Actor, dancer and model, Olaye Benjamin Junior, has won the online monologue contest of Invasion 1897 in commemoration of 25th year behind the camera anniversary of popular movie producer, Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen.
The versatile entertainer whose father, Benjamin Olaye, popularly known as BENJOF (the magic feet sensation) was the producer and presenter of the then TV program ‘Beat Wave’ in old Bendel State (now Edo and Delta States), beat four others in a keenly contested online monologue show.
Organizers of Lancelot Imasuen 25 years behind the camera had organised the show to herald a almost 6 months packaged event for the Leader and the pride of Nigeria motion picture, one of the 6 angry men that formed the Directors Guild of Nigeria, who will clock 49 in June this year, and 25 years in an industry, Nollywood, that is adjudged as the third largest in the world and Benjamin Olaye won it.
Olaye Jnr won the first position among the final contestants that also has, Promise Udeme and Patricia Innocent as first and second runner-up respectively. The contest was done mainly using the official instagram handles of Lancelot Imasuen, and these five contestants, @officialbenjaminolaye, @patriciainnocent1, @mhizpromiseudeme, @ebukaezekwueme and @amaka_hans, emerged the best out of about 700 entries, winning various amount of monetary rewards and certificates of participation.
Ambassador Imasuen while expressing his admiration for the organizers of the online contest said; “This is just my own little but impactful way of working and ensuring even and balanced development within Nigeria. I am o lying trying to give back to my community, Nigeria, Africa and the world at large.””
“Before the end of the year, plans are on ground to celebrate an elaborate one-week high octane event in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, where I will also be giving back to the society.”
“There will be workshop and mobile film making clinic as well as a book launch on my career and the forces that has kept me being consistent for the past 25 years behind the camera.”
Ambassador Lancelot said; “Even with the lockdown order due to coronavirus pandemic, I will not stop doing what has kept me for 25 years. Having this contest online and rewarding outstanding performances from actors is another way of saying thank you to the society that has supported me thus far.”
Also speaking, Ideh chukwuma innocent of Onesoul films, Heat factory ici productions said; “I was very honoured and humbled when sir Lancelot Imasuen called me and ask me to be the Chief Judge of the Invasion 1897 challenge. This is a film that i saw from the screening stage at Silverbird Cinema and I fell in love with the story and got emotionally connected to it. So yes I was so happy to do it.”
“Over seven hundred entries was sent in by young brilliant actors. It was hard to go through all of them but I made sure everyone was giving equal attention. Cutting down to the last five was tough but we got our top five and gave them a second challenge. This second challenge was what helped us to get a winner. Am proud of the winner I can confidently say he has alot of great potential and I am also look forward to working with him and the other top four.”
“I want to thank Sir Lancelot for trusting me and the entire Benin Film Academy and everyone that came to financially support and gave money and other prices to the winners. I say well done to all the contestants and wish them nothing but the very best. Keep doing what you do and dont stop. I look forward to seeing all of you at work. And to my Oga Lancelot Imasuen I wish you a fantastic 25th anniversary.”
Invasion 1897 upon which the contest was done, was the first Nollywood movie to be shot and screened inside the British Museum. And between 2015/16, the movie went to several Film Festivals in the world winning over 26 awards and several nominations.