By Benjamin Njoku
Hollywood-based Nigerian film maker, Odera Ozoka, who has been working on the war epic, “Biafra: A forgotten Place’ for some time now, has revealed the challenges he’s facing in executing the project.
According him, while some foreign distribution companies, especially from America and France have indicated their readiness to distribute the highly anticipated film, the local distributors are shying away from identify with the yet-to-be shot movie following the sensitive nature of the story line.
Ozoka made this revelation while in a recent chat with NollyNow. He said ” while some foreign distribution companies want the story to be told to enable the world to understand the true effects of the Nigerian civil war, some Nigerian businessmen are afraid because of the sensitive nature of the story line.”
Ozoka, was recently in Lagos, in connection with strategizing with his partners on how to commence shooting of the movie with a big-budge of $500 million.
“The shooting of the film is taking longer than necessary because of financing. Before now, many people saw the story line as a sensitive issue. But the interest we have gotten now are from foreigners who want the story to be told. We have distribution companies who are ready to distribute the film. Our partners in France said once we are able to producer the film that they would distribute it globally.”
Continuing, he added; “When you are talking about the issue of Biafran, the question remains who are the audience. We have those in the corridors of power, which I am not sure if they are extremely ready for this that kind of story.
“And I think some businessmen too are somewhat nervous about it. So, we are being strategic on how we are going to fund the film , which budget is up to the tune of $500 million.” Ozoka, whose ‘Soul Diaspora’ won the Africa Movie Academy award for the Best film by African filmmaker in the diaspora, said he’s so passionate about the Biafran story.
“This is an important story. It’s a story that one way or the other should be told and encouraged. We have been talking about the country breaking up, and the only way it’s not going to happen is when the right people start to talk about our history, where everybody will come together to discuss the way forward. When the film is finally shot and released, everybody will be happy.’