Nollywood is making bold strides in asserting itself if this week’s premiere of Thy Will Be Done at London’s BFI IMAX Cinema is anything to go by. The movie house boasts having the largest screen in the UK and this is the first time a Nollywood film is premiering in IMAX. The film has Obi Emelonye of Mirror Boy and Last Flight To Abuja fame as its Director and stars Ramsey Noah, Mercy Johnson Okojie and Mary Njoku as its leading screen personalities.
The plot revolves around Pius, pastor in Lagos, whose happy and contented world turns completely upside down when his long thought dead first wife suddenly appears on his doorstep. Weakened by guilt and overwhelmed by sensational revelations, nothing would have prepared Pius for how rapidly things would descend into violent chaos. The film is setting another record as the first time an independent film is premiering at the BFI IMAX. The film’s Thursday February 26th premiere was preceded by a red carpet event and its other highlight was a Q and A with its director, the producers and stars.
The Nollywood Factory and iRoko TV bankrolled the film. Both are acclaimed streaming services largely seen as Netflix equivalents on the African continent. This offers insights into film financing and cinematic positioning. In the absence of a credible iRoko TV equivalent in East Africa, the most plausible financing model remains a hybrid crowd-funding model in which philanthropists and friends bring an idea to life. But that is only half the story. Thy Will Be Done’s aiming so high by way of BFI IMAX premiere is truly a trailblazer that may as well rewrite the marketing rulebook.
Text: MOSES SERUGO