"A huge goal of mine is to not only tell great Nigerian and African stories but to share them with the rest of the world," says award-winning director Kunle Afolayan. "Stories about people are universal, and if they are produced well, they can be understood by anyone."
With his most recent release, Citation, available on Netflix across the globe, the Nigerian filmmaker is well on his way to achieving this goal. Born and raised in Lagos, Kunle was introduced to the world of film from a young age. "I've always had great appreciation for amazing stories and film because as a child it was all around me," he says. "My father, Adeyemi Josiah Afolayan, was a popular Nollywood theatre and film director and producer, so film is in my blood."
While working in a bank, Kunle realised he wasn't following his true passion and decided to retrain in filmmaking at the New York Film Academy. Since then he's become one of the leading lights of Nollywood – the Nigerian film industry – releasing hits including Mokalik and The Figurine, and has founded Kunle Afolayan Productions Television (KAPTv) and Golden Effects Pictures.
Citation tells the story of a university student who finds herself inadvertently taking on the establishment when she reports a popular professor for attempted rape. The film is based on real events. "Citation is an incredible story that I believe will resonate far and wide," says Kunle. "It is about a young woman in higher education who is being groomed by lecturers in return for better, higher grades – a really topical subject in Nigeria and something I believe happens across the world but isn't discussed."
Here, Kunle and his DoP Jonathan Kovel share how the Canon EOS C500 Mark II and Sumire Prime lenses met their creative demands and enabled Citation to become a Netflix triumph.