I was able to confirm directly with the festival programmer/curator Keith Shiri, that long-awaited, much-anticipated film adaptation of celebrated author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Orange Prize-winning novel, Half Of A Yellow Sun, will be the opening night film at the Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) in Calabar, Cross River State (Nigeria), in November.
AFRIFF runs from November 10th to 17th.
This is playwright Biyi Bandele's feature film directorial debut, with a cast that includes Thandie Newton, John Boyega, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Anika Noni Rose, Joseph Mawle and Genevieve Nnaji.
Described as an epic love story, here's the official synopsis released by the film's producers which tells us what role each starring actor will play:
... weaving together the lives of four people swept up in the turbulence of war. Olanna (Newton) and Kainene (Rose) are glamorous twins from a wealthy Nigerian family. Returning to a privileged city life in newly independent 1960s Nigeria after their expensive English education, the two women make very different choices. Olanna shocks her family by going to live with her lover, the “revolutionary professor” Odenigbo (Ejiofor) and his devoted houseboy Ugwu (Boyega) in the dusty university town of Nsukka; Kainene turns out to be a fiercely successful businesswoman when she takes over the family interests, and surprises herself when she falls in love with Richard (Mawle) an English writer. Preoccupied by their romantic entanglements, and a betrayal between the sisters, the events of their life loom larger than politics. However, they become caught up in the events of the Nigerian civil war, in which the lgbo people fought an impassioned struggle to establish Biafra an independent republic, ending in chilling violence which shocked the entire country and the world.
The crew includes award-winning cinematographer John de Borman (An Education, The Full Monty), production designer Andrew McAlpine (BAFTA winner for The Piano), and award-winning Nigerian songwriter Cobhams Asuquo and singer-songwriter Keziah Jones who are composing original music for the film.
Half Of A Yellow Sun is a film we've been looking forward to all year, wondering when and where it would eventually debut, after one high profile film festival after the next, came and went, but no Half Of A Yellow Sun sightings.
So now we look to November.
No trailer yet; the only footage we've seen thus far is within the below interview with Adichie, which starts at around the 35 second mark, if you want to skip right to it. It's only about 40 seconds long, so consider it a tease while we wait for the first trailer to surface, which I suspect will be sooner than later.
The scene features characters played by Ejiofor and Newton.