Award winning director Obi Emelonye breaks new ground in Nollywood filmmaking with the upcoming premiere of Onye Ozi (The Messenger), a first-of-its-kind Nigerian language film set in London and performed exclusively in the Igbo language (by Nigerian and British actors).
In yet another WORLD’S FIRST for Nollywood, the Producers are uniquely premiering Onye Ozi LIVE IN LONDON on Fri 18th Oct 2013 and simultaneously ONLINE to the ever growing global Nollywood online audience. The film will stream exclusively on premiere night for a small fee on iBAKAtv, iROKOtv and Afrinolly, the leading Nigerian movie websites and apps. Prices rise after premier night and thereafter the film will be premiered in Lagos and released across cinemas in Nigeria in November.
To add to this technological first, African cinema audiences all over the world, eager to witness Obi Emelonye’s latest creation will be able to also enjoy all the red carpet action LIVE as it happens on Google+ Hangout via Onye Ozi YouTube channel, before they watch the movie online.
Many are saying this is the future of not only Nollywood premieres and international releases, but of international cinema itself.
Subtitled in English, the psychological comedy thriller stars Okey Bakassi, one of Nigeria’s funniest and most intelligent comedians, as an immigrant fresh into London with high expectations and a two-year plan to return to Nigeria a rich man. The film introduces screen newcomer, model turned actress, Ngozi Thompson Igwebike and British lawyer turned actor Stephen Moriaty.
Despite the film having a micro budget, Obi Emelonye sees this as an important film that makes his mother tongue ‘Igbo’ the star attraction and marks a return to his roots and the origins of Nollywood.
Obi Emelonye says ‘I have many friends who are really passionate scholars of the Igbo language and they have been reminding me, with regards to Igbo language, of the small power we have as international filmmakers to influence trends and set public agenda.
I am also (shamefully) one of those parents who are both Igbo but whose children cannot speak the language well. I am passionately Nigerian and proudly Igbo. So I decided to make a script that I had written in English into an Igbo film to make my native language the centrepiece of an international film. ‘Onye Ozi’ is an attempt to revive the telling of African stories in Igbo language, which has lately become an endangered species.
Despite its lower budget, it shows my maturity as a filmmaker, confirming my unique cinematic style and practicing what I call ‘creative brinkmanship’. Every project is different but if ‘Onye Ozi’ can emulate the success of ‘The Mirror Boy’ or ‘Last Flight to Abuja’, I will be a happy old man.’
Screen Nation Media, the visionary movie marketing team behind previous Nollywood Factory premieres is once again set to further elevate Nollywood cinema globally and renews its partnership with award winning innovative media consultant Steve Osagie of Spotlight SMV Marketing. .
Onye Ozi is produced by emerging UK based film producer Emmanuella Ngozi Ideh alongside Obi Emelonye on behalf of The Nollywood Factory with the support of Nollywood Movies, M-Net Africa and Screen Nation Pictures.