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From her undergraduate days as a Theater Arts student at the University of Abuja, Film-maker Chineze Anyaene has always been fascinated by the intricacies of the motion picture craft. Now, armed with a master's degree in Directing from the New York Film Academy (NYFA), the 26-year-old producer makes her feature film debut with IJE (The Journey), which stars Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde and Genevieve Nnaji.
The movie, shot in America and Nigeria, follows the lives of two Nigerian sisters, Chioma and Anya. The latter relocates to the United States in search of the American dream, but ends up in jail on charges of murder. This compels Chioma to travel to the US to help secure her sister's freedom, with the help of a young, unproven attorney.
With IJE, produced by Anyaene's production outfit, Xandria
Productions', the ambitious and tenacious director - the first student in the
history of the NYFA to shoot a feature film while still in school - is
determined to leave a lasting impression in Nigerian cinema and home video. In
a discussion with NEXT, Anyaene shared her film-making experiences especially in
relation to IJE. Click here to watch the trailer.
What's the inspiration behind IJE-The Journey?
I wanted to tell a story about love and immigrants in the US. Most of the time immigrants in the states are accused of crime and so I wanted to tell a story about love - not the usual boy/girl love but a relationship between two sisters.