EbonyLife Films’ Adaptation of “Death and the King’s Horseman” Will Premiere at 2022 Toronto International Film Festival

EbonyLife Films' Adaptation of
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Elesin Oba, The King’s Horseman,” produced by EbonyLife Films and Netflix, will make its international debut at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in September 2022. “Elesin Oba,” based on true events in Nigeria in 1943, will be the first Yoruba language film to be included in the coveted special presentation category.

The original “Death and the King’s Horseman” was a play written by Wole Soyinka, and this is the first time that one of his literary works will be adapted for the big screen.

Mo Abudu, CEO of the EbonyLife Group and executive producer of the film, said, “In filming Elesin Oba, we chose to stay close to the original work, which is already well-known globally as a great example of African drama. It’s an honour to see this compelling introduction to African thought and tradition on screen. Its interweaving of European and Yoruba ideals to depict universal themes of cultural responsibility has never been more important than now.”

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Written and directed by Biyi Bandele, the film stars Odunlade Adekola as Elesin Oba, Shaffy Bello as Iyaloja, and acclaimed musician Brymo as the Praise Singer, making his screen debut. They are joined by Deyemi Okanlawon, Omowunmi Dada, and veteran actors, Jide Kosoko and Kevin Ushi. Also featured are Jenny Stead and Mark Elderkin as Jane and Simon Pilkings, Langley Kirkwood, and a special appearance by acting legend Taiwo Ajai-Lycett and Ajoke Silva.

Cameron Bailey, a Canadian film critic and CEO of TIFF, stated, “It was a pleasure to see Soyinka’s words and his mastery of tragic drama transformed into a cinema. Odunlade Adekola gives a grand, impressive performance.”

The 47th Toronto International Film Festival will take place from September 8 to 18. The World Premiere of “Elesin Oba, The King’s Horseman” is scheduled for September 10, 2022, in Toronto, Canada.

Synopsis:

Set in the Oyo Empire, between sunset and sunrise, the King’s horseman, Elesin Oba, must commit ritual suicide to follow his deceased king into the afterlife. His best intentions are derailed by his sexual desires, which leads to catastrophic consequences and ends in a deadly clash with the British rulers of the day. The horseman is unable to fulfil his ultimate commitment to the king, leaving his spirit to roam the earth, spelling doom for the land and its people.

See other films that will premiere at TIFF below.

GALA PRESENTATIONS 2022
*Previously announced

AliceDarling Mary Nighy | Canada, USA
World Premiere

Black Ice Hubert Davis | Canada
World Premiere

Butcher’s Crossing Gabe Polsky | USA
World Premiere

The Greatest Beer Run Ever Peter Farrelly | USA
World Premiere

The Hummingbird Francesca Archibugi | Italy, France
World Premiere

Hunt Lee Jung-jae | South Korea
North American Premiere

A Jazzman’s Blues Tyler Perry | USA
World Premiere

Kacchey Limbu Shubham Yogi | India
World Premiere

Moving On Paul Weitz | USA
World Premiere

Paris Memories Alice Winocour | France
North American Premiere

Prisoner’s Daughter Catherine Hardwicke | USA
World Premiere

Raymond & Ray Rodrigo García | USA
World Premiere

Roost Amy Redford | USA
World Premiere

Sidney Reginald Hudlin | USA
World Premiere

The Son Florian Zeller | United Kingdom
North American Premiere

 Opening Night Film
*The Swimmers
 Sally El Hosaini | United Kingdom
World Premiere

What’s Love Got To Do With It? Shekhar Kapur | United Kingdom
World Premiere

*The Woman King Gina Prince-Bythewood | USA
World Premiere

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS 2022
*Previously announced 

Allelujah Sir Richard Eyre | United Kingdom
World Premiere

All Quiet on the Western Front Edward Berger | USA, Germany
World Premiere

The Banshees Of Inisherin Martin McDonagh | United Kingdom, Ireland, USA
North American Premiere

Blueback Robert Connolly | Australia
World Premiere

The Blue Caftan Maryam Touzani | Morocco, France, Belgium, Denmark
North American Premiere

Broker Hirokazu Kore-eda | South Korea
Canadian Premiere

*Brother Clement Virgo | Canada
World Premiere

*Bros Nicholas Stoller | USA
World Premiere

*Catherine Called Birdy Lena Dunham | United Kingdom
World Premiere

Causeway Lila Neugebauer | USA
World Premiere

Chevalier Stephen Williams | USA
World Premiere

Corsage Marie Kreutzer | Austria, France, Germany
North American Premiere

Decision to Leave Park Chan-wook | South Korea
North American Premiere

Devotion JD Dillard | USA
World Premiere

Driving Madeleine Christian Carion | France
International Premiere

El Suplente Diego Lerman | Argentina, Italy, Mexico, Spain, France
World Premiere

Empire of Light Sam Mendes | United Kingdom, USA
Canadian Premiere

The Eternal Daughter Joanna Hogg | United Kingdom
North American Premiere

*The Fabelmans Steven Spielberg | USA
World Premiere

*Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery Rian Johnson | USA
World Premiere

Good Night Oppy Ryan White | USA
International Premiere

The Good Nurse Tobias Lindholm | USA
World Premiere

Holy Spider Ali Abbasi | Denmark, Germany, Sweden, France
Canadian Premiere

Joyland Saim Sadiq | Pakistan
North American Premiere

The King’s Horseman Biyi Bandele | Nigeria
World Premiere

The Lost King Stephen Frears | United Kingdom
World Premiere

A Man of Reason Jung Woo-sung | South Korea
World Premiere

The Menu Mark Mylod | USA
World Premiere

*On the Come Up Sanaa Lathan | USA
World Premiere

One Fine Morning Mia Hansen-Løve | France
Canadian Premiere

Other People’s Children Rebecca Zlotowski | France
North American Premiere

Moonage Daydream Brett Morgen | USA
North American Premiere

*My Policeman Michael Grandage | United Kingdom
World Premiere

Nanny Nikyatu Jusu | USA
International Premiere

No Bears Jafar Panahi | Iran
North American Premiere

The Return of Tanya Tucker: Featuring Brandi Carlile Kathlyn Horan | USA
International Premiere

Saint Omer Alice Diop | France
North American Premiere

Sanctuary Zachary Wigon | USA
World Premiere

Stories Not to be Told Cesc Gay | Spain
World Premiere

Triangle of Sadness Ruben Östlund | Sweden, United Kingdom, USA, France, Greece
North American Premiere

Walk Up Hong Sangsoo | South Korea
World Premiere

Wendell & Wild Henry Selick | USA
World Premiere

The Whale Darren Aronofsky | USA
North American Premiere

Women Talking Sarah Polley | USA
International Premiere

The Wonder Sebastián Lelio | United Kingdom, Ireland
Canadian Premiere



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