Already adjudged by movie experts and critics as Nigeria’s most significant social impact film of 2020, The New Patriots movie as produced by Dr. Rotimi Adelola is settling in as a good opener for the new year. We had a chat with the alumnus of the Harvard-Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Boston,. USA. And he shared with us the process of making the star-studded blockbuster.
The New Patriot is an action-parked language film set in the fictional Aruguna nation. After seeing this movie, this reporter agrees that the project is surely Nigeria’s best social impact piece of artwork delivered by the creative industry of Nigeria.
It stars Akin Lewis, Lateef Adedimeji, Bimbo Oshin, Dele Odule and Taiwo Ibikunle and other talented thespians.
The New Patriots movie explores the disenchantment of youths with the mismanagement, bad governance and endemic corruption in Aruguna (fictional Republic), a populous third world nation, after a covert team of vibrant youths led by Lateef Adedimeji deploy unorthodox means to tackle the mindless, corrupt and deadly powerbrokers in their country. This unorthodox strategy creates tension nationwide. The film is directed by Adebayo Tijani, Terry Ayebo is line producer and the script writer is Adeniji Akanni.
The producer also tells us about Tunde Kelani’s support on this project, “I wouldn’t have done anything in filmmaking if l had not attended Mainframe Media And Film Institute(MFMI). The personal interest of TK in every student’s idea was an elixir for progressive creativity. When l was working on KEDERE, TK took the time to go through my draft scripts. I did not proceed to location until he adjudged the script cinematic. Same thing with The New Patriots. TK gave me a sample agreement with the author of the book. He was also the witness when Niji Akanni and l signed a screenplay agreement.”
Although a prince of Araromi-Obu, Dr. Rotimi was born in Ondo city and his wealth of academic excellence and level of creativity is glaring for all to see in this masterpiece.
And now that the film is ready to be consumed by cinema goers. It’s safe to say what they will be seeing is a carefully blended thriller of action based tale deliberately plotted for social impact.
The year 2020 was one of loud and urgent calls for societal change, as the world’s racial and economic divides were starkly exposed by both the COVID-19 pandemic and America’s most unconventional presidential campaign of our lives.
For Nigeria it was only a different issue but same level of heat generated in terms of a societal change campaign towards Ending SARS.
The movie was inspired by Nnenna Ihebom’s novel titled Patriots And Sinners. “The idea of adapting a book was planted in me by Tunde Kelani” says Rotimi. He obtained a large number of novels by African authors and Patriots And Sinners was most compelling to him. He tells us how Tunde Kelani advised that he must get the permission of the author as the first step. So he located Mrs. Nnenna Ihebom in Owerri and travelled there to sign copyright agreement with her in March 2017.
“After the agreement he treated the book and a script conference was organised with full participation of some of his teachers and colleagues at the film school : Tunde Kelani, Niji Akanni who taught Directing; Mohammed Sule who taught Script Writing and his two colleagues Jibola Soyele and Dami Taiwo. “After the conference Niji Akanni did the screenplay. It was quite a tedious and tiring process but for the encouragement of Tunde Kelani ( TK) who showed keen interest in the project.”
Dr. Rotimi believes, Nollywood has demonstrated that Nigerians are resourceful, creative and productive. The challenge of Profitable Marketing of movies is an opportunity for investors to create more Cinema screens. “Filmmaking involves multitudes and it is an employment generator. One way of addressing youth unemployment is forv government should build Cinema houses and lease them to professionals to manage. With the rate at which Nigerians are releasing movies, a Cinema house in each local government area will catalyse gainful employment for a large number of young film makers.”
The Patriots Movie puts the issues that traumatize, divide, unite and inspire us squarely at the heart of the project’s narratives. While it offers the usual pieces of entertainment and artistic performance that blockbuster films are known for.
The movie becomes a motion blueprint of how the Government of Nigeria (for example) can channel the civil unrest of the Youths towards benefiting the general greatness of the nation.
According to the producer, the movie is not yet in the cinemas, and also hasn’t been programmed on any TV or cable network. However, the move towards seeing the movie hitting the cinemas, first quarter of 2021, as first call of distribution is already in the works.
The film is directed by Adebayo Tijani, Terry Ayebo is line producer and the script writer is Adeniji Akanni.
Dr. Rotimi, an alumnus of the Harvard-Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Boston,. USA, holds a Ph.D. in Organisational Psychology from the University of Ibadan. He also holds a M.sc. in Psychology from the University of Lagos and a B.sc degree (2nd class upper) in Social Sciences from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University).
The producer loves to relax with Fela Kuti’s songs.