A Nollywood film on Nigeria’s resilience during the Ebola virus outbreak in the country was on Friday night screened at Hollywood, Los Angeles, in a collaboration event tagged ‘Nollywood in Hollywood’. The screening of the film, 93 DAYS, which held at the world famous Egyptian Theater in Hollywood with a red-carpet, was also the inaugural ‘Nollywood in Hollywood’ event.
According to organisers, the event was a celebration of Nigeria’s growing cinema. The film is a compelling drama of dedication, sacrifice, resilience and survival based on the true story of the people who risked their lives to prevent a catastrophic virus outbreak in Nigeria.
Nigeria experienced the Ebola virus in July, 2014 when a Liberian American, Patrick Sawyer, who had the disease flew from Liberia to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos and died five days later. Starring Bimbo Akintola, Somkele Idhalama and Danny Glover, it took the audience through the unfortunate memory lane when Sawyer collapsed upon arrival at the airport, after which he was diagnosed with the Ebola virus.
The film explained that over that 93-day period, men and women from Nigeria, the World Health Organisation and Doctors Without Borders raced against time to contain the deadly disease as lives were lost and heroes were born. The film was co-presented by the American Cinematheque’s Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California, and O2A Media Inc., the production company of Nigerian-American filmmaker, Ose Oyamendan.
There was a question and answer session that followed, with the film’s director, Steve Gukas. The screening of the Nollywood film, 93 DAYS, and two others from Nollywood – THE BRIDGE and ISOKEN – in Hollywood, California, which started on Friday and continues on Saturday, would be the first collaboration between Nollywood and Hollywood.
This is also the first time that the foremost film programme in the world and the most historic of all of Hollywood’s cinema houses are teaming up to bring a film series from Africa to Hollywood. Nigeria joined a select list of seven countries from around the world to be part of the prestigious national screening series, according to the organisers.
The ongoing screening would be a question and answer series moderated by the Chairman of the African-American wing of the Directors Guild of America and an open air, post-screening Nigerian party on the historic Hollywood Boulevard. From very inauspicious beginnings about 25 years ago, the Nollywood industry grew to be the second largest in the world in terms of output. It is estimated that over 1,000 films are produced in Nollywood every year, most of them direct to video.
In recent years, Nollywood films have garnered critical acclaim and have been exhibited at top film festivals. (NAN)