Monday, May 29, 2006

The Amazing Grace website

Just happened to stumble across this...

http://www.theamazinggracefilm.com

The Amazing Grace dramatizes the story of John Newton (1725-1807), an English slave trader, legend has it, experienced a divine epiphany during a mid-Atlantic slave shipment, renounced his profession, became a minister and wrote the time-honored hymn "Amazing Grace" (reputedly based on a traditional melody sung by the captive Africans).

It's directed by Jeta Amata, who I'm told is considered the Nigerian Tarantino (I've never actually seen any of his films, so I'm not sure why he has this rep) and stars the British actor Nick Moran (best known, I suppose, for his role as Eddie in Guy Ritchie's Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels) as Newton.

This is definitely the most ambitious film to come out of Naija in years. For one thing, it's shot on 35mm, which has been unheard of in Nigerian cinema for... Hell, I don't know. A long-ass time. Nigerian filmmakers haven't shot on film at all for at least 15 years, and long before that they had shifted from 35mm to 16mm anyway. But I understand this film was made with considerable assistance from the government of Cross River State in Nigeria and was shot around the state capital of Calabar (where I grew up, by the way... and where we're planning to shoot).

Amata attempted to show this movie at Cannes last year, but poor planning prevented that from happening (what I heard is that he never officially submitted the film but rather just showed up at the festival with the print under his arm, expecting it to be screened! I don't know if this is true, though). It supposedly screened out of competition at this year's Cannes (even though it doesn't show up in any searches on the Cannes site) and was pretty well-received.

It's certainly shot beautifully from the clips I can see on the site. (The site design itself is kinda dodgy, though.)

Anyway, much props to Jeta... I think the dude is gonna do big things for Nigerian film.

12 comments:

lauren alyse belle said...

hmm, that looks pretty darn good.

Kwasi said...

Looks interesting.

On the topic of film, how do you think digital video will do in Nigeria? Especially since open source digital editing software is getting pretty mature these days.

AFKAP of Darkness said...

well, pretty much all the Nigerian movies are already shot on digital video. do you mean digital video projection, though? because they're rebuilding cinemas in Lagos and i don't know whether they're actually screening 35mm prints or projecting the movies digitally...

Kwasi said...

I didn't know they were shot in digital. Interesting.....

Its cheaper to project movies digitally especially if people are making movies straight to DVD. So I'd guess that's the way its being done.

What are you guys using for movie editing then?

There are free alternatives these days if you want to play with them

AFKAP of Darkness said...

i'm using Final Cut Pro HD though i'm also experimenting a bit with Adobe After Effects.

there's so many choices nowadays!

mbayisyen said...

This is interesting!

Urhobo girl said...

A little more encouragement please!!!! i personally think this jeta guy has done well inspite of all cynicism, you are bringing out ur film aswell so expect peolple like me to be watching out for yours. Nigerians need to be a little more patroitic.

Urhobo girl said...

A little more encouragement please!!!! i personally think this jeta guy has done well inspite of all cynicism, you are bringing out ur film aswell so expect peolple like me to be watching out for yours. Nigerians need to be a little more patroitic.

Urhobo girl said...

A little more encouragement please!!!! i personally think this jeta guy has done well inspite of all cynicism, you are bringing out ur film aswell so expect peolple like me to be watching out for yours. Nigerians need to be a little more patroitic.

Urhobo girl said...

a little more encouragement please!!!! I think this Jeta guy has done well despite some of your lines that apppeared cynical. Nigerians should be a little more patriotic.you r about to come out with yours as well so i'll be watching!!!!!

Indigenous Productions said...

I saw the movie. It is like a tourism advertisement for Calabar. It is beautiful to look at and the scenery is just gorgeous. BUT I almost hate the movie. I hated where the story went and ...

*******
SPOILER: When John Newton professed his love for the girl, I threw up. That part was so insincere, so unbelievable
******

There are more reasons why I almost hate the movie but I won't go into them now

Comb & Razor said...

> reserves comments <