Nigerian military coup film showing at London's BFI Festival

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A Nigerian film inspired by a real life military coup attempt, is the first Nigerian movie to be chosen by both Toronto and London's top film festivals.

'76, inspired by true events, is set in 1976, six years after the end of the civil war in Nigeria.

It premiered at the prestigious 41st Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) on Sunday (Sept 11), and will be screened and the British Film Institute (BFI) Festival in London next month,

This is the first Nollywood film to be chosen by both Toronto and London film festivals back to back and is a new milestone in African cinema.

The film sees a heavily pregnant woman’s life crumble when the news of her husband’s involvement in a botched military coup attempt hits the headlines. '76 celebrates the quality of the true African woman by exploring the usually invisible pain of a soldier’s wife; it highlights the enduring Nigerian cultural values of courage, resilience, patience, loyalty, faith and family.

The $3 million landmark cinematic production was shot in Nigeria by award-winning director Izu Ojukwu. It stars Nollywood megastars Rita Dominic, Ramsey Nouah, Chidi Mokeme, Ibinabo Fiberesinma and Memry Savanhu.

Also starring in the movie is actor Daniel K Daniel who recently won the best actor award at the 2016 Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA).

A story of love, honour and bullets set in Ibadan, Nigeria; the film is inspired by real life events that led to the assassination of the then Nigerian Head of State, Murtala Muhammed.

The film, cast and crew have now received a major boost with a high profile endorsement from the Head of State who succeeded the assassinated Murtala Muhammed at the time; His Excellency General Olusegun Obasanjo, then later went on to become a two term President making him both a military and civilian leader of the largest black nation in the world.

He described '76 as, "the best view of one of the worst times in our nation’s history. A must watch and an insight that was long overdue. Watching the attention to detail and hearing my own voice in February 1976, brought out both sweet and sour memories as Murtala Muhammed was not only my boss, he was my friend. I cannot attest to what went on in the homes as we were focused on the field, but this film gives even I, an insight into that."

Set during the era of military assassinations and political unrest in Nigeria, the movie also had the full approval and endorsement of the Nigerian Army and the Murtala Muhammed family, and was shot inside the confines of a military base, another first in Nigeria's cinematic history.

It comes 40 years after the actual events, and follows four years of work by the multi award-winning director Ojukwu and the production teams of Adonis Production and Princewill’s Trust, a brainchild of Prince Tonye Princewill and Adonijah Owiriwa who are the film’s executive producers.

Source: The Voice Online 15 September 2016