The Royal Hibiscus Hotel to premiere at major International Film Festival, TIFF

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Upcoming Nollywood movie by EbonyLife Film, The Royal Hibiscus Hotel, lands world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF); one of the most attended film festivals in the world.

This marks a return to the festival by the Nigerian film industry.

Last year, eight Nigerian films premiered at TIFF including Okafor’s Law, Taxi Driver: Oko Ashewo, Just Not Married, 76, 93 Days, The Arbitration, Green White Green and the record-smashing EbonyLife Film’s The Wedding Party.

Executive producer; Mo Abudu, and lead actor, Kenneth Okolie, who could not contain their excitement shared the news on twitter.

The Royal Hibiscus Hotel is a romantic comedy set in Lagos and London; it tells the story of Segun and Ifeoma Adeniyi, a couple that runs a Hotel in Nigeria. Due to financial struggles and to settle their debt, Segun decided to sell the hotel without Ifeoma’s Knowledge. When their daughter, Opeoluwa, who lives in London decides to come home for a holiday, her parents are happy for different reasons – dad wants her signature to sell the hotel while mum wants her to get married.

Opeoulwa has plans to save the hotel she is destined to inherit from financial troubles. Unknowing to her, her love interest Deji, a dashing young business man, has plans in place to buy the hotel. All efforts to save the hotel including a fundraiser proved abortive until the last minute when an anonymous donor saves the day.

The Royal Hibiscus Hotel, which is EbonyLife Film’s second movie to have a world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, is directed by Ishaya Bakos and stars Kenneth Okolie as Deji and Zainab Balogun as Opeoluwa. Other actors in the romantic comedy include O.C Ukeje, Rachel Oniga, Joke Silva, Olu Jacobs, Deyemi Okanlawon and Jide Kosoko. The soundtrack includes a song from Cobhams Asuquo, Johnny Drille’s Romeo and Juliet, Falz and Simi’s Chemistry, Mr Eazi’s Skintight and Tonight by Nonso Amadi.

You can view the TIFF’s trailer below:

Some facts on The Royal Hibiscus Hotel:

  • The second EbonyLife Film’s movie to have its world premiere at TIFF, with the first being The Wedding Party.
  • The Royal Hibiscus Hotel is the only Nigerian movie showing at the festival this year. One of the four African films selected.
  • It is Zainab Balogun’s debut movie
  • It is director Ishaya Bakos second feature film. His first was The Road to Yesterday.


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Daniel Okechukwu
Daniel is a Nollywood blogger; he discusses the latest happenings in the Nigerian Film Industry. His writings on Nollywood have appeared on Okayafrica, Africa is a Country, Konbini, and Culture Custodian.

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