The name Prince Tonye Princewill does not need any introduction to any person who has been a keen observer of the political milieu or terrain in the Niger Delta region and to be more specific the Rivers State political game.
Born into the famous Princewill’s family in Buguma of the ancient Kalabari Kingdom in Asari-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State, Tonye who is fondly called ‘TP’ has made a name for himself not only as an entrepreneur, philanthropist, politician but also as a producer of home movie in collaboration with other famous and seasoned movie producers such as Izu Ojukwu and Adonijah Owiriwa.
For the sake of time, and because of Prince Tonye Princewill’s entrepreneurship activities as well as his political incursions and philanthropic works are issues that are in the public domain, which can easily be scooped even from the internet, suffice it say that this piece is going to dwell briefly on Princewill’s currently found love – movie making.
Apart from TP’s initial hand in the sponsorship and production of Nnenda and Kajola, another breathtaking, awe-inspiring, suspense-filled, sit-on-the-edge and top-notch movie that is currently trending is ‘76.
‘76 is a romantic movie which tells the story of a young military officer from Nigeria’s Middle Belt region who gets entrapped in a steaming relationship and eventually marries a beautiful student from the South-Eastern part of Nigeria.
The couple blossoming romance is jeopardized by endless military transfers, and they face the ultimate test when news of the soldier’s involvement in a botched coup attempt hits the headlines of newspapers.
When the movie was initially screened to select viewers in Lagos early February this year, the satisfaction of the viewers was glaring as the movie brought tears coursing down the chicks of everyone in the hall including one of the star actresses, Rita Dominic.
According to TP, “76 is about Nigeria. My hope is that as people watch this powerful film, they see what I saw, escape from the day to day hassles and then immerse them in how life should be. If we succeed, we will get more youths empowered and that is the ultimate goal. Over 200 cast and crew were used in ‘76.
“76 is a deeply emotional movie, and it resonated deeply with me as I am sure it will do for viewers not just in Nigeria, but around the world.
“The movie’s message presents a number of questions including how we got here, amongst many other issues.
“No doubt, ‘76 is the first movie we did on celluloid, first movie to be shot in an army barracks, first blockbuster in our pack, first movie to do a private screening within post production. First this, first that. But as it was challenging, it has also been very rewarding. To see the child grow into a man leaves a smile on the face. All in all it took us seven years to get here. I am my own worst constructive critic, but I can look back on ‘76 and say, wow, we tried!” TP commented.
‘76, directed by award winning director, Izu Ojukwu, is also inspired by events that culminated to and followed the failed 1976 coup d’état, and features real life, archived, actual footage that contributes to the movie’s overall authenticity.
For Izu Ojukwu, “‘76 is a tale of love in a time post war.”
“The movie deals with a range of issues including the plight of the African woman, and the usually invisible pain of a soldier’s wife,” he said.
“76 highlight the enduring Nigerian cultural values of courage, resilience, patience, loyalty, faith and family and the nation’s ability to surmount all challenges.”
’76 set at the Mokola Army Barrack in the ancient city of Ibandan, Oyo State, the movie features famous Nollywood names including Rita Dominic, Ramsey Nouah, Chidi Mokeme, Ibinabo Fiberesinma, Memry Savanhu, Ada Ofoegbu, Daniel K. Daniel and a host of others.
The movie which is scheduled to be release officially by the 4th Quarter of this year, promises to be one of the turning points in the movie making industry or rather Nollywood as many awaits its formal release with much expectation.