Invasion 1897 premieres at 11th Abuja Film Festival

The Abuja Film Festival returned this year with the Nigerian premiere of the Lancelot Imasuen film, Invasion 1897.

Set in the ancient Benin Kingdom, the movie portrays how the British invaded the kingdom, deposed its ruler, Oba Ovonramwen Nogbaisi, and looted the palace, carting away religious sculptures as artefacts.

The movie was commended by the audience at the screening for trying to tell the “African story” from an African Perspective.

According to its director, Imasuen, Invasion 1897 was premiered in Toronto, Canada. It was also shown at the British Museum, Britain in August, at the Smithsonian in Washington DC, US and in Brasilia, Brazil during the FIFA 2014 World Cup.

The founder of the film festival, Fidelis Duker, noted that this was the first time an indigenous movie would open the festival and this special premiere was done to mark Nigeria’s centenary.

The movie starred first-time screen actor, Michael Omoregbee, in a critically acclaimed turn as Oba Ovonramwen. The actor has already been earmarked for the Best Performance by an Actor award by the festival’s jury. The movie was also nominated for Best Feature Film (Nigeria).

The cast also included Paul Obazele, Segun Arinze, the late Justus Esiri as well as British actors, Rudolph Walker and Charles “Chucky” Venn.

A special guest at the screening was the Senate majority leader, Ndoma Egba, who declared the festival open.


SGF Campaign AD

Mr. Egba commending Nollywood, saying the Senate was in support of the industry going by its proposed motions picture bill. He, however, noted that the actors themselves were yet to send a liaison officer, as agreed, to the Senate who would be involved in the drafting of the bill.

Other guests at the event were Hollywood film makers, Zeb Ejiro and Charles Novia; actors, Emeka Ossai and Fred Amata, as well as some cast members from the movie; and comedians, Julius Agwu, Gbenga Adeyinka and MC Miracles.

The four-day film festival, which began on Tuesday, September 23, takes place at the Silverbird Cinemas, Abuja.

It will feature movies from Nigeria, China, Uganda, Egypt, France, the UK, Spain among others.

At the end of the festival, awards would be given to the best movies and actors.

On why he sited the festival in Abuja despite the fact that Nollywood is largely based in Lagos, Mr. Duker said it meant to be close to the seat of power and, that way, get government attention and investment in the industry.


Tribunal Campaign AD

Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility

Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.

For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.

By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.


NEVER MISS A THING AGAIN! Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required


Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application

TEXT AD: This space is available for a Text_Ad.. Call Willie on +2347088095401 for more information

All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.