Chimamanda Adichie’s award winning novel, Half of a Yellow Sun, is said to have cost the producers $10m.
Mrs.Yewande Sadiku,The executive producer of the movie said this on Tuesday during its private screening at the Ozone Cinema in Yaba, Lagos.
The movie, which will premiere in Nigerian cinemas for the first time on the 12th of April 2014, was shot for 33 days in Nigeria and for four days in the United Kingdom.
She said, “After I successfully raised $1bn for an undisclosed telecommunications company in Nigeria, I thought it would be very easy to raised $12m to shoot Half of a Yellow Sun. But I was wrong. After I was turned down by some investors, I became very sad and unhappy for Nollywood. But the required funds were finally realised. The movie costs us about $10m dollars to shoot and this is beside other fees.”
Just to correct the impression that the movie is simply an account of the Biafra war, she added, “The film is, first and foremost, the product of a collaboration between the United Kingdom and Nigeria. It is simply a love story set in a war situation.
“It talks about the lovers and sisters who were divided by war but united by love. We set out to make a love movie and we hoped to do this in such a way that it also captured the totality of the Nigerian civil war, as well as the destruction that occurred during the period.”
Although Mrs Sadiku fears that the initial capital invested on the film maybe not be fully regained at the end of the day, she is still optimistic that there will be good returns.
“The movie is being marketed on social media platforms, in addition to the traditional news and media outlets. It will be premiered in Australia on April 27 and will also be released in 40 cinemas across London.
“It will be released in the United States by mid May. We have already secured distribution rights in Portugal and the Middle East. We have DVD distribution already secured with a marketer in Alaba market. Plans are also in the works to have it included in in-flight entertainment so passengers can get to watch it while flying,” she says
When asked if the author of the novel, Half of a Yellow Sun, Adichie, is pleased with the movie, she replies, “Chimamanda auctioned the rights for the movie and then left the director to interpret it into a script accordingly. Someone took her baby, cut it up and I dare say, it is a true representation of the novel and nothing off context. It is simply a representation of her work.”
The movie cast is predominantly Nigerian and home based. The film features performances by Onyeka Onwenu, Gloria Young, Gloria Mba, Zack Orji, Genevieve Nnaji, Jude Orhorha, O.C Ukeje , Kazzem Kae Kazzim and others.
The movie was shot on location in Creektown, Cross-River State, and London, written and directed Biyi Bandele.