'76 Movie Debuts @ Toronto International Film Festival
The landmark cinematic production,“’76" is the first all-Nigerian, made in Nigeria movie chosen to have its own world premiere at the prestigious 41st Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). The film, a true love story embedded in treason, intrigue, patriotism and faith is set in Ibadan, Nigeria, against the backdrop of transition and the struggle for political stability in 1976 and is inspired by real life events. Nigeria is Africa’s most populous nation with over 170 million people and is home to Nollywood, the 3rd largest film industry in the world.
Prior to departing to Toronto, the cast and crew received a major boost with a huge endorsement by the Head of State who succeeded the assassinated Murtala Muhammed at the time, His Excellency Olusegun Obasanjo, who 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 Nations 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."
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, a 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 Izu Ojukwu and the production teams of Adonis Production and Princewill’s Trust.
"We wanted to show audiences who were not there, what it was like and the impact of the army on the people's psyche. A lot of water has gone under the bridge over 40 years. This is a filmmaker's small contribution to some of that healing." the Executive Producer Tonye Princewill mentioned. I am glad we were selected first by Toronto, they've been watching our progress for years and to get this special endorsement as well by the former President and Head of state who lived those moments depicted in the film, everything falls into place and it could not have been at a better time."
The film stars renowned and notable Nollywood megastars Rita Dominic, Ramsey Nouah, Chidi Mokeme, Ibinabo Fiberesinma, Memry Savanhu, Daniel K Daniel (African best actor 2016), Ada Ofoegbu and a host of other rising stars. 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 coup.
The film will have its specially laid out red carpet premiere on Sunday the 11th of Sept. at the prestigious Isabel Bader Theatre and promises to be a truly unique & momentous occasion. All the key cast, crew and many special guests are all committed to walking the red carpet. The event will also be transmitted live via social media.
TIFF spearheads a four-pronged dive into awards season on the festival front as it, along with events in Telluride, Venice, and New York, it plays, a very important part in facilitating the rise of emerging Oscar contenders. As a key precursor in the awards race, all eyes will be on TIFF’s full line up, which often hosts high-profile premieres of Oscar-bound films.
As a time-tested launching pad for awards hopefuls, the largely non-competitive festival’s only major accolade is bestowed by festivalgoers themselves, as the TIFF People’s Choice Award is voted on by the public, not a curated jury of industry professionals. Since 2008, seven of TIFF’s People’s Choice Award winners have gone on to either win or be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars, including Silver Linings Playbook, 12 Years a Slave, and Precious. Last year’s champion, Lenny Abrahamson’s Room, scored four Academy Award nominations, with star Brie Larson winning in the Best Actress category.
The 2016 Toronto Film Festival will open on September 8 with “The Magnificent Seven” and close on September 18. 76 will be screened four times. September 10th, 11th, 13th and 17th.
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