Buddy Goes to Nollywood

A film by Michael Lebor

How Buddy Goes to Nollywood came to Lift-Off

Buddy Goes to Nollywood first entered the Lift-Off realm through one of our online festivals. Our online festivals serve as a second chance to films that were rated extremely highly by our judging panel, but unfortunately could not be selected for the live screenings (for any number of reasons). Buddy went on to win Melbourne Lift-Off Film Festival Online, winning an official live selection for Manchester Lift-Off. Director Michael Lebor attended the screening, giving a really interesting Q&A to the audience revealing many insightful stories behind the making of this comedic and uplifting documentary.

Michael wants us to take the feature as a concept for a web series spin-off, to take Buddy to the other two largest film industries, Hollywood and Bollywood, a challenge we gladly accepted!

About the Director

Michael graduated with an honours degree in Biology from the University of Exeter before realising in his early 20’s that his passion lay in documentary filmmaking.

Inspired by the events of 9/11 and the Western response to the attacks, Michael saved up his wages and traveled to the US to make a film called “One Nation Under God”. He had no training or even filmmaking practice before the trip so he was happy when the film caught the attention of a production company and he got his first job in the industry.

After 6 months he went from production assistant to editing a series for regional television, with one program appearing on BBC2. After this he moved to London and earned a living for 2 years by assisting on TV commercials, while building up clients and gaining the skills to shoot and edit ‘behind the scenes’, corporate and commercial videos.

Soon after, he met his business partner with whom he ran a production company producing films for brands and charities. During this time he interviewed actors such as James McCavoy and Mark Strong and worked with musician Imogen Heap shooting music videos and documentary content.

Michael has directed over a hundred videos with one of his biggest clients being M&C Saatchi among many other ad agencies. He has directed a 30 minute TV program for Berlin-based production company Kobalt, appearing on Arte as well as a series of shorts for Channel 4. He has become an accomplished director of photography, shooting an award-winning short film Mdudu Boy as well as an internationally distributed feature film, Fever.

Michael’s work has taken him all over Africa, which has led to some of his proudest work with charities like Save The Children and CAFOD. Particularly memorable moments include filming in a refugee camp in South Sudan and filming a birth at a hospital in rural Sierra Leone. His love of Africa has led him to make his first feature documentary, Buddy Goes to Nollywood, which is currently on the international festival circuit.

Michael’s latest project is following world-renowned, double Grammy award-winning artist Imogen Heap on her world tour as she attempts to radically change the path of the music industry for the benefit of future music makers as well as performing mesmerising shows with her innovative MiMu gloves.

Buddy Goes to Nollywood

Directed by: Michael Lebor

Country of origin: United Kingdom & Nigeria

Runtime: 82 minutes

Synopsis: Buddy Munro, entertainer, explorer, comedian and actor, goes to Africa for the first time to change the fortunes of his career. After struggling for 23 years trying to break into the UK's entertainment industry, with just enough money to stay in Nigeria for ten days, he packs a small bag and heads off to Lagos to chase his dreams of being on the silver screen. In the enormous but little-known Nigerian film industry, Nollywood, he finds many kindred spirits who share his humour and support his adventure. Spurred on by childhood tragedy, Buddy is desperate to succeed and makes remarkable inroads into the heart of the industry, but does he find happiness and success?