The weekend started on Friday (11th of April, 2014) for some of us who got invited to attend the film screening of Half of a Yellow Sun and, the official premiere of the movie on Saturday the 12th of April, 2014. I got to attend the film screening for the press and the press conference and both events turned out really nice. I wasn’t at the Saturday event but reports from those who attended and the pictures suggest that it was even better. The Film screening and the official premiere took place at the Silverbird cinemas in Victoria Island and the press conference held at the Wheatbaker hotel in Ikoyi.
I got to see the movie with the press people on Friday and I enjoyed it. I did anticipate the movie though since I had watched the trailer and gotten a synopsis of the movie. Besides, the cast seemed cool with Chiwetel Ejiofor who I have come to love after 12Years A Slave and then Onyeka Onwenu whom I have not seen in a movie in almost a decade or more, in it.
The movie is an adaptation of a book written by Chimamanda Adichie, a Nigerian author whose work has transcended the shores of the nation and gone beyond, earning her a number of awards. It is centered around the political problems faced by Nigeria after its Independence in 1960, with particular emphasis on the Biafran war. However, the director, Biyi Bandele points out that the movie goes beyond the war to highlight the relationships formed and the sacrifices that were made as a result of love.
I do not want to be a spoiler so, I am not going to tell you about the movie itself but I can share some things I found out during the press conference that are not in the movie:
- It was Biyi Banidele’s idea that the book be tuned into a movie after he read the book. He did meet Chimamanda in a restaurant event in London and shared the idea to make a movie out of the book. He took the idea to Yewande Sadiku who is the executive producer of the movie. Though she was not interested initially, her husband, Muhtar Bakare, convinced her to take up the project. after which she did commit herself to raising funds for the movie. Unfortunately, I can’t quite state a figure in terms of what was expended since I didn’t hear it myself but, Yewande did confirm that it did cost a lot. When you see the movie, you will agree with her that it did cost a lot.
- The shooting of the movie was done in Calabar and lasted for 33 days. Though most of the cast and crew contracted malaria and typhoid, none of them left until the movie was over. We also got to find out that, the movie was shot before 12 years a Slave as Biyi mentioned that Chiwetel had to run along immediately after the shoot for the shooting of 12 years a Slave.
- Chiwetel openly declared on that day, that he is British-Nigerian. contrary to the reactions of many after his statemet at some show that i never saw*lol*, he said, ‘when asked where i am originally from o where i was born, i will have to say London because that was where i was born. however, i am British Nigerian an i love Nigeria’. he went on to explain that he is quite passionate about the movie and the Biafran war is the reason why he was born in London.
- For those of you who may see the movie and wonder why some parts of the book were not contained in the movie, Biyi explained that, a movie with the entire book in it had to be a 24hour movie and not a 2hours movie and I agree with him. Except you want a series or the typical Nollywood part 1-5 movie, you can’t have the whole book in it.
- The movie has been premiered in Toronto, London and we are glad it has come here in Nigeria. According to Shareman Media, the Nigerian producer, and FilmOne Distribution, the Nigerian distributor of the film, the movie will be released in all Nigerian cinemas on Friday, the 25th of April, 2014.
- Some of the cast include, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandie Newton, Anika Noni Rose, Joseph Mawle, John Boyega, Genevieve Nnaji and Onyeka Onwenu.
Here’s the official trailer of the movie.
So, get your cash ready to buy the tickets as soon as it comes out and keep visiting the blog because I just may have a goody in stock.