Celebrated filmmaker Afolayan is a main stage performer, so it comes as no surprise that his next film will be released on a date that holds meaning for Nigerians. With a screenplay by Sefi Atta and Kunle Afolayan, Swallow will arrive on Netflix on October 1st – Independence day. This is the first film from Kunle Afolayan’s multi-title Netflix slate and the drama-thriller explores the burgeoning drug trafficking trade, set against a backdrop of 1980s Lagos, struggling under the weight of austerity measures and the infamous War Against Indiscipline. In Swallow, Kunle Afolayan opts for a retro film look that pays perfect homage to a nostalgic past and this cinematic masterpiece will take viewers on a memorable ride.
The film gives a feature film debut to musician Eniola ‘Niyola’ Akinbo in the lead role of Tolani Ajao – a bright-eyed young woman who tries to make it in the obstacle-ridden Lagos. Brilliant actors, Ijeoma Grace Agu (as Rose), Deyemi Okanlanwon (as Sanwo), Eniola Badmus (as Mrs Durojaiye), Chioma Akpotha (as Mama Chidi), Kevin Ikeduba (as OC), Offiong Anthony Edet (as Johnny) and veteran Olusegun Remi (as Mr Salako) round out the stellar cast list.
Swallow is a film adaptation of Sefi Atta’s best-selling novel. Director Kunle Afolayan explains how he approached making the film: “This is the very first book I am making into a movie. Once I read the book, I had to decide on what aspect of the book I wanted to focus on and whose perspective I wanted to share based on the story, because Swallow, as a book focused on the life of Tolani’s mother and Tolani herself. Once that was sorted, every other thing was put in place.”
See character images below: