West Africa’s leading film company, FilmOne Entertainment, has announced that the renowned feature film, ’76, will be available to audiences worldwide on the global streaming service, Netflix, from 4 August 2021. Produced by Adonis Production & Princewills Trust, ‘76 was originally released in Nigerian cinemas in 2016.
The film is set six years after the Nigerian civil war and tells the story of Joseph Dewa, a young military officer from the Middle Belt, who gets into a romantic relationship with an O-level student, Suzy, from the South-eastern region. However, their relationship is strained by constant military postings and Suzy’s family, who would not tolerate a relationship with Joseph’s people.
In a series of events that unfold amid betrayal from a close friend, Joseph is falsely accused of being a co-conspirator of the unsuccessful 1976 military coup that ultimately led to the assassination of General Murtala Mohammed. Proving his innocence and securing his release became dependent on the bravery of his pregnant wife.
It stars multi-award-winning actor, Ramsey Noah in the lead role, supported by ace actors – Rita Dominic, Chidi Mokeme and Ibinabo Fiberisima, amongst others.
Following its hugely successful Nigerian launch, ‘76 went on to screening at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in 2016and was the closing film at the Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF), in the same year.
Co-founders of Filmhouse Group (owners of FilmOne Entertainment), Kene Okwuosa and Moses Babatope, are excited about the acquisition and described the film as a model for the region, “we are happy to be part of such a remarkable milestone in the Nigerian film industry. ’76 is a clear example of dynamic story-telling, portraying the essential characteristics of an ideal global export from this region,” Okwuosa said. They also maintained that the film has the potential to influence positive perceptions about the industry on the global stage. “This kind of content shapes a narrative that portrays the richness of our history, culture and artistry, in great light. We are super proud of the ’76 team and thankful to Netflix for recognizing a gem,” Babatope added.
Producers, Adonijah Owiriwa and Tonye Princewill issued a joint statement, expressing their hope that the deal would be the first amongst many, “proving once again that Nollywood is a powerhouse, not only for Africa but the world. We have always been very selective about our projects and this deal is evidence that good things happen to those who wait and pay attention to detail,” they said.
According to director Izu Ojukwu, seeing ’76 reach a global audience is a dream come true, “My team and I poured our heart and soul into the making of this film, to honour the age and live up to the responsibility the project itself placed on us. My overwhelming thought is gratitude for the opportunity and appreciation for the recognition,” he said.
’76 will be available to Netflix’s subscribers globally, from 4th August 2021.