A Place in the Stars

A Place in the Stars is a 2014 Nigerian crime thriller film written by Ita Hozaife and J. K. Amalou, co-produced and directed by Steve Gukas. It stars Gideon Okeke, Segun Arinze, Matilda Obaseki, Yemi Blaq, Femi Branch and Dejumo Lewis.[3][4][5] The film was inspired by the tenure of Late Professor Dora Akunyili as the Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).[6]

A Place in the Stars
A Place in the Stars poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed bySteve Gukas
Produced bySteve Gukas
Nosa Obayuwana
Written byIta Hozaife
J. K. Amalou
Music byGeorge Kallis
CinematographyHarald Beeker
John L. Demps Jr.
Manu Lapière
Edited byAntonio Rui Ribeiro
Natives Filmworks
Jungle FilmWorks
Distributed bySilverbird Film Distribution
Release date
  • 14 November 2014 (2014-11-14)
Running time
108 minutes
Budget₦160 million (est)[1][2]

The film is set in 2006,[6] and narrates the story of Kim Dakim (Gideon Okeke), a young lawyer who has information about the trafficking of counterfeit drugs and stands to make millions of dollars if he doesn't pass on the information. However, the drug baron, Diokpa Okonkwo (Segun Arinze) is ready to kill in order protect his thriving illegal trade and Kim has him to contend with, while battling with his conscience and everything he has been raised to believe is right.




George Kallis conducting the ninety-piece symphony orchestra for A Place in the Stars in Budapest, Hungary

A Place in the Stars focuses on "how fake and adulterated medical drugs are being traded for billions of dollars".[7] Gukas decided to make a film on fake drugs, having been inspired by the tenure of the now late Dora Akunyili as the Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC). According to him, the zeal and dedication of Akinyili helped a lot to reduce the prevalence of fake drugs in Nigeria to a minimum level at the time.[6][8]

The film which was partly funded by Nigeria's National Film and Video Censors Board,[9] is a co-production of Native Filmworks with Jungle FilmWorks, Massive Entertainment, Consolidated Media Associates, Pepper Fruit Consult, MichelAngelo Productions and T-Large Media.[8][10] According to Gukas, the total amount spent on producing the film is over a million dollars.[6] It was shot in Jos, Abuja and Lagos.[11] The film's development through production took a period of five years.[1][8] The director noted the funding style as the reason behind the long duration.[12]

Music and soundtrackEdit

The music was composed by George Kallis; Instrumentation for the music composition was done by a ninety-piece orchestra and it was recorded in Budapest, Hungary.[1][13] The music score is majorly of an uplifting tempo.[12] The theme song for the film "A Place in the Stars" by Jeremiah Gyang of Chocolate City music label was released on 21 September 2014, along with its music video.[14][15]

Promotion and releaseEdit

Arinze, flagging Dr. Ameyo Adadevoh for his #APlaceInTheStars campaign

The film was officially announced to the press on 20 August 2014 at Freedom Park, Lagos Island.[6][16][17][18][19][20] The official trailer for the film was unveiled at the event, before it was uploaded on YouTube the same day.[21][22][23][24] Exclusive behind-the-scenes footage; including the making of the film, the music score and music video of the film's soundtrack were also screened for guests at the event.[8][13][16] On 1 October, a social media campaign was launched on Twitter, which involves users, including celebrities, twitting the name of people who they think deserve a place in the stars, with the hash-tag "#APlaceInTheStars".[25][26][27] A private screening was held for the film at the Four Points Sheraton Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos on 12 October 2014.[28] The film premiered on 7 November 2014 at Landmark Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos,[29][30][31] and slated for a general release on 14 November.[9]


Critical receptionEdit

The films received generally negative critical reviews. Wilfred Okiche of YNaija says A Place in the Stars is "a disappointing film", faulting almost everything in it. He cited Gideon Okeke as an unengaging leading man, says the screenplay is not dramatic enough, and concludes : "Any director would have presented A Place in the stars in this way and it would be terrible. But Gukas, whose profile is enough to inspire certain lofty expectations, proceeds with this effort, to dash every single one of them. Nothing inspiring, entertaining or admirable about this [film]".[32] Oris Aigbokhaevbolo of "True Nollywood Stories" gave 5.4 stars, also generally panning the film and Okeke's performance, but commended its motive. He concludes: "Okeke’s smug-plated acting aside, this is the trouble with A Place in the Stars: it is an NGO enlightenment campaign for television. Screenwriter Ita Hozaife’s and J.K Amalou’s hearts are in the right place, but their film is showing at the wrong space".[33]

Amarachukwu Iwuala of 360Nobs criticized the scripting and continuity, but commended the music, commenting "The orchestra is so solemn that one is forced into sober reflections. The technical quality of the film is topnotch whilst many of the actors give sublime performances. [However,] A Place in the Stars is not exceptional, coming from the director of Keeping Faith.[34] Ukamaka of Olisa TV says the film seems like a documentary, which is overwhelmed by the beautiful cinematography; she concludes: "Though A Place In The Stars subscribes to a standard all its own, which is a triumph, it could have been better if the story wasn’t so linear [...] But A Place in the Stars stands tall among its peers; daring to pull off impressive stunts and starting an important conversation".[35]


A Place in the Stars was nominated in eleven categories at the 2015 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards, and won the award for "Best Drama Film".[36]

Complete list of Awards
Award Category Recipients and nominees Result
(2015 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards)[37][38]
Best Movie of 2014 Steve Gukas Nominated
Best Movie (Drama) Steve Gukas Won
Best Movie Director Steve Gukas Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Segun Arinze Nominated
Best Actress in a Drama Amaka Mgbor Nominated
Best Actor in a Drama Gideon Okeke Nominated
Best Cinematography John Demps, Harald Beeker & Manuel Lapiere Nominated
Best Make-Up Artist Chinwem Elevoh & Sandra Udoewah Nominated
Best Sound Editing Susan Penington Nominated
Best Video Editing Antonio Rui Ribeiro Nominated
Best Drama Writer Ita Hozaife, J.K. Amalou Nominated

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c Oniwura, Bobola (August 2014). "First Look At Steve Gukas's "A Place In The Stars" Movie As Nollywood Reaches For The Stars – Bobola Oniwura". omojuwa.com. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  2. ^ Offiong, Adie Vanessa (23 August 2014). "When Nollywood saw 'A Place in the Stars'". Weekly Trust NG. Archived from the original on 12 September 2014. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  3. ^ "Native Filmworks unveil 'A Place in the Stars'". City Voice Nigeria. 25 August 2014. Archived from the original on 15 September 2014. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  4. ^ O, Segun (24 August 2014). "Movie Trailer: "A Place In The Stars" Starring Segun Arinze, Gideon Okeke, Matilda Obaseki, Femi Branch". 36NG.com. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  5. ^ "Gideon Okeke, Segun Arinze star in "A Place in the Stars"". TVC News. Archived from the original on 29 August 2014. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  6. ^ a b c d e Dike, Ada (29 August 2014). "Day Nigerians gathered to catch a glimpse of 'A Place In The Stars'". NewsWatch NG. My Daily NewsWatch. Archived from the original on 14 September 2014. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  7. ^ "Movie review: A Place in the stars". Daily Independent Nigeria. August 2014. Archived from the original on 31 August 2014. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  8. ^ a b c d Husseini, Shaibu (29 August 2014). "Nigeria: A Place in the Stars - Something New, Deep From Gukas". AllAfrica.com. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  9. ^ a b Nwanne, Chuks (10 October 2014). "Nigeria: 'In a Place in the Stars', Gukas Confronts Corruption, Celebrates Late Akunyili". All Africa. allAfrica.com. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
  10. ^ Emelike, Obinna (7 September 2014). "Intrigues of Guka's 'A Place in the Stars'". BusinessDay. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  11. ^ "A Place in the Stars (2014) - Filming locations". IMDb. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  12. ^ a b "Nigeria: A Place in the Stars - Something New, Deep From Gukas". All Africa. allAfrica.com. 29 August 2014. p. 2. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  13. ^ a b Medeme, Ovwe. "Native Filmworks unveils A place in the Stars". The Nation. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  14. ^ "BN Video Premiere: Jeremiah Gyang – A Place In The Stars". Bella Naija. bellanaija.com. 22 September 2014. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
  15. ^ "Native Filmworks unveils A Place in the Stars' theme song". The Nation Newspaper. The Nation NG. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
  16. ^ a b "Native Filmworks announces "A Place in the Stars" - See Photos Cast & More the Event". Bella Naija. bellanaija.com. 26 August 2014. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  17. ^ Iyereosa, Hycinth (21 August 2014). "A Place In The Stars: Freedom Park, Old Prison Ground – Lagos Island". YNaija. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  18. ^ Neme, Sony (22 August 2014). "Native Filmworks unveils 'A Place In The Stars'". New Telegraph. Archived from the original on 9 May 2015. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  19. ^ Izuzu, Chidumga (22 August 2014). "Native Filmworks Announces 'A Place In The Stars'". Pulse NG. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  20. ^ Brown, Stephen; Bada, Gbenga. "Gideon Okeke, Matilda Obaseki find 'A Place in the Stars'". Movie Moments Limited. Movie Moments. Archived from the original on 14 September 2014. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  21. ^ "WATCH: "A PLACE IN THE STARS" – OFFICIAL MOVIE TRAILER". Nigerian Entertainment Today. The NET NG. 9 September 2014. Archived from the original on 13 September 2014. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  22. ^ "Watch 'A Place In The Stars' – watch official movie trailer". Nollywood Magazine. 11 September 2014. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  23. ^ George, Mayowa (9 September 2014). "WATCH : 'A PLACE IN THE STARS'- OFFICIAL MOVIE TRAILER". 360 Nobs. 360nobs.com. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  24. ^ "Celebrities, Out on the town : Native Filmworks Presents 'A Place In The Stars' Starring Gideon Okeke, Segun Arinze, Maltida Obaseki And More". Genevieve Magazine. Archived from the original on 14 September 2014. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  25. ^ "Happy Independence! Celebrate your Heroes Today with the #APlaceInTheStars Campaign". Bella Naija. bellanaija.com. 1 October 2014. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  26. ^ Izuzu, Chidumga (3 October 2014). "Actors Kick Off New Social Media Campaign". Pulse. Pulse NG. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  27. ^ "Celebrate your Heroes Today with the #APlaceInTheStars Campaign". Nollywood Magazine. 1 October 2014. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  28. ^ "Gideon Okeke, Segun Arinze, Dejumo Lewis, Alibaba at the VVIP Screening of "A Place in the Stars" in Lagos". Bella Naija. bellanaija.com. 16 October 2014. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
  29. ^ Izuzu, Chidumga (7 November 2014). "Anticipated Movie Premieres Tonight". Pulse NG. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
  30. ^ "Watch Gideon Okeke, Matilda Obaseki in 'A Place in the Stars' as it Premieres this Friday!". Bellanaija. 6 November 2014. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
  31. ^ "All set for A Place in the Stars premiere". The Nation Newspaper. The Nation. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
  32. ^ Okiche, Wilfred. "Movie review: 'A place in the stars' is a hugely disappointing film". YNaija. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  33. ^ Aigbokhaevbolo, Oris (2 December 2014). "A Place in the Stars Review: A Place On Television Perhaps…". True Nollywood Stories. Archived from the original on 23 December 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  34. ^ Iwuala, Amarachukwu (9 April 2015). "#Nollywood Movie Review of 'A Place in the Stars'". 360Nobs.com. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  35. ^ Ukamaka (26 January 2015). "Movie Review: Steve Gukas' 'A Place In The Stars". Olisa TV. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 10 October 2015.
  36. ^ "Africa Magic Viewers' Choice Awards 2015 nominees list out". Ghana Web. 12 December 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  37. ^ "List Of The 2015 Africa Magic Viewers' Choice Awards (AMVCAs) Nominees". DStv. StarGist. 13 December 2014. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
  38. ^ "AMVCA winners announced". Archived from the original on 17 April 2015. Retrieved 9 March 2015.

External linksEdit