In 2015, a group of teenagers in Kaduna, known as The Critics Company, came together to explore their fascination for sci-fi movies. They wanted to replicate what they saw on TV, which they loved so much. But no one from the north of Nigeria, which is where they’re based, had done it before. They had no immediate models to follow, no computer, no equipment. But they did have smartphones, even if the screens were broken, and zeal and determination. These proved enough.
They spent so much time trying to teach themselves; they explored with their smartphones: they watched videos on YouTube, made trials and experiments. In 2016, they released their first short film titled Redemption. They had had to save up for a month to raise the money required to buy the green clothing that they used to create the film’s background.
The team told this story during their panel at the 2019 Kaduna Book and Arts Festival (KABAFEST).
Raymond Yusuff (18) and Godwin Josiah aged (20) are the oldest in the group, except for their manager who is 27.
They have since produced more than 20 short films. They also revealed during the 2019 KABAFEST that they would watch some Nollywood movies and laugh at the mediocrity in those movies. This, they claimed, contributed to their desire to create their films and do what they thought Nollywood ought to do.
They have gone viral many times on social media and have consequently attracted the attention of filmmakers from all over the world, including Kemi Adetiba, Franklin Leonard, Scott Myers, and J.J. Abrams. In August 2020, they received a large shipment from J.J Abrams and Franklin Leonard. It contained highly sophisticated equipment that would improve the quality of films they put out. They were excited about it during the unveiling, which they filmed. They could not resist infusing futuristic elements during the filming.
Raymond Yusuff told CNN that The Critics Company’s primary goal is to become one of the biggest multimedia studios in Africa.