Well, well, well… I recall reading a Tweet last week I believe it was, from Isaiah Washington, saying that he'd just landed in Lagos, Nigeria with the filmmaker, Tony Abulu (he also included a photo of the two of them); I replied to his Tweet asking if this was "a collab in the spirit of Pan Africanism;" while he didn't say specifically, he did retweet my query, suggesting that what I said was indeed accurate.
Anyway, as it turns out, I missed the rest of his tweets, because he went on to say even more about the project over the following 2 or 3 days, but I missed all those tweets.
And now that you're sufficiently out-tweeted… the goods from the press release I just received:
– First, the film is titled Doctor Bello.
– Second, it stars the aforementioned Isaiah Washington, as well as Vivica A. Fox, Jimmy Jean-Louis, Bern Cohen, Genevieve Nnaji (maybe the most internationally well known Nollywood actress), Stephanie Okereke (also a Nollywood actress) and many others.
– Third, the film’s synopsis states, "The Cure for Cancer has been found in the sky mountains of Africa, and an American Oncologist will risk everything to get it."
– Fourth, the film is scheduled for release in Summer 2012.
– Fifth, it's the first movie project financed in part by the recently established Nigerian Intervention Fund for the arts and entertainment industry administered by NEXIM Bank.
– And sixth, a website for the project exists at www.doctorbello.com.
That's pretty much the gist of it all, although I'll do some digging and return with a fuller write-up.
As noted in previous posts, we're seeing more and more of these cross-continental connections, between African American and African talents; most recently, Kimberly Elise in award-winning Ghanaian-American filmmaker Leila Djansi's Ties That Bind, and Vivica Fox in Nigerian filmmaker Jeta Amata's Black November.
I'm unfamiliar with director/producer Tony Abulu's past work, but that will hopefully be rectified soon enough; I will say, however, that, based on his resume I just read, he's been in the biz for a long while.
More when I know more…
By the way, the above photo is quite recent – posted on the Doctor Bello Facebook page on Monday. In it are Isaiah Washington, Tony Abulu and Genevieve Nnaji.
Here's a longer synopsis:
Brilliant Cancer specialist Dr. Michael Durant ( Isaiah Washington) is emotionally troubled, wrestling with the traumatic loss of his 10 year old daughter from Cancer. Immersing himself in his work in the hospital, away from his wife ( Vivica A. Fox) he forms an unlikely bond with a sick, loving, but rambunctious 11 year old boy Sam, the son of a rich Jewish couple who are major contributors to the hospital Cancer research fund.Unfortunately, Sam’s health deteriorates drastically, and with only a few days to live. Dr. Durant becomes desperate, willing to risk anything to save the child’s life. A surreptitious Nigerian Nurse convinces him to seek the help of Dr. Bello ( Jimmy Jean Louis), an uncertified Nigerian Doctor with a controversial past, known in the Brooklyn-African underground as a miracle worker. Dr. Bello secretly administers a strange African potion, replete with incantations to Sam and miraculously, the child begins to recover, the Cancer speeding into remission. Little did Dr. Durant know that this would start a criminal investigation by the hospital board, and eventually lead him to a mysterious, riveting journey of self discovery, love, forgiveness, and hope in the mysterious “Garden of life,” lodged deep in the recesses of Nigeria’s sky mountains.