The Nigerian animated movie, Malika Warrior Queen, made its first big-screen debut at the 8th edition of the Lagos Comic Convention. The 15-minute film received critical acclaim.
"It is a really really great and very humbling time for me because this is why you do what you do, for people to be excited about Nigerian animation, Nigerian comics, Nigerian superheroes and that is what we live for," said writer/producer Roy Okupe. Okupe is also CEO and founder of YouNeek Studios, a US-based media company that focuses on stories that are inspired by African culture and mythology.
The film is an adaptation of a comic strip by Okupe of the same name. It follows the journey of a queen struggling to maintain peace in her growing empire. After years of civil war, she divides the kingdom of Azzaz in two before reconquering it.
The film was produced in 10 months on a $ 60,000 budget by Anthill Studios, a visual media company based in Nigeria. Okupe hopes this film will inspire Nollywood, the world’s second-largest film industry, to invest in local animators to make animated movies. Okupe sees animation as the next frontier for Nollywood, saying, “I feel like when we talk about the Nigerian animation and comic book industry and even the video gaming industry as well too, this is the next frontier and I feel like we are going to follow in the footstep of the music industry where in the next five to ten years we are going to see the same impact not just on the continent but overseas as well."
Header Image Credit: YouNeek Studios