KATAKATA, A Nigerian and U.S. Collaboration was Born on Stage 32

KATAKATA, A Nigerian and U.S. Collaboration was Born on Stage 32

KATAKATA, A Nigerian and U.S. Collaboration was Born on Stage 32

Art Thomas
Art Thomas
a year ago

“Are you on Stage 32 too?”

Where We Met

Years ago, it was 2014 or six (6) years before the global pandemic, I was asked, along with Kevin Shand, the former Colorado Film Commissioner to speak with a group of 35 visiting film directors from the Directors Guild of Nigeria (DGN). During my presentation at the Colorado Film School, I mentioned Stage 32 as an important platform that the attendees should be aware of.

One of the benefits I explained was the ease with which Stage 32 facilitates domestic and global collaborations. After my talk, I was approached by Newton Barabara regarding a project that he was developing. It was entitled Unacceptable and addressed the horrific issues associated with child abuse and human trafficking. He then asked, are you on Stage 32 too? "Since 2011, I replied."

KATAKATA A Nigerian and US Collaboration was Born on Stage 32

(left: Art Thomas, Newton Barabara) (right: Newton Barabara, Kevin Shand)

“We worked to expand on Newton’s idea by setting the story in Nigeria, England, and the United States of America”, said Shand. Our revised logline reads; When a young Nigerian girl is rescued from a Drug Lord’s mansion in the Colorado Mountains, it triggers an international game of cat and mouse.

Statistically, it is proven that most people who meet in a business setting seldom reconnect, despite their well-intended overtures. However, that was not true in our case. It appears as if my Stage 32 membership and interest along with Newton’s interest and subsequent membership exemplified our commitment to global storytelling.

Seven Years Later…

Newton Barabara Studios LTD, a Nigerian-based film production company has safely produced ‘KATAKATA’, a Stage 32 member co-production with U.S.-based Main Man Films and Pedras Productions in 2021. The film was shot entirely on location in Enugu, Nigeria, with a Nigerian cast and crew.

KATAKATA A Nigerian and US Collaboration was Born on Stage 32

Behind the Scenes "Katakata"

The film, written and directed by Newton Barabara tells the following story: “Coerced to foil a terrorist plot against a children’s school, two brothers must decide the value of character or risk losing their ultimate reward”.

“This project aligns perfectly with our motto of stories crossing borders,” said Arthur O. Thomas of Main Man Films. “After speaking with Newton about his project, we were excited to collaborate with him to bring this riveting and high-energy production to the Nigerian and international market,” said Kevin Shand, founder of Pedras Productions.

Stage 32 is the perfect landscape for filmmakers like Art and Newton to connect, sparking a meaningful collaboration. Although those two were separated by nearly 7000 miles and a 7-hour time difference, the readily available video-chatting platforms (e.g., Google Meets, Skype, Signal) facilitated the connection between the two industry professionals, establishing common ground from the moment discussions about Katakata came to be.

KATAKATA A Nigerian and US Collaboration was Born on Stage 32

KATAKATA features the following notable actors:

Jibola Dabo is an award-winning Nollywood actor, producer, director, screenwriter, and model renowned for his diverse film roles and exceptional performance in films, creativity, and high precision film role interpretation. His past achievements include the Zuma Award for Best Actor, Best Actor in Leading Role at Africa Movie Academy Awards, Most Prominent Actor at Africa Magic Viewer’s Choice Awards, Best Actor in Nigeria at Golden Icon Movie Academy Awards, and Best Actor of the Year at City People Entertainment Awards.

Chiege Alisigwe is a multi-award-winning actor who has taken home the Best Actress Award at the Africa Movie Academy Awards and Best Actress in a Leading Role at the Africa Magic Viewer’s Choice Awards.

Jerry Williams is a popular Nollywood actor and producer who has starred in over 80 Nollywood films. He is best known for his role in ‘The Chosen King’ and has appeared in the films ‘Wind of Fire’, ‘Seven Books of Moses’, ‘Royal Struggle,’ and ‘Tiger Queen’.

Onuchukwu Michael (Onny Michael) is a Nigerian actor, screenwriter, and filmmaker. Onny rose to fame by appearing in over 100 Nollywood movies, including ‘Two Hearts’, ‘Love and Darkness’, ‘My Hidden Enemy’, and ‘I Will Be the King’. He is known for his epic, tragic, and romantic roles.

“I was surprised to meet three twentysomething Nigerian students visiting the United States who were excited to see Jibola Dabo and Chiege Alisigwe on the screen. They are stars in their home country,” said Gabriel Sanders from Main Man Films. “The professionalism and sincerity exhibited by my partners from the US show that filmmaking is really a universal language that brings unity across boundaries,” said Newton Barabara, director, writer, and producer of ‘Katakata’. Information about the film can be found at https://katakatamovie.com and on IMDb.

Unbeknownst to each other at the time of their initial meeting, Stage 32 was the umbilical cord that nourished the creativity resulting in their first of many collaborations. Thank you Stage 32 for all you do.

KATAKATA A Nigerian and US Collaboration was Born on Stage 32

About Newton Barabara Studios LTD

Established in 2006, Newton Barabara Studios LTD is a Behavioral Change communication outfit based in Enugu State, Nigeria. Collaborating with international partners to develop the creative film industry in Nigeria, Newton Barabara Studios uses storytelling and films to bring about positive behavior change in the society.

Email: newton@katakatamovie.com

Stage 32 Profile

About Main Man Films, LLC

Established in 1999, Main Man Films (MMF) facilitates the telling of untold stories for unserved and under-served audiences. By creating compelling ideas, providing media consultation, and producing digital content, we successfully collaborate with clients and filmmakers from around

the world to produce unique television, film, and music experiences – we call it "Stories Crossing Borders.”

Email: art_thomas@mainmanfilms.com

Stage 32 Profile

About Pedras Productions, LLC

Founded in 2020, Pedras Productions, LLC is an international content creation company that delivers business acumen to the art of storytelling. By supporting independent creatives, we facilitate the bridging of ideas and culture.

Email: kevin@pedrasproductions.com

Stage 32 Profile

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About the Author

Art Thomas

Art Thomas

Producer, Business Affairs Consultant, Filmmaker

“Originally from Detroit, Michigan - Arthur O. Thomas is an award-winning 'international' producer who earned his MBA in International Sales / Marketing at Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, California. Concurrent with forming Main Man Films, he logged over 20 years with two Fortune 100 firm...

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