Nigeria’s First Remote Film With Zero Budget Unveiled In Abuja – The first-ever remotely produced film in Nigeria with zero budget, VENJ, was unveiled in Abuja on Saturday. It’s a psychological thriller about a group of friends whose friendly reunion conference call turns tragic.
VENJ is a short film depicting the harrowing events that unfolded when five friends, who had just graduated from high school, gathered for a reunion conference call.
Their joyful reunion takes a dark turn when one of them is ruthlessly murdered during the call. In the days that follow, the remaining friends engage in a series of conference calls to uncover the identity of the killer. Tragically, one by one, they are all brutally slained, leaving only one survivor.
The 24-minute-long film illustrates how anger and the pursuit of vengeance can lead an individual to lose control
and act contrary to their own intentions.
The short film was crafted by Rose Okeke, who served as the writer, producer, and director. The talented cast includes Rose Okeke as Nicole; Franklin Ogalanya as Edward; Edwina Yalami Jarumai as Lexi; Chimmeli Precious as Teresa, and Jordan Attahiru as Mike.
According to the director and producer of the film, Rose Okeke, this movie was borne out of a deep-seated need that
she had at the time to create a film that she could execute on a zero budget.
“I had quit my job to pursue film and writing full-time, and I had these two ideas written down in my Notes app: one was about a remote conference call I came up with during quarantine and the other was an Agatha Christie “And Then There Were None” kind of vibe where the characters are killed one after the other. So I just merged those two scenarios together and got ‘Venj’.
“It was harrowing to shoot, because the production was fully remote. I had to walk each actor through their lines via
telephone and then shoot my scenes first for them to use as a guide. I had to download, watch, and then judge each
actor’s takes and then let them know if it was okay or not. I also did the editing, so it was pretty frustrating at times, and I’m sure the other cast members didn’t know how it would turn out.
“In the end, it looks great for a zero budget movie and I’m extremely grateful to the amazing cast members for sticking with me through it. They’re the real MVPs,” Okeke stated.