Nigerian Filmmaker Breaks New Grounds with Historical Epic Movie and ABCs of Death Series
Lancelot Imasuen, one of the most ambitious filmmakers in Nigeria’s Nollywood is breaking new grounds with his historical epic movie Invasion 1897 and for being the only African director among the 26 selected directors making the short horror thrillers of The ABCs of Death series.
He is one of the most prolific producers in Africa and his movies have focused on the unexplored aspects of the African experience including tribalism, witchcraft, crime, poverty, religion, and folk beliefs.
Lancelot has just concluded his own segment for the Alphabet P with “Prince Venom” in the 26 segments of the horrors of death anthology in Benin. Then he will be in London for the British locations of Invasion 1897, featuring Nigerian born Charles "Chucky" Venn who is famous for his roles as Curtis Alexander in Sky's "One's Dream Team", Tremaine Gidigbi in "Footballers' Wives" and as Ray Dixon in "EastEnders", and also starring the St. Lucian-born English actor Joseph Marcell, who has acted in over 34 films and 3 TV shows, including "The Santa Trap", "Brothers And Sisters" and "The Bill" and popularly known for his role as Geoffrey, the English butler on the NBC sitcom "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air". The top Nigerian stars in the epic include Segun Arinze Paul Obazele, Mike Omoregbe who played the lead role as Oba Ovoramwen, Charles Inojie and the late Justus Esiri.
Invasion 1897 has been endorsed by the Benin monarch, Oba Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolopolo and by the Edo state government. The film production is co-financed by Senator Daisy Danjuma and South Atlantic Petroleum Limited, supported by Capt (Dr.) Hosa Okunbor, the Chairman of FEVA TV in Toronto, Canada and J2konsult in the UK are marketing the film in Europe and planning the London unit of the movie.
Invasion 1897 (Nogbaisi Ovonramwen) is perhaps the most daring film project in the history of the Nigerian film industry, because no previous movie can be compared to it, both in scope and perspective of the historical context. The epic is based on the invasion of the Benin Kingdom by the British Empire in 1897 and looting the priceless ancient artifacts of the Benin kingdom, including the famous commemorative head and pendant of ivory mask representing Queen Idia (from court of Benin, 16th century) who was the mother of Esigie, the Oba of Benin who ruled from 1504 to 1550. The commemorative head is at the British Museum, while the pendant is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, USA.
“It will coincide with the country’s centenary celebration and which marks 100 years Oba Ovonramen N’ogbaisi (the then sitting Oba) died in exile in Calabar, on the 14th of January, 1914, where he was banished by the British,” Lancelot said and will also “kick start our call for reparations by the return of all the looted Benin Artworks from all the museums around the world”.
Lancelot Imasuen’s inclusion in the second part of The ABCs of Death has shot him to global limelight as millions of movie lovers await the next 26 segments of the horror series.
The first part of The ABCs of Death 2012 American anthology horror comedy film was produced by Ant Timpson and Tim League; a thriller of 26 different shorts, each by different directors spanning fifteen countries. The 26 chapters assigned a letter of the alphabet and the directors were free to choose a word to create a story involving death. The varieties of death range from accidents to murders. The film premiered at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival and was released on VOD on January 31 and in theaters March 8, 2013, with end credits featuring the music of Australian band Skyhooks' 1974 song "Horror Movie".
For The ABCs of Death 2, a contest was held for the role of the 26th director. The winner was UK-based director Lee Hardcastle, who submitted the claymation short for T. The horror anthology runs with the tagline, “26 directors, 26 ways to die.” For the first 25 segments, a group of 25 directors were engaged and each was given a letter of the alphabet and then tasked with creating a short film about death inspired by that letter. The result was a string of shorts including “D is for Dogfight,” “F is for Fart,” “M is for Miscarriage,” and more twisted titles to get your head spinning.
With 26 directors and 26 ways to die, "Viewer Discretion Is Advised"!
Like Invasion 1897 on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/Invasion1897Movie
See the YouTube teaser trailer, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YljETHmfD34
See Official Trailer of The ABCs of Death on YouTube, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hU2NHb_pKso
Follow The ABCs of Death 2 on Twitter, https://twitter.com/ABCsofDeath
~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima.
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