Director/writer Uyai Ikpe-Etim and producer Pamela Adie of the upcoming lesbian love story, Ìfé, recently had a chat with Pulse NG about what to expect, as well as, what spurred them to make the movie.
Ìfé stars Uzoamaka Aniunoh and Cindy Amadi and tells the story of two women who fall in love over a 3-day date but struggle with the realities of same-sex love in a country overridden by sanctimony and hypocrisy.
According to Uyai Ikpe-Etim, there is still no proper representation of the LGBTQ+ community in Nollywood and Ìfé seeks to change this narrative.
“As a film director and storyteller, I understand how storytelling can be used positively or negatively. I’m always concerned with how stories can be used to build up or to destroy”, said Ikpe-Etim.
“I wanted to create something that would restore the dignity of LGBT+ people in Nigeria. Something they could be proud of. I wanted them to see themselves represented as regular humans who fall in love, who have their hearts broken, who break hearts, who love their families etc. Just regular people, who exist, who matter and who deserve to have their stories told. We are pretty much saying with this film, “we are queer, we are here and we are proud”.
Besides demanding a change in Nollywood’s LGBTQ narrative, amplifying the voices of lesbian, bisexual, and queer women in Nigeria is Pamela Adie’s life long dream.
“We chose to make this film because of the dearth (if any at all) of stories centred on the realities of lesbian, bisexual and queer women in Nigeria. LBQ women are mostly portrayed as people to be assaulted, or the object of the male gaze and gratification, and even ridiculed.
We have been portrayed as people to be feared “cured”, “treated”,etc., and it is time for this to change. We are taking our power back and telling our stories by ourselves. We wanted to show Nigerians a little part of our lived realities and what it means to be lesbian in Nigeria”.
The film is scheduled to release later this year and post-production for the movie is well underway. The official trailer drops on the 15th of July.