In what has been described as a major feat for Nollywood, and a noiseless breakthrough, Genevieve’s Nnaji has made huge marks with her latest movie ‘Lionheart’. The movie, which is Ms Nnaji’s directorial debut was screened on September 8th at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). The good news is that Netflix has acquired world wide rights for ‘Lionheart’ movie.

Genevieve Nnaji has been a prominent player in Nollywood for over two decades, and has also featured in international movies such as Ije, Half of a yellow sun, and Dr Bello. She even produced her first box office movie ‘Road to Yesterday’ by Ishaya Bako in 2016, under her production company, The Entertainment Network (T.E.N).


Describing the movie Lionheart’ in her own words, “Lionheart” is an inspiring drama about family values, succession, and most importantly, female empowerment. It highlights the various challenges faced by women, particularly in male-dominated industries”. Genevieve goes further to say that she would want people who viewed the movie to reflect on the endless possibilities of growth and success that come with men and women, the old and the young, working together: a world where insecurities are tackled and equality is encouraged. We need to be more open and accepting of competition instead of feeling threatened by it.

Genevieve modestly, refuses to be acknowledged as a powerful female director just yet, but cites her mantra as ‘eliminate fear and self-doubt’. Miss Nnaji totally adores the “wonder woman” movie by Patty Jenkins, and describes herself as “I’m a proud feminist who embraces her femininity. I feel sometimes women are made to feel self-conscious and ashamed of their womanhood. Perhaps like “Wonder Woman,” we may wake up one day to discover that it is our superpower, and then we would be unstoppable”.

Lionheart movie is about a lady who goes the extra mile to save her father’s ailing bus company, Lionheart Transport, after her uncle tries to run the business aground. According to a synopsis on TIFF’s website, ‘Lionheart’ “deals with the everyday sexism that saturates workplaces and captures the delicate balance between honouring one’s family, while finding the courage to strike out on one’s own”.

Nnaji stars as Adaeze, Pete Edochie plays her father, while Nkem Owoh takes the role of Uncle Godswill. The film also stars Chika Okpala, Steve Eboh, Kanayo O Kanayo, Onyeka Onwenu, Kalu Ikeagwu, Jemima Osunde, Yakubu Mohammed and Sani Muazu. Phyno and Peter Okoye, Nigerian music artistes, make cameo appearances in the film.

Screening more than 300 films from over 60 countries, and drawing in an estimated 400,000 attendees annually, the 43rd Toronto International Film Festival will run from September 6 to September 16.

Do you think Nollywood needs to make more movies addressing sexism?

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