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Trailer: Cross-Continental Thriller 'Doctor Bello' (Isaiah Washington, Jimmy Jean-Louis, Genevieve Nnaji)

by Courtney
September 1, 2012 5:36 PM
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Isaiah Washington In Tony Abulu's 'Doctor Bello'
Isaiah Washington In Tony Abulu's 'Doctor Bello'

A quick recap on this..

- First, the film is titled Doctor Bello and it's directed by Nigerian filmmaker Tony Abulu.

- Second, it stars Isaiah Washington, Vivica A. FoxJimmy Jean-LouisBern CohenGenevieve 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 to make its world premiere later this month - September 27, 2012 at 7:00pm at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, in Washington, DC.

- 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.

That's pretty much the gist of it all.

As noted in previous posts, we're seeing more and more of these cross-continental connections, between African American and African talents.

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.

Check out the full poster and several still photos below; but first, watch the brand new trailer that we received via email today:

And here are more images of Isaiah as Dr. Durant, Genevieve Nnaji as Doctor Eniola Adio and others:

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  • don mozzy | November 21, 2012 4:57 PMReply

    i will only watch the movie bcos of the African nolly wood diva genevive nnaji, she got talent, she is the best. i love to watch her and i believe becos she is there the movie will make sense. UK cant wait to watch her, she is wellcome

  • seth liliana | November 21, 2012 4:50 PMReply

    i love the cast, provided it has geneveive nnaji on the list, the world is waiting for it on cinema cos as for me i cant wait to watch the film. she is the best and the best thing that has happened to Africa, Nigeria even the world at large. we in virginia , are inlove with her movies. we are indeed waiting for the movie.

  • d | September 3, 2012 2:44 PMReply

    Seems cool except why are there white characters in it? Doesn't seem necessary they easily could have had an all black cast as wp probably wont watch this anyway- Interesting how people are commenting on issiah's lack of Hollywood roles as if nollywood isn't good enough? who cares about Hollywood African cinema is catching up and will eventually surpass hollywood anyway in terms of technique AND quality.

  • Donella | September 5, 2012 6:54 PM

    I LOVE the idea of actors doing end-runs around Hollywood. More should.

  • Archangel2020 | September 3, 2012 3:29 PM

    I definitely agree with your statements! Which is why I said that filmmakers and actors of color should seek independent opportunities here and abroad.

  • Archangel2020 | September 3, 2012 11:44 AMReply

    Glad to see this brotha getting work. Seems Hollywood is determined to do a "Wesley" on him since the the whole Gray's Anatomy controversy. Which is why filmmakers and artists of color need to collaborate on more independent projects here and abroad.

  • ALM | September 2, 2012 5:15 PMReply

    I want to see this. I love the synopsis. Side note: Genevieve Nnaji looks like Stephanie Mills.

  • ALM | September 3, 2012 10:26 PM

    @ Boomslang: You're entitled to your opinion. I guess Stephanie Mills upset you at some point. You emphasized the word "never".

  • Boomslang | September 3, 2012 6:41 PM


    Like not even remotely. Stephanie Mills was NEVER a beauty.

  • noel | September 2, 2012 8:35 AMReply

    Made a lot of typos in my posts below so here is an eleborate expression about the trailer. while I aint pretending to be a film maker or critic, the trailer does no justice to the movie. First its too long with unnecessary details, stick to revealing the plot and gripping moments. Re-cut the trailer to a shorter enticing version. hope the film director gets this note. Would send a direct message to the director if I knew him personally. best of luck to them.

  • CareyCarey | September 2, 2012 1:10 AMReply

    I do a thang called "Black Actor for The Week". In essence for an entire week I try to pick up as many movies as I can on one particular black actor. Either by renting them from a local video outlet... or my online account... or from my movie library, I try to watch as many movies on that actor as I can -- in one week. Well, Isaiah Washington was my "guest" for a week. Let me tell you, whatever the genre or the character ( I.e., slick talking thug, lover, business executive, priest, pastor, doctor, prison inmate, father, a sympathetic murder, whatevah...) the man has shown so much range and acting ability that in my opinion, he is one of the best black actors that the USA has ever produced. To me, in terms of acting, not necessarily bankability, he's in the class with Jefferey Wright, Andre Braugher, Lawrence Fishburne and Harry Lennix. I'll be on the lookout for this movie.

  • ALM | September 2, 2012 11:26 PM

    @ CareyCarey: I'm doing great. I liked him in "Grey's Anatomy" (of course) :)

    I haven't narrowed down a favorite on his movies yet. "Doctor Bello" may ultimately end up being the one.

  • CareyCarey | September 2, 2012 5:43 PM

    How you doing ALM... whenever we consider Denzel, we're talking a category of one. First and foremost, as Omari mentioned, Hollywood is about "bankability". Denzel has that on so many levels. He's the Sydney Poitier of this generation. I don't think I have to explain that. But yes, I believe Isaiah is very talented. I've seen him in all the scenes/characters ( I mentioned above) and he never falters. What's your favorite Isaiah character/scene/movie?

  • ALM | September 2, 2012 5:16 PM

    @ CareyCarey: I agree regarding Isaiah's acting ability. I was just saying that he could be up there with Denzel, but he may not ever be for two reasons: 1. Hollywood only lets a limited # of people of color make it to the top 2. He made the grave error of using a slur.

  • ojie king | September 2, 2012 2:43 AM

    I agree totally! Such presence he has! It is just sad that he got caught up with the politics of the industry and as such has been relegated to non-high profile roles. What irks me even more is that the actor he allegedly called a fag, asked to be let out of his contract, so firing Isaiah had no merit, such a waste of good talent. However, i am still on the campaign that he should be brought back. Let us shake Christina and Owen a bit!

  • Winston | September 2, 2012 12:02 AMReply

    That top pic of Washington looks like he's making an "Oh!" face; is there a sex scene in this film? Either way, you can count me in.

  • noel | September 1, 2012 9:30 PMReply

    This got to be a joke right? Re-cut this trailer I say to the direct. Transition from NY to Nigeria is bizzare. Re-cut and re-score the film trailer. I can see good acting but post production is bizzare from what I see.

  • D.C. Kirkwood | September 1, 2012 6:24 PMReply

    I will definitely support his film. I like the cast. I just wish the film focused more on his medical skills and knowledge plus the cancer cure itself. It looks like it's going to focus more on his self discovery in Africa. Isaiah Washington did an interview on the Monique show about his firing from Grey Anatomy and how he moved to Africa. This movie sounds like his true life experience with the cancer patient being more a subplot which is fine too.

    Im happy for Vivica Foxx too. I have always been a fan. She a beautiful sista. She had her share of missteps I admit with some of her roles but to her credit she does try to balance roles between commercial films, indies, TV, and stage plays, and of course straight to DVD. Plus she produces on her projects so she gets some back end profits. I think that is pretty impressive considering she's almost 50.

  • ojie king | September 1, 2012 6:24 PMReply

    As a Nigerian, I must say that i have longed for the day that our films will stand at the same quality floors of our international counterparts and i can say that from what i am seeing, my longing is over. I will recommend a film called Ije starring Genevive Nnaji and Omotola Jalade Ekeinde. A fantastic watch, fantastic story with phenomenal performances from the actresses.

  • noel | September 1, 2012 9:34 PM

    Yeah I know the lady that did ije. The movie still is the best from nollywood till date though had my issues with it. Thought doctor bello will par with it but the trailer is not quite there. Genevieve nnaji ought to be in better films. Am sadden for her the underuse of her talent.

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