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Building a Global Community Through Film! ‘A Forgotten Place’ Uses Biafra Story to Spark Pan-African Movement

BellaNaija.com

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The Biafran War is such an unforgettable part of Nigeria’s history. And although that era is long gone, its influence is still ingrained in the nation’s culture psyche. And this is why all facets of its impact on Nigeria still need to be explored today.

Filmmakers Odera Ozoka, and Ashley Ellis, hope to facilitate this exploration through the powerful medium of film, in combination with an interactive social movement that sheds light on this pivotal time in Nigeria’s history.

Award-winning writer/producer/director, Ozoka (His works include, Soul Diaspora, Hollywood Street, and co-production work on Ije, which starred Omotola Jalade Ekeinde and Genevieve Nnaji) and Los Angeles-based film maker, Ellis (Her works include For Love, After We Lost Shima) are collaborating on A Forgotten Place, a film set during the Biafran War, about an Igbo boy’s chance encounter with a wounded Yoruba soldier and subsequent friendship that sets them both on paths through the war torn country in search of their families.

The film depicts the gruesome realities of war but also explores traditional culture and spirituality through fantastical/surreal explorations of the boy’s inner fears and the soldier’s confrontation with death.

A Forgotten Place is a live action film currently in production, and casting for the film will soon commence.

Odera and Ashley see the A Forgotten Place project as more than just a film. They see it as an opportunity to build a pan-African movement, using the power of film in combination with social media to help bring a story to life that can travel across cultural boundaries.

The team will be recruiting the best talents from across the continent to bring characters to life on screen and to contribute to the filmmaking process behind the scenes. In addition, the film will start an online and offline conversation about post-colonial legacies and conflict across the continent using the story of Biafra as a way to do so.

The duo has been working hard on the project, even taking it to the Cannes Film Festival 2015 where they met with several top agents from Europe and China to discuss avenues for having a wide reach. The pair was also one of the benefactors of highly competitive government film programme, Project Act Nollywood.

Ashley and Odera at the Cannes Film Festival

Ashley Ellis & Odera Ozoka at 2015 Cannes Film Festival during South African Networking Mixer

Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 6.11.45 PM-2

Live Reading, Hollywood, CA

In addition to being a social movement, A Forgotten Place film project is also a medium for community development & employment opportunities. In each location the film will be shot in, residents will be hired to work on set. After the film has been shot, these sets will still be in existence, serving as lasting community spaces that serve as cultural/entertainment centers and reminders of the movement.

The team is currently scouting locations in Nigeria and South Africa. Also, when the movie is released, the production team plans to have mobile cinemas as a way of bringing the film straight to developing communities without access to theaters.
Here’s a sneak peak of one of the locations:

AFP Location

Location Scout, Abuja, Nigeria

During the course of the campaign, we will also host gatherings with movement participants, stakeholders, and more where we will have panel discussions and screenings where relevant issues pertaining to the film are discussed both online and offline.

Social media influencers and artists from all across the world have already joined the A Forgotten Place movement, and its momentum is increasing with each passing day.

And we need you! We’re looking for people from all creative disciplines to join the movement. We’re looking for artists from all over the continent to participate in the movement with their talents. Musicians, costume designers, painters, sculptors, graphic artists, and other creative individuals are all welcome.

For information on how to submit your work for the film, exclusive Behind the scenes updates, and to join the conversation online visit:

Website: http://aforgottenplacefilm.com/
Seed & Spark: http://www.seedandspark.com/studio/forgotten-place-0
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aforgottenplace
Instagram: @aforgottenplace
Twitter: @_forgottenplace

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12 Comments

  1. Ba

    September 14, 2015 at 11:01 am

    Nice project to behold. Thinking of how will contribute.

  2. Ba

    September 14, 2015 at 11:04 am

    Nice project to behold. Thinking of how I’ll contribute.

  3. nnenne

    September 14, 2015 at 11:50 am

    Stories should be told.
    Sweeping things under the carpet is never a way out. History do repeat itself You can only take precautions for things you are aware of

    Am glad you have joined the conversation, Odera!

  4. Peaches77

    September 14, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    Interesting! Will follow the progress!

  5. www.xplorenollywood.com

    September 14, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    Nice initiative. Will look out for all the news and information on this. Well done guys.

  6. Tripcan Movies

    September 14, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    Amazing!!! great to know we are tellijng our stories in amazing ways!!!

  7. Zee

    September 14, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    I can predict this movie will break the box office when it finally comes out with the way producers are building interests by involving”everybody”
    I love the concept.NICE!!!

  8. Titilope

    September 14, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    Where is that location in Abuja.. its breathtaking

  9. mabel

    September 14, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    We want artists that will bring out the story well. A movie that will keep my blood pumping fast. Not dry movie like that half of a yellow sun biko. Something captivating like things fall apart. Thank you in advance.

  10. riot50000

    September 14, 2015 at 11:02 pm

    A NATION THAT REFUSES TO TEACH HER CHILDREN THEIR HISTORY IS NO NATION.
    Biafra, let the story be told.
    Good work y’all.

  11. Ekpo ita

    September 15, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    When we are going to do what is wrong . None of you want to ask to find out why is this smoke coming. They hard been leader since inception of Nigeria independence up to Gej ruled.. Nothing like biafra, This would have given those in govt to ask their self why this in buhari time. If the head of the Nigeria leader can not know that Nigeria is of three regions. When you took office as president you should know that offices position should reached all regions. If you take power and favour your people in given position what do you think will happen. For this action none of the Hausa talk to the president on what he is doing is wrong. Other than to tell Nigerians to support the govt. The ex-president shehu shagari wasn’t a military but he knew about regions and share power to all this places. In him to let buhari know the post he gave to cross river state by then minister for works and to other states. He did not said because I’m from sokoto all appointments will be given to sokoto indigents. As he wants that peace and unity. Let any man look around him if he own properties someone came to inherit that wealth. Will he be sifted to look that person took his wealth. He will rather die. So is Nigeria. The Biafra flag will be flagging as long as the Nigeria govt can not do the right things to all regions. The Biafra have not been known that is exiting but is buhari govt make it to be popular around the world. If you have issues with one before you can not used that in power to punish other region. Finally Hausa should know that igbos can not run away whether you kill them or you accept their demand. Nobody want a divide Nigeria if the right thing is done.

  12. Tosin

    September 16, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    I wish you awesomeness

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