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While there is no arguing that popular Nigerian actor and filmmaker, Genevieve Nnaji, is currently basking in the success of her new film, “Lionheart” the screen goddess has decided to reveal where the idea of the movie came from.
In an interview with ESSENCE, Nnaji talked about the inspiration behind her directorial debut.
She said: “Lionheart stemmed from my desire and hunger to shed light, and to speak the truth of what it’s like to be a young [woman] trying to make it in a world that is dominated by men. That being said, it was equally important to me that the movie was light-hearted and warm, so the environment in which it was told was crucial as well.”
Having enjoyed over two decades as one of the most popular and successful actresses in the country’s industry, she recently made history with the movie.
The film, which debuted on Netflix yesterday, became the streaming giant’s first original film from Nigeria after Netflix purchased the worldwide rights in September.
“I am thrilled that through Netflix, the film will be available to a global audience,” Nnaji told the online newspaper.
On Why she decided to explore movie directing from being an actress, she said:
“I believe the right story and intent called for it. I was ready to become a storyteller beyond portraying a singular character. The only way to fully share the vision I had was getting behind the camera lens, and I look forward to sharing more.”
“I was most worried about being in two places at once. As an actor, you get on set at your call time and leave when you wrap your shoot for the day. As a director, you are first in and last out.
“I had to stay up long enough to go through the rushes of the day as well as plan out the scenes for next day’s shoot. It was difficult and very challenging, but with sheer determination and tenacity, as well as a very efficient crew, Lionheart was made.”
After having its world premiere at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival and showing in select Nigerian cinemas, the acclaimed drama is finally available to stream on Netflix.
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