Raphael Oloruntoba Adeoshun is a Nigerian filmmaker and director. Popularly known as CitiBoy, based on his latest film. He started making movies when he was an undergraduate in the Performing Arts department of the University of Ilorin, an art that he continued even after graduating from the school.
With works such as Truth About Lies and Now They See Us, the 23-year-old filmmaker has made his mark and continues to strive to make more in the fast-growing Nollywood industry.
The visionary filmmaker has moved past his humble beginnings before joining the industry that never sleeps because of a filmmaking competition. The competition, which will be discussed later in our interview with him, awoke his passion for the screen. Even though he did not win, there was no looking back after his first film premiere in the 700-seater hall of his alma mater sold out. He dreams of the day when adequate funding will help him achieve his dream of making movies that will dazzle the Nigerian audience.
He was named one of the fifty rising stars in the Nigerian cinema industry by Ranks Africa in 2022. His movie, CitiBoys, also premiered in Terra Kulture, Lagos state, on the 13th of June, 2022. The Moveee had a chat with him about this movie and his source of artistic inspiration.
In the healthy soil of the Nigerian cinema, where new plants are born every day, Tohbagram is a name that you should look out for.
Can you tell me about your journey so far in the world of filmmaking? I learnt that you started making films as an undergraduate. What was your experience as an undergraduate filmmaker?
Beautiful. I started at the 200 level with a couple of friends. We shot for an Instagram competition – Access Bank Accelerate Filmmaker project – where I got to the semi-finals. I tried it again the second year, but I did not make it to the final five; then, I went further to shoot a short film, Truth About Lies, which premiered in the Unilorin Performing Arts theatre. It was my first sold-out event, and it was tasking. We had several movie premieres across Ilorin Viva Cinema and Ibadan before CitiBoys at Terra KULTURE. This would not have been possible without God and the good people around me. I’m not the type that brags about the things I’ve done. I always look forward to what’s next and the next record to break, so we keep doing more, learning and unlearning, and getting better.
Interesting. What is the source of your creative inspiration?
I read the news a lot. I can be on blogs all day, and I read random books, any random lines, and watch many movies that inspire my kind of story and the picture I want to create. I’m not there yet, the fund is not coming yet, but movies like Fast and Furious and Money Heist, as well as directors like Joji Fukanaga and Loukman Ali, inspire me a lot. I believe one day, the true story about terrorism will be revealed. I want to bring that emotion to the screen.
Tell me about your latest project, CitiBoys.
CitiBoys is a representation of a binary opposition story of the Nigerian youth. Two friends have to choose cyber crime or live with the disappointment of not getting a white-collar job after school, unemployment decline, and the greedy and fancy lifestyle the youths live. The movie posit leaves you with a choice.
What do you think about the cybercrime cankerworm fast becoming a social norm in many Nigerian communities?
Well, it is said that it can not be stopped. You cannot kill an idea even if you kill the inventor. It has come to stay as long as the internet exists, and we still have Nigerian youths with this mentality and impatience as even the government fail to do the needful. It is a shame that we should keep having this issue in Nigeria.
Since you believe it can not be stopped, how do you think CitiBoy will make a difference?
It is a dead end. There is the law of karma if you’re ready to face it. There is something called existentialism too. It deals with choices, freedom and individual existence – be ready to face the result of your choice. But it is so sad that life is not always fair.