Pat Nebo: Tunde Kelani deserves national honor

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Art director and prolific production designer Pat Nebo during his session at Nollywood Film Studies Center’s The Filmmaker Forum said veteran photography Tunde Kelani deserves national honor for his contributions to the Nigerian film industry.

Nebo, who has worked with Kelani on different productions, praised his professionalism and the way he highlights topical issues in his film. He gave an example of Arugba, a 2008 production he worked on with the director of photography. The film, he said, highlighted climate change and how Nigerians, through their actions, can help protect the environment. The film won an award at the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) in 2009.

Kelani’s film career spans more than four decades. Its films are notable for presenting and celebrating the rich cultural heritage of the country while educating its audiences on social, political and cultural issues. Her latest film ‘Ayinla’ is based on the life and times of legendary singer Ayinla ‘Omowura’ Waheed Yusuf. In collaboration with a young filmmaker Jade Osiberu, the film was financially supported by First Bank Nigeria. He was also on the list of filmmakers known for their contribution to the film industry in Femi Akintunde-Johnson’s book “Reflections on Nigeria’s Movie Industry: Salute to Pioneering Creativity & Perseverance” released earlier this year.

Nebo, who has also spent nearly 30 years in the Nigerian film industry, advised students to demonstrate excellence in their projects while sharing details of his experiences on different film sets. For example, while talking about the importance of research for artistic direction, he revealed that during the filming of ’76’, the movie directed by Izu-Ojukwu, they must have found the original military uniforms worn in the 70s to reflect the setting of the film.

The artistic director began his career in 1993 with his role as production designer in ‘Ti Oluwa Nile’, a 1993 production. Today, his outstanding works can be seen in critically acclaimed films such as ‘The Milkmaid’ , “The Figurine” and “Cœur de Lion”. Although he mainly worked behind the scenes, Nebo showed his acting skills in two films “The Figurine” and “76”. He has received several awards, including the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards 2017 for Best Artistic Director for his work in ’76’.

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