OLAIYA ‘IGWE’ BREAKS THE BANK ...SPENDS N34M IN 1000-CAST NEW MOVIE
The quest to take Nollywood to enviable heights in standard of production and story has received a big boost with the completion of the production of Ebun Oloyede's Aditu Kosegbeja; a multi-million naira production. The movie, shot on location in Abeokuta, Ile Ife and Ilesha, is another attempt at pushing forward the frontiers of Nigerian movies.
Aditu is a compelling story that preaches religious tolerance and unity among the two leading religions in the world, Islam and Christianity. It also shows that God, the creator of heaven and earth has not mandated anybody to fight his battle but rather enjoins all humans to see his fellow human as his or her brother and worshippers of the same God.
The story is about a simple mistake that a young man, who has affiliation with both religions, made and before anything could be done to salvage the situation, emotions went wild and tempers could not be controlled, as a full religious war ensued and the result was the killing of the innocent. The story clearly shows the kind of senselessness that religious fanaticism brings about and the end result that has never been to anyone's favour.
A visit to the set of Aditu revealed that the producer, Ebun Oloyede, popularly called Olaiya Igwe, spared nothing to achieve the best in terms of equipment, cast and crew.
In his words, “Aditu Kosegbeja is a movie project that I used eight months to plan and I set out from day one to get the best out of it. To get this done, I had to assemble the best in terms of cast, crew and equipments. We used three cameras. Two XDCAMS (the only two available in Nigeria) and an HD strictly devoted to shooting the making of the movie. We equally had a crane, a track and dolly and a jimmy Jip on location. We shot for 40 days non stop and it was the most intense production I have ever undertaken in my life. For the crew, I was privileged to have one of the best directors in the country and I must say he really proved his worth with his amazing handling of the project. The director, Adebambo Adebanjo, a renowned crowd director, was chosen because of the large number of cast involved in the movie. We had well over 1000 cast in the movie. If not for his dexterity and expertise, we wouldn't have been able to achieve what we achieved. We equally had one of the most experienced directors of photography, Sunday Ogunyemi leading the camera crew.
The cast of the movie is not just large but heavy on A-list actors. The roll call includes Prince Jide Kosoko, Jibola Daboh, Prof. Akinwale, Binta Ayo Mogaji, Sokoti, Aderupoko, Monsuru Obadina and Bukky Ajai. Others include Femi Ogedengbe, Yomi Faleye (Osaghie), Dr. Kola Oyewo, Ebun Oloyede, Chief Kanran, Adebayo Salami, Alagba Olowomojuore, Olumide Bakare and Bayo Bankole amongst others.
When Policemen Became Actors
One of the major attractions on the set of the movie is the heavy presence of men and officers of the Nigeria Police, both regular and the mobile force. The over 100 real policemen that were on set did not come to keep the peace but were on set to act in the movie. According to the producer, he had to apply to the police authorities for the release of the policemen and their equipments, which included patrol vehicles, Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs), AK 47 guns and pistols. “I did not want to impoverish anything, so I went for the real thing. I believe in excellence and perfection; that has been the hall mark of my productions, though I have gone the whole hog this time around”, Olaiya said. Many of the artists on set were amazed at the great artistic display of the policemen.
What the Director said
Though the director, Adebambo Adebanjo, read Geography, he has overtime become one of the best directors the country can boast of, specializing in directing crowd dramas and movies. He had his tutelage under Prof. Ola Rotimi and has a proven record of directing crowd dramas. He conceptualized, wrote and directed the opening and closing ceremonies of Gateway Games staged in Abbeokuta. He equally directed Lagidigba, a crowd drama.
On the movie, Uncle Bambo, as he is popularly called said, “Aditu is a bright new beginning for Nollywood. We have waited for a long time for something like this to happen and I must confess that I am grateful to be a prominent part of this new revolution. The producer did not deprive me of whatever I wanted in terms of equipments and I really salute his courage in embarking on this project. With projects like this, the future of Nollywood is indeed bright. The story is strong, the cast great, the crew, very experienced. We had a wonderful time on set.
Plans for the Movie
According to the producer, aside from shooting both in English language and Yoruba, the movie will also be lip synced in French, so that French speaking countries can have access to the movie without difficulties. “What I have done is an example for other producers. I have always been a trail blazer and this will definitely redefine the way things are done in this part of the world. We hope to explore every available opportunity to give the movie the maximum exposure through film festivals, exhibitions and other traditional means”.