93 Days… Tale of true Nigerian spirit

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A scene from 93 Days.

The year 2016 will go down in history as the time when the country showcased to the world the true resilient spirit of Nigeria through the movie 93 Days. And with the level of acceptance and positive comments from across the globe, this is obviously one project that has brought Nigeria great respect amongst committee of nation.

The movie is a reflection of the sacrifices and the sheer will of some group of Nigerians to ensure that the dreaded Ebola disease is contained and wiped out of the country.

Staring Bimbo Akintola, Bimbo Manuel, Charles Okafor, Danny Glover, Gideon Okeke, Keppy Ekpeyong Bassey, Somkhele Idhalama, Tim Reid, Sola Oyebade, Charles Etubiebi, and Seun Kentebe, the story of 93 Days centres on the sacrifices made by men and women, who risked their lives to make sure the Ebola virus was contained, before it becomes an epidemic, when it was imported into Nigeria by a Liberian American diplomat. Directed by Steve Gukas, the movie is dedicated to Ameyo Adadevoh, a Nigerian physician, who played a key role in the containment of Ebola in Nigeria.

In a country where history and heroic feats are not well documented, 93 Days saves the day with proper and accurate representation of the sad event in Nigeria. The movie has documented a segment in the history of this nation for future reference so accurately. Shot at multiple locations in Nigeria, it has gone on to become one of the highest grossing movies in Nigerian cinema.

One of the ways to know a good film is by the quality of festivals it has attended. This is so because reputable international festivals have stringent rules and standard, which the movie must meet. Notable festivals amongst others where 93 Days was shown and sold out include Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), Chicago International Film Festival where it was the only Nigerian film to show there, Johannesburg Film Festival and LA Film Festivals.

In one of her interviews, the Executive Producer Bolanle Austen-Peters said, “We did the Ebola movie because we wanted to add value. I didn’t want to do just any movie. We told a story that needed to be told. I felt that if we did not tell that story, foreigners, as usual, could come and tell of the brave and courageous people who fought against the Ebola virus to save all of us. For me it was very important that the story was documented for posterity.”

For the director and co-producer, Steve Gukas, the wide reception is expected.

“I knew going into the production that this was a film that will not have any razzmatazz; that it would swim or sink on the strength of the performances and the look and feel. On that front, talent was key in the casting. I knew we had to get actors with depth and capacity to deliver powerful yet, very nuanced performances.”

Describing the project as his most challenge job so far, Gukas hinted that, “it needed more money plus the huge challenge in shooting in a metropolis like Lagos; you could hardly do a two-unit move in one day because of the size of the crew and traffic. Then you put on top of that the challenge of funding and the pressure of telling a story so close to our collective memory,” he said.

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