AN AMAZING GRACE IN LAGOS
NU Metro Film Distribution, with the support of Diamond Bank, will hold the world premiere of the movie entitled The Amazing Grace, today at the Nu Metro Cinema, Lekki, Lagos. The movie will make the round of cinemas across the country from tomorrow, November 27.
The Amazing Grace is one of the most ambitious project to come out of the Nollywood stable. Reputed to be the first major international feature film from the Nigerian movie industry, it highlights the epic story of the British slave trader, John Newton's voyage to Nigeria in 1748, and how this experience helped inspired him to compose the world famous hymn, Amazing Grace.
The film was directed by the internationally acclaimed Nigerian filmmaker, Jeta Amata. Already one of the Nolywood's top directors, Jeta Amata had recently worked with the BBC and two of his latest films were shown at last year's Berlin Film festival. The Amazing Grace was also screened at this year's Cannes Film Festival.
The movie, The Amazing Grace features a cast of renowned actors from Nigeria, the US and Britain, including Nick Moran (Lock Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels). Shooting started on December 1, 2004 in the Nigerian City of Calabar, which has recently become a Mecca of sort for filmmakers, with a multi-billion naira investment in state-of-the-art equipment and technology. The production was flagged off and has the backing of His Excellency, the Governor of Cross River State, Mr. Donald Duke, who has been instrumental to the success of the project.
In a statement by Nu Metro, the film distribution outfit said it "is proud to be associated to this landmark film event" and has committed its support to Nigerian and African film.
It recently launched an African Film Festival, which took place in South Africa in May 2006 and in September in Kenya.
The Amazing Grace will also be released into Francophone countries later this year. A VCD and DVD release of the film will also take place shortly.
In 1748, at the height of the slave-trading era, John Newton sails to the coast of Nigeria and the port of Calabar. Now captain of this ship, The Greyhound, his previous experience in the slave trade had turned him away from religion, into a coarse man with new morals.
Slaves were rounded up by force and trickery; villages raided and burned down, the captives kept in dungeons, chained like animals as John Newton fills his ship with his what he hardly considers human.
But as he leaves the Nigerian coast with a ship load of slaves, a violent storm brings John Newton to the point of death and causes him to re-evaluate his life. He attributes his miraculous escape to The Amazing Grace of God, although it is one of the slaves who actually saved him.
Despite receiving The Amazing Grace, John Newton continues his slave trading. It makes an act of humanity from one of the slaves he considers animals to show him the true meaning of the words. He finally renounces slave trading and decides to devote his life to religion.