It's being called one of Nollywood's most anticipated films of 2012 - Obi Emelonye's follow-up to his 2011 fantasy/adventure hit The Mirror Boy - a film we also covered on S&A.
Titled Last Flight To Abuja, the expensive (by Nollywood standards) disaster/thriller (the first of its kind - an airplane disaster movie with special effects, shot with ARRI Alexa digital cameras) is said to be inspired by true events; an airplane suffers major mid-air problems which leads to a fatal crash.
The longer description reads:
A set of everyday Nigerian traveller’s board the last Flamingo Airways flight scheduled to fly from Lagos to Abuja on a fateful Friday night in 2006. The plane cruises at 30,000 feet, tranquil and on schedule. But like a bolt out of the blue, through a mixture of human error, technical failure and sheer bad luck, the plane rapidly develops major difficulties that sends it teetering on the brink of disaster. As the pilots fight with the controls of the stricken aeroplane, a series of flashbacks unravel the twists, turns and leaps of fate that put each passenger on the fateful flight. Young lovers, an elderly couple, a corporate party, a sportsman on the threshold of greatness; all the passengers are caught up in the nightmare scenario and sense the final moments of their lives approach. All...except one! What does he know? Will they survive... the Last Flight to Abuja?
Sounds somewhat like those Airport movies of the 1970s doesn't it? I think George Kennedy was in every single one. The earlier films were entertaining enough, like soap operas, but they got progressively worse with each unnecessary sequel. I believe there were 4 or 5 in total, released over a 10-year period in the 1970s.
I was just informed that Last Flight To Abuja will make its world premiere on Friday, June 8, at Troxy Cinema in London, with further releases planned for Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa (sorry Stateside folks; nothing for us yet).
It's being called the "biggest premiere ever in the world for a Nollywood film (2000 seats)...," with the cast (Omotola Jalade-Ekiende, Jim Iyke, Hakeem Kae-Kazim, Ali Nuhu, Jide Kosoko, Uru Eke, and Anthony Monjaro, all flying in to be present for it.
The theatrical trailer and poster follow below; I can't say I'm immediately drawn in based on what I see here. But then again, it's Nollywood, and Obi Emelonye has been one of those Nollywood directors pushing for the kind of higher quality and production values that will afford Nollywood product the same kind of worldwide respect as Hollywood films.
Where Last Flight To Abuja fits into that long-term mission remains to be seen. I'm certainly encouraged by the use of ARRI's new line of digital cameras. Those babies are a beauty.
Watch below; and I'll see what I can do about getting us a first-hand report on the premiere in London next month: