Three-time Academy Award Winner Mark Jonathan Harris, and critically acclaimed, award-winning Nigerian American filmmaker, Ose Oyamendan, are producing and directing a documentary that ‘reveals some of the darkest years in Nigeria’s history’ prior to and after the June 12, 1993, elections.
The film entitled M.K.O – Waiting For Mr President is set to premiere in 2022.
A few years in the making, the documentary is turning out to be the most anticipated film in the film industry since its unveiling last month. It made a debut at Toronto’s Hotdocs Forum that month, and was one of the ten films selected worldwide to feature at the Docs Barcelona, Spain, where it was the most talked about film project.
Harris leads an impressive film crew with himself as executive producer, veteran and award-winning producer Veronique Bernard, Oyamendan as director, and world renowned film editor, Monique Zavistovski.
The film features key players plays in the scandalizing and turbulent times such as General Ibrahim Abubakar who annulled the election; Ambassador Babagana Kingibe, then Abiola’s running mate; General Abdusalami Abubakar, then interim Head of State at the time of Abiola’s death; Professor Wole Soyinka, key opposition leader to the military rule; Professor Humphrey Nwosu, NEC’s Chairman at the time; then American Ambassador to Nigeria, Walter Carrington, and Ambassador Tom Pickering who led the US delegation to the fatal meeting with Abiola.
Other interviewees include Chief Arthur Nzeribe, members of Abiola’s family, retired military officers, politicians, diplomats and foreign journalists.
Harris whose films The Long Way Home, Into The Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport said the director, Oyamendan, is the best person to do the story justice.
“Ose often takes on very deep and complicated stories. I have been pushing him for years to tell a agreat African story, something from his background. When he finally told me about this project, I was completely blown away. As a true story, it’s many more times bigger. I knew immediately that this is a story that has to be told. Ose is the best person I know who can do it justice and I will do all I can to help tell it,” says Harris.
A graduate of film program at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, and coming off his critically award winning film Aswat Acherim (Other Voices), Ose draws on his experience working as a journalist at the time of the elections and crisis, and at the Amnesty International, US, at the height of the foreign battle for democracy in Nigeria, to tell a successful story.