Arts  

Okoye to light up South East TV stations with home made series, Anyanwu Ututu

A scene from Anyanwu Ututu

After months of working on the project, Nollywood producer, Chioma Okoye, is set for the premiere of her latest drama series, Anyanwu Ututu. Produced under Purple Ribbon entertainment, the film, which aims at promoting the culture and tradition of Ndi Igbo, is centred on the lifestyle of people living along the riverine areas of Anambra, otherwise known as Omambala.

Billed for Friday, November 3 at Stanel World Event Centre, Awka, Anambra State, the premiere starts with a red carpet by 5pm. It will play host to the five state governors of the South East and also create a platform for robust discussion on how to advance filmmaking in the region.

With veteran actor Chief Pete Edochie as lead character, Anyanwu Ututu tells the story of Nwugo and Ikedinobi, who are in love, not knowing of the enmity that had existed between both families for decades. Meanwhile, Ikedinobi, the only son of Nwafor, has been forced into marrying Ugoye, whom he has no love for, thought his parents believe the love will grow with time.

But instead, Ikedinobi falls in love with Nwugo, not knowing she’s the daughter of Agbogidi, an archenemy of his family. Agbogidi and Nwafor warn their children to stop seeing each other, but their love knows no bounds. Agbogidi does everything within his powers to break the bond that exists between his daughter Nwugo and Ikedinobi, but all his efforts fail, as Ikedinobi passes through every storm to be with Nwugo, his love.

While speaking on the movie project that will definitely change the face of filmmaking in the South East, Okoye said the project was inspired by her love for Igbo culture and family history.

According to her, “As a filmmaker, your starting point should be telling the world about your culture and tradition. Unfortunately, about 90 per cent of us have not made movies about our states; most of them do English films. We are going to bridge that gap by focusing on the cultures of our people, starting with Anambra. We also intend to cover other parts of the region to highlight out rich cultural heritage.”

Sharing her experience on location, Okoye said, “it was an interesting experience for me; the first thing I noticed was good relationship and understanding. Nobody buys anything and eats it alone; you don’t select friends because we were all friends to each other. God was with us all through.”

On the cast for the production, she said, “aside from established actors such as Pete Edochie, what we did was to use people from the communities where we worked; we provided jobs for the youths. Since the story is centred on the life of Omambala people, we worked with people, who could speak the dialect. Basically, the role you play is based on your acting ability. And I must tell you, we have abundant talents waiting to be discovered.”

To Okoye, film remains a viable tool for promoting culture and propagating the tradition of a people, adding that plans have reached advanced stage to ensure that all the South Eastern states get to watch the series.

“Igbo has 623 dialects, which are very unique,” she said. “Let’s tell the world our true stories and rich culture. Already, we have reached agreement with state-owned TV stations in the region to show the series after the premiere. This is one way of getting our children to understand our culture and also imbibe it. I want to specially thank Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State for his support towards the premiere. Now, we’ve invited all other governors in the region so that we can all sit down and think of how to regain our lost glory in storytelling. Government needs to invest and support the entertainment industry; that’s the future.”

On his part, the film director, Chidi Chiama, commended the producer for discovering that television stations in the southeast are being neglected due to poor programming and decided to bridge the gap, saying, “This is an inspiration of a good daughter of Aamambra State, who is determined to change the face of the movie industry in the region. Due to lack of activities in the local channels, everybody tunes to foreign cable televisions. Let me ask: is Zee World not somebody’s discovery? Yet, our people are dying for it. If our people can be falling for what does not belong to us, what do you think will happen when you give them what is their own? I think this is one of the most important projects in the region today.”

On his experience on set, he said, “If you know what it means to work in a particular location and on particular movie for a month and three weeks, you will feel it a little. All the same, it was a pleasant experience. I worked with intelligent people, both the professionals and amateurs. It was so tasking that at a point, we knew that we needed extra stamina to propel the movement. In fact, the amateurs surprised us all with their wonderful carriage.



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