By Temitope Owotoki
A group of eight teenagers from Kaduna State, who called themselves, ‘The Critics’, is gradually gaining acclaimed attention with its science fiction films shot with a smartphone.
Group members, who are cousins, made their first film, ‘Redemption’, in 2016 after learning how to create science fictions special effects and film on YouTube. The group uses a smashed mobile phone as a camera and a broken microphone stand as their tripod while shooting their movies.
Despite battling slow internet and power cuts, the filmmakers created a movie about two boys who create an organic bio-fuel.
They have so far shot 20 10-minute-long short movies which are mostly about superheroes, aliens and supernatural powers.
However, they began to attract attention after Kemi Adetiba, a leading Nollywood director, tweeted enthusiastically about them in June.
She also spearheaded a funding campaign for the boys which amassed donations of about $5,800 (about N2,109,460.00) to help them get better equipment.
Today the students, known online as @thecritics001, have gone viral
On their Instagram handle, they revealed that they saved for a month to buy the green fabric for the chroma key and taught themselves how to do visual effects by watching tutorials on YouTube.
“We are teenage filmmakers and we made history by making the first sci-fi film in Northern Nigeria. Over the years, working on some projects has not been easy and we couldn’t work on some that we had in mind due to financial difficulties and no resources,” their post read.
Godwin Josiah, a member of the group, said their aim was not just to go viral, but to show that children in northern Nigeria are doing something different.
They said they are on the verge of breaking into Nollywood, using only their mobile phones.
This week, the young filmmakers met with the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, who praised their ingenuity and assured them of his government’s support.
Governor El-Rufai praised their creativity, and also constituted a team of senior officials to work on the details of the government support with their family.