Saturday, February 6, 2016 4:58 pm
’76, an epic movie inspired by events which led up to and followed the botched 1976 coup d’etat, is set for premiere in Nigeria.
The film, directed by award winning director, Izu Ojukwu and produced by Africa Magic, in partnership with Adonis Productions and Princewill’s Trust, is anticipated to create a new chapter in Nigerian filmmaking.
It is a tale of love, trust, faith and family set against the backdrop of war and nation building. And it features real life, archived, actual footage that contributes to the movie’s overall authenticity.
It stars notable Nollywood figures including Rita Dominic, Ramsey Nouah, Chidi Mokeme, Ibinabo Fiberesinma, Ada Ofoegbu, Daniel K Daniel and a host of others.
The release of ’76 is coming 40 years after the actual events, and follows four years of work by the director and the production duo of Adonis Productions and Princewill’s Trust.
Wangi Mba-Uzoukwu, Director, M-Net West Africa, while speaking on the movie, said ’76 is yet another example of the ongoing partnerships between Africa Magic and the leading movie Nigerian production houses.
“Our resolve to continuously improve the Nigerian film industry remains a key part of our investment strategy. Through our ongoing partnerships with Nollywood industry stakeholders, we continue to positively impact Nollywood, a factor that steadily ensures continuous development in the industry even as it also gives us the opportunity to add to the exciting content on our channels,” Mba-Uzoukwu said.
While explaining Africa Magic’s excitement partnering with Adonis Productions and Princewill’s Trust in bringing the movie to viewers across Africa, Mba-Uzoukwu noted that ’76 is an adventurous foray into filmmaking in Nigeria.
“’76 is an exciting, compelling storyline that many Nigerians and indeed Africans will relate with. The directing and production quality are top notch, and the themes celebrate values including courage, loyalty, patience, trust and sacrifice,” Mba-Uzoukwu added.
Set six years after the Nigerian civil war, ’76 tells the story of a young officer from the Middle Belt who gets entangled in a romantic relationship and eventually marries a beautiful student from the South-Eastern part of Nigeria.
Their budding romance is threatened by endless military postings, and they face the ultimate test when news of the soldier’s involvement in a botched coup attempt hits the headlines.
Ojukwu, the director, said the movie deals with a range of issues including the plight of the African woman, and the usually invisible pain of a soldier’s wife.
“’76 highlights the enduring Nigerian cultural values of courage, resilience, patience, loyalty, faith and family and the nation’s ability to surmount all challenges,” Ojukwu noted.
He added that the execution of the movie was also done with approval and support from the Nigerian Army.
On his part, Prince Tonye Princewill, the Executive Producer of ’76 and a patron of the Nigerian Association of Movie Producers said ’76 is a deeply emotional film.
“This film resonated deeply with me as I am sure it will do for viewers not just in Nigeria, but around the world. The movie’s thematic preoccupation presents a number of questions including the country’s mis-direction amongst many other issues,” Princewill said.
He disclosed that ’76 is the first movie to be shot on film and was thus a very expensive project.
“We are however very satisfied with the finished work and we know viewers will thoroughly enjoy the movie,” he added.
Thanking the Nigerian Army, M-Net and other sponsors for their support, Princewill revealed that none of all this would be possible without the support received and continue to receive.
“The cast and crew have been phenomenal, and they gave their all to make this movie the success that it is,”he said.
Speaking on the Nigerian Army’s involvement in the movie, Major-General Rogers Ibe Nicholas, Chief of Civil-Military Affairs, Nigerian Army Headquarters, Abuja, said the military today is in a very different place from where it was in 1976.
“As the world has evolved, so have we. The relationship between the army and the people is even more critical. Our true strength comes from our collaboration, and nowhere is it better illustrated than in partnerships such as these,” General Rodgers said.
The military top brass also reiterated the commitment of the Nigerian Army Leadership to anything positive that tells the true story.
’76 premieres mid-2016 and thereafter comes to screens across the continent courtesy of Africa Magic.