freedom, until he’s presented with a dilemma to choose between the devil and the deep blue sea.
Bimbo Akintola says Hoodrush is a step in the right direction. According to Ajibola, who is also the screenwriter of the movie, “Bimbo’s performance in this movie is something people should watch out for as she gives only what a Bimbo Akintola can give”.
Winner of Yoruba Movie Academy Awards, Gabriel Afolayan in Hoodrush, “Everything is centred around the hood no matter how rich you are. If you are not affecting any life, perhaps your purpose is defeated. For me, my childhood experience of ghetto helped me in this regard. The film is one of its kind; I say this based on my experience in other films. It is a big job. It gave room for so much, physically and emotionally. It is not just about acting. It is also about singing as all the actors did the singing in the movie”.
For Ijeoma Agu, a graduate of Biochemistry, who started acting professionally in 2007 and made her official appearance in the film Eldorado by Felix Duker, the movie has a cutting edge in the international market. She will be taking part in three plays by African writers that will be staged at the London Olympics, saying, “The standard I set for myself, the edge is that you are living quality standard, nobody wants mediocre acting, especially when you are working with a professional firm with big budget involved. Hoodrush is one film that I know the progress of life and opportunity lie. How well we pattern our lives there is always a trace of the hood”.
Leelee Byoma, who played the role of a presenter in the film, narrated her experience and challenges even as a new act that came into the scene in 2010 through Emem Ison’s Academy, where she shuttle between acting and script writing. She has played several roles in some movies and was part of the cast in the movie, I Will Take My Chance.
She said, “As a presenter, it was a really good experience because I was not one before now and the director always said he wanted a lively presenter and not a slow-talker then I had to adjust. I did a little of research both on the internet, watched other presenters do their thing and I got it. Apart from God, who is my source of inspiration, there are so many actors that I watched. Genevive, because of her professionalism, Rita Dominic due to her talent and the different roles she plays and Liz Benson”.
For Chelsea Eze, it was pure luck being part of the cast. She came into the industry fully in 2009 with Silent Scandal with which she won three awards in Africa Movie Academy Awards in the Most Promising Actor category and BON Award for the Revelation of the year category among others. For Hoodrush, I heard about the movie from a friend but that was after the audition. So, I prayed to God. After some contact, I was called for a one-on-one audition and I was picked after it.