‘76 Raises the Bar in Nollywood

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ENTERTAINMENT STORIES
with nseobong okon-ekong
08114495324, nseobong.okonekong@thisdaylive.com

Laudable comments and accolades trailed the press screening of the much anticipated Izu Ojukwu film ‘76 recently at Ozone Cinemas, Sabo-Yaba, Lagos.

Snippets of the military thriller surrounding the historical the Bukar Dimka Coup in 1976 was shown to the media earlier this year. Since then, the producers: Tonye Princewill, Adonijah Owiriwa and Izu Ojukwu have been on their toes to make the film a peerless production.

From garnering positive reviews at international film fesitivals in Toronto and London and signing a seven-figure dollar film with a Hollywood franchise to an impressive homecoming, ‘76 has raised a new bar for Nollywood. ‘76 has set a couple of unprecendented record spending seven years in production, the longest the industry would witness, it is no doubt that the end-product is a masterpiece

The film’s beauty lies in its visuals. Shot on film, it creates an imagery that is so live and true. The use of live footages from the crime scene and execution of the coup plotters further enhanced the quality of the production.

Beyond its military setting, ‘76 explores the social and cultural themes of the past. Ojukwu known for his dexterity left no stone unturned as he brings to life the flamboyant lifestyle of the 70s. From the vintage cars used to the costumes, the film relives the past in a creative way. The storyline revolves round an army officer Joseph Dewa (Ramsey Nouah) and his wife Suzie (Rita Dominic). Their love story is creatively embedded in the historic events that led to the assassination of late former military leader Muritala Mohammed.

Indeed, ‘76 is a new dawn for Nollywood which has in the past suffered ridicule from viewers due to its lack of indepth storylines, loose plot and poor production. In’76, critics have become tongue tied, hardly able to say a word. Journalists at the screening could barely find a fault in the movie and when they did, they were incidents they could gloss over.

It is estimated that the film will bring more money as well as win more awards,including an Oscar as suggested by Patrick Lee of Ozone Cinemas.
For the Chairman of the Silverbird Group and member of the National Assembly, Senator Ben Murray-Bruce, ‘76 is a history class: “I can tell you that this movie will make history.

Because it teaches history. We don’t teach history in Nigeria anymore. I’m a history student and I can tell you that I’m very impressed with what Tonye and other producers have done with ‘76. I can also tell you that the movie will make money.”

Produced by Princewill’s Trust and Adonis Production in partnership with Africa Magic and Silverbird Distribution, the film will have its African premiere on November 3 and opens in cinemas nationwide on November 25. It is also the closing film for the upcoming Africa International Film Festival.

76’ has enjoyed great reviews from a host of local and international movie critics. At the London Film Festival, stars came out in glittering form to London’s West End to celebrate the launch of a film that has been described by the UK press as “visually textured, educational, and thoroughly entertaining; a movie not to be missed”. Coming from that notorious media establishment that are hard to impress, this speaks volumes.

The film stars many renowned and notable Nollywood megastars Rita Dominic, Ramsey Nouah, Chidi Mokeme, Ibinabo Fiberesinma, Memry Savanhu, Daniel K Daniel (two time African best actor 2016) and the awesome Ada Ofoegbu in her groundbreaking role as “Aunty Mary”. Also in attendance were Executive Producers Adonijah Owiriwa (also in the movie) and Prince Tonye Princewill with his family in tow. At the centre of this very gripping romantic thriller is the charismatic, ‘Captain Joseph Dewa’, played by Ramsey Nouah who is indicted by the military for his alleged role in the notorious failed Nigerian coup of 1976.