Amazon Prime Video says the movie, “Gangs of Lagos”, will premiere on its digital platform on Friday, April 7.
Amazon made the announcement of the movie premiere at a news conference in Lagos on Thursday.
Gangs of Lagos, the first African original for Prime Video, is a hard-hitting action crime-thriller with an authentic storyline about a group of friends who must navigate destiny while growing up on the bustling streets and neighborhood of Isale Eko, Lagos.
Mr Ned Mitchell, Head of Originals, Africa and Middle East, Prime Video, said that the platform waa committed in helping filmmakers in Nigeria to realize their goals and vision.
He said Prime Video would keep collaborating with filmmakers to maximize the talent in the industry.
“We are committed in backing creative visions behind visionary filmmakers who see things that we don’t see and tell stories that we need to hear which would make us laugh or cry.
“Filmmakers need a platform to show their vision and we understand the rigors behind that that is why we remain committed in offering a platform for established and upcoming filmmakers to tell their stories to the world.
“So much efforts were put into this movie to ensure that it is a spectacle and the whole world is going to watch and see that the wonderful things in Lagos and this would also boost different sectors in the country,” he said.
He revealed that there would be several indigenous based content coming to the platform before the end of the year.
He added that the platform had content that would appeal to people at the grassroots level as it remains committed in pushing indigenous contents.
Also, Wangi Mba-Uzoukwu, Head of Originals, Nigeria, Prime Video, said the importance of authenticity in storytelling could not be overemphasized.
She noted that relaying stories in indigenous languages would help in solidifying the authenticity of movies.
“It is all about authentic storytelling and this movie is actually predominantly local language, the majority of which is Yoruba, Igbo and Pidgin languages.
“I think it is important for us to realize that for our stories to be authentic, it has to be told in the language we speak and for us to position this local language film, is a testament of our culture and heritage.
“We want our stories to travel in a language the way we want to tell them and we are telling by ourselves , for ourselves and in the way we prefer.
“The movie is a very high quality film as before now, local language is not considered to be of the highest quality but we want to able to change that narrative and we are glad we are doing that,” she said.
Jadesola Osiberu, the producer and director of the movie while speaking on how she came about the idea of the movie said the idea was borne 12 years ago while she was at a movie location in Isale Eko, Lagos State.
“Twelve years ago, while I was shooting a series called “Giddy Up” in Isale Eko, across the window from where we were, I could see into another building’s window section and the people living there.
“Immediately, they became characters in my story. I saw a mother cooking dinner and feeding her children. I thought about what it would feel like to live in Isale Eko, stuck there yet desiring more for yourself and your children.
“I wanted to humanize people who live lives we don’t understand. It’s a revelatory film. It shows political thuggery. It’s a story about empathy, dreams, and love. I also hope people are entertained,” she said.
Speaking on challenges faced, Osiberu said shooting in Lagos was a challenge being an unpredictable city.
“You can make several plans but the dynamic nature of the city can throw you off balance,” she said.
According to one of the actors, Tobi Bakre, the movie is a project of many firsts for him, being a first time he is playing a lead character.
“It’s my first time really letting myself go to embody a character, my first time staying that long in a character. It is indeed a special project. I believe not just for me but for everybody else that was involved, both cast and crew.
“The synergy on and off set was amazing. We had such a beautiful ecosystem of positivity,” he said.