Monday, 19 November 2012

Will 'Dr Bello' end up another misplaced venture?


With the format of production such as a theme or screenplay, deliberately brought in to justify the mixed casts of Nigerian and Hollywood actors, it appears that the producer Tony Abulu and his financiers, Nexim Bank thought the prospect of Nollywood is outside the country.

The producer should know that it has been established that whatever accolades Nigeria had achieved in film, in the past two decades, started with 101 % local contents and humble beginning. 

It shocked me that Dr Bello, said to have gulped as much as $250, 000 will make its Nigeria premiere at just one center, Genesis Cinema at The Palms, Lekki, Lagos. The publicity materials I have received, so far, say Dr Bello opens this Sunday at Genesis.
On the set of Dr Bello
I am yet to see any preparation for a proper release to follow the premiere. Any Nigerian film project that has as much a budget as Dr Bello should be a pacesetter in cinema-chain format of distribution and not another hawking from one venue to another. I wonder how many people will get to see Dr Bello in Nigeria without cinema-chain distribution.

The director and producer of Dr Bello, Abulu and Nexim Bank should be told in clear language that the real challenge facing Nigerian film industry is not content: it’s distribution, specifically, lack of cinema value.

In theme, Dr Bello is a drama, and not thriller. It depicts an unrecognized or informal Nigerian Doctor based in Brooklyn, New York, and known as a miracle worker. With African incantations he miraculously ‘heals’ a child of Cancer.

One wonders what exactly you needed to spend as much money on just one production of such a movie, when the distribution outlets are non-existence. Half of the money spent should have been enough to can the movie, while the remaining half for distribution.

It would not be a surprise if President Goodluck Jonathan’s announcement of government’s $200m investment in the entertainment industry ends up another fuel subsidy scam or theft. Nexim bank, we have been told is one of the managers of the fund. 

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