Nollywood producer Chioma Okoye is set to change TV experience in the South-east with the official premiere of her latest drama series, AnyanwuUtutu. Produced under Purple Ribbon entertainment, the film, which aims at promoting the culture and tradition of Ndi Igbo, is centred on the lifestyle of people living along the riverine area of Anambra, otherwise known as Omambala. Billed for Friday November 3, at the Stanel World Event Centre, Awka, Anambra State, starting with a red carpet by 5p.m., the premiere, which will play host to the five state governors of the South-east, will also create a platform for robust discussion on how to advance filmmaking in the South-east, with a view to reposition region to regain its position in the country’s motion picture industry.
With veteran actor Chief Pete Edochie as lead character, AnyanwuUtutu tells the story of Nwugo and Ikedinobi, who are in love, not knowing of the enmity that had existed between both families for decades. Meanwhile, Ikedinobi is the only son of Nwafor and his father got him married to Ugoye whom he had no love for, thought his parents believe the love will grow with time. Instead, Ikedinobi fell in love with Nwugo not knowing she’s the daughter of Agbogidi, an arch enemy of his family. Agbogidi and Nwafor warned their children Nwugo and Ikedinobi respectively to stop seeing each other, but their love knew no bounds. Agbogidi did everything within his powers to break the bond that existed between his daughter Nwugo and Ikedinobi, but all his efforts failed, as Ikedinobi passed through every storm and rain just to be with Nwugo his love.
Speaking on the movie project that will definitely change the face of filmmaking in the southeast, the producer Chioma Okoye said the project was inspired by her love for the culture and Igbo family history. “As a filmmaker, your starting point should be telling the world about your culture and tradition. Unfortunately, about 90 per cent have not made movies about their state; most of them do English films. We are going to bridge that gap by focusing on the cultures of our people starting with Anambra. We also intend to cover other part of the region to highlight out rich cultural heritage,” she laments.
On the cast for the production, she said, “aside from established actors such as Pete Edochie, what we did was to use people from the communalities where we worked; we provided jobs for the youths. Since the story is centred on the life of Omambala people, we worked with people, who could speak the dialect. Basically, the role you play is based on your acting ability. And I must tell you, we have abundant talents waiting to be discovered.”
To Okoye, film remains a viable tool for promoting cultures and propagating the tradition of a people, adding that plans have reached an advanced stage to ensure that all the south-eastern states get to watch the series. “Igbo has 623 dialects, which are very unique; let’s tell the world about out true stories and rich cultures. Already, we have reached agreement with state own TV stations in the southeast to show the series after the premiere. This is one way of getting our children to understand out culture and also imbibe them. I want to specially thank Governor Obiano of Anambra State for his support for the premiere. Now, we’ve invited all other governors in the region so that we can all sit down and think of how to regain our lost glory in storytelling. Government needs to invest and support the entertainment industry; that’s the future,” she aadded.
On his part, the director Chidi Chiama commended the producer for discovering that television stations in the southeast are being neglected due to poor programming and decided to bridge the gap.“
This is an inspiration of a good daughter of Aamambra State, who is determined to change the face of the movie industry in the region. Due to lack of activities in the local channels, everybody turned to foreign cable televisions. I think is one of the most important projects in the region as of today,” he said.