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The Cover Nov ’17 – Lala & The Accelerate 5

From left: Joshua Olanrewaju, Priye Diri, Mannie Oiseomaye, Adenike Adebayo and Micheal Akinrogunde

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The Accelerate Filmmaker Project has been ongoing for months and finally, this year’s edition has wrapped up with a bang!

From over 600 applicants, to 30 longlisted candidates, to 15 shortlisted candidates, who were trained in the art of filmmaking, to 5 finalists, whose movie ideas won the hearts of professional panelists.

The project finally wrapped up at this year’s Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF), where one of the five emerged overall winner and will be going on an AFRIFF scholarship to France with other AFRIFF winners next summer. Yes! It is a big deal and this is what The Cover for this month heralds.

Priye Diri, who wrote, directed and produced the short film, XOXO Leo, won the competition.

Other films shot and produced under the Accelerate Filmmaker Project include Tanwa by Adenike Adebayo, GOODWILL by Mannie Oiseomaye,  PENANCE by Micheal Akinrogunde and BLACK by Joshua Olanrewaju.

The Project manager of the programme, who is actor, producer and casting director, Lala Akindoju had a lot to say on the journey, the success and her expectations of the Accelerate Filmmaker Project and its winners.

Meanwhile, the winners also tell their fulfilling stories and the next level for themselves.

Check out more details on The Accelerate Filmmaker Project here

(Written by Oluwatoyin Adeleye)

Watch The Cover Below:


My name is Kemi Lala Akindoju everybody calls me “LALA”. I am an Actor, Producer and Casting Director.

As a filmmaker, how does your work affect your style?

Fashion and film are very related because in filmmaking, you’re telling stories and in these stories, the characters have a sense of fashion. When you see a character on your screen, you already have a sense of who they are. Fashion helps the story, fashion pushes the character forward, and fashion even situates the plot many times. So fashion and filmmaking go hand in hand.

What is your last minute fashion solution?

My last minute fashion solution would be a jump suits. Dress it up, dress it down, jump suits.

How do you continue to stay relevant in an ever changing industry?

Staying relevant in an ever changing industry is part of the job; doing something every day. For me, it’s the reason why I work in different capacities in the industry, because sometimes our work is seasonal. So sometimes you can go three months and not actually perform (act) in front of a camera or be on stage. What happens in those three months? What do you do to stay relevant; to stay in the press; for people to keep seeing you? For me, I work as a producer, I work as a casting director. These things also help me just keep working in the industry and it helps me grow as well.

What are your greatest achievements of 2017?

I think there are two in particular. First of all, I co-produced a short film called “STILL WATER RUNS DEEP,” with two other people Abbesi Akhamie and Melissa Adeyemo director and producer. We haven’t even met and we made this film and we got into the official selection at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).

The other thing that I would call an achievement for me this year would be the “Accelerate Filmmaker Project”. It’s been a long time coming, from conversations with the accelerate team and AFRIFF and now, just seeing it happen. For me, I find that I’m very drawn to helping other people achieve their dreams because I know that I got where I am by people helping me, people being there for me. But, I find that some people may not have that drive. So I am very passionate about teaching. I am also very passionate about letting people know how I did it and maybe they can learn one or two things. I think that’s how I find myself in the Accelerate Filmmaker Project.

What do you expect from these young filmmakers?

So, the Accelerate 5, who are Joshua, Michael, Priye, Adenike and Mannie. From these five, I expect a lot. I expect filmmakers who will stand out. People who will tell stories that would resonate. I expect them to be successful, I expect them to make a lot of money, I don’t want them to be poor filmmakers. I expect them to be excellent. I want to hear great things from them.

Meet the Accelerate 5:

From left: Joshua Olanrewaju, Priye Diri, Mannie Oiseomaye, Adenike Adebayo and Micheal Akinrogunde


The Accelerate Film Maker Project has exposed me to a lot of things. I mean, I am attending AFRIFF with my film showing! It’s been amazing, I won’t trade it for anything in the world. So thank you Accelerate Filmmaker Project, thank you Access Bank, thank you Accelerate TV.


I completely agree. For me, Accelerate TV and Accelerate Filmmaker Project, has given me the platform to launch my filmmaking career on a grand scale and this is not an opportunity that comes around every day. So for this opportunity and for this chance, I am extremely grateful and thankful and yes am excited because you can’t start like this and fail. I am excited for what filmmaking holds for me.

How would you use fashion to influence your film making style?


I would use fashion to influence my filmmaking style by making the costume for every character in my story depict the kind of character, behavior and personality that I want the character to have.


I would like my filmmaking style to be African themed. So, for every time that I’m filming, I would like the costume and everything around my film to be themed to the African narratives.

Check out more photos in the slides above


Photography: Kelvin Oladiran

Creative Directing and Styling: Tokyo James

Assistant: Eromosele Patrick Eidusi

Outfit: Tokyo James SS 18 for Tecno Mobile

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