Despite the glaring feat Nigeria has accomplished in its quest to take the Nigerian movie industry, Nollywood to the same level of professional and commercial success as its American counterpart, Hollywood, the industry has taken yet another huge step of progress with the movie, TOBI; a Nigerian movie shot in the United States of America.
This is not just one of those movies where the producer or director sneaks a camera into the streets and shabbily shoots a single scene and merges this into a Nigerian picture. Rather, with an American lead cast (Mark Williams) and a cross section of other foreign and Nigerian actors (including Chet Anekwe of Monique’s ‘Phat Girls,’ Chisom Oz-Lee and others), Nigeria’s U.S-based producer, Emmanuel Ijeh delivers a movie that takes a giant leap into the halls of Hollywood yet retaining its Nigerian essence.
The movie has been scheduled to premiere in Nigerian cinemas on May 18, 2012 at Ozone Cinema in Lagos, Nigeria.
TOBI revolves around the story of a 21-year-old adult who gets caught in the familiar web of dark influences that drive him towards the cliff of self destruction. The movie also offers a peek into how deep the bond of brotherhood goes and the sacrifices that come with it.
The producer of the movie, Emmanuel Ijeh has assured that plans are in top gear to ensure that the Nigerian premiere of TOBI lives up to expectation in every sphere.
TOBI was premiered at Tribeca Cinemas in the United States last year and has done very well; with some veterans in the cinematic field showering encomium on Ijeh.
TOBI unveils a mix of Nigerians, Americans and Hispanic; Chet Anekwe (Phat Girlz, 30 Days, Unwanted Guest), Mark Lavan Williams, Jimmy Allen, Chisom Oz Lee, Arturo Castro, Patrick Dean and Elizabeth Ness.
The movie centers around the life of 21-year-old Tobi Akinola (Mark Lavan Williams) who deviates from the upright path his parents (Chet and Chisom) once guided him along and yields to the tempting antics of the dark side; giving in to the allure of a gangster life… and then a grave mistake occurs on the streets, which threatens his very existence.
His brother, (Jimmy Allen); a handsome and outstanding lawyer is torn between loyalty to his dream firm, ‘Lourdes & Myers;’ where he has now been employed and defending his brother on the other hand – in a case where Tobi’s life hangs in a balance. He must take a stand that would shake the proceedings to its very roots…
The movie boasts of the deployment of first class legal battle antics beautifully woven into the court room scenes by Emmanuel (we haven’t seen such since the days of Matlock on TV; especially from Nigerian scriptwriters/filmmakers, romance, outstanding production incorporating good storylines, twisty plot, lovely cinematography, non-sloppy editing, powerful sound with its effects cued in at the right time, lighting principle adhered to, a good cast playing their roles with dexterity. It’s a thought provoking, socially/morally transforming, intellectually stimulating, visually opulent, captivating and interesting movie set to take the Nigerian box office by storm.
The movie also offers a peek into how deep the bond of brotherhood goes and the sacrifices that come with it.
The movie is supported by Ozone Cinemas, Silverbird Cinemas, Genesis Deluxe Cinemas, Blue Pictures, Emani Studios, City Mall, Moonface Online Magazine, Xi Concepts, Simply Samad MEDIA, Swish Interactive and Nigeriafilms.com.
TOBI draws a line of suspense and takes us into a very visual peek into the halls of education, gang pressure and what many would easily consider the ultimate sacrifice. TOBI, 21, inadvertent bows to the bloodthirsty pressure of a vicious gang. In a flash, a seemingly morally upright young man gets caught in a web of violence, guns, bloodshed, drugs, parental expectations and conflicting voices in his head. Interestingly, the bond of brotherhood stretches the thematic window of choices and sacrifice.
The director, Bethels Agomuoh colourfully bridges the gap between the Nollywood and Hollywood by shooting a Nigerian picture in the United States with a healthy blend of American and Nigerian cast.
Mark Williams (as Tobi)
Chet Bashari Anekwe(as Tobi’s father)
Chisom Oz-Lee (as Tobi’s mother)
Jimmy Allen (as Tobi’s brother)
Producer – Emmanuel Ijeh
Director – Bethels Agomuoh
Not the kind of story that would instantly fire up the bolts of momentary anticipation but the dramatic twists, suspense and sterling interpretation of roles by some of the cast scores high on the pages of a dramatic epic. Ironically, in place of the main story, the theme of blood bonding between brothers and the cards of sacrifice and selflessness touch a more sensitive cord.
WATCH THE TRAILER BELOW and check out pics of some casts and Nollywood actors who endorsed the movie.