President Obasanjo, who was well placed in the Army hierarchy in 1976 endorsed the movie at a private screening, held at his Presidential library in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
76, which recently got the full endorsement of the Nigerian Army, reflects on the events which took place during the Nigerian military coup of 1976, the assassination of the then Head of State, Murtala Mohammed and the importance of unity in the country.
The former president commended the producers for the movie, which took six-years to produce, describing it as “a mixture of sweet and sorrow”.
According to him, the killing of a Muslim on a Friday by a gang thought to be Christians, particularly when we remembered the first coup, which upturned the political situation in the country gave a very bad signal. We thank God Dimka was caught. What this will amount to; where will it lead us to and how can we get us out of this mess? These were the questions Nigerians had in mind.
He said: “It will make us remind ourselves not to go back to the dark days, which put us in go-no-go situation. We might not yet have lived up to our best, but we have lived through our worst."
“We can have more of this, as there are more national issues that can be portrayed. We are capable of the best and that is what this film has shown,” he added.
Responding to the former president, the Executive Producer of the film, Prince Tonye Princewill, who led a delegation of the Cast and Crew including Rita Dominic, Izu Ojukwu and Chidi Mokeme, said the team of ‘1976’ were on tour of the country to seek support and stakeholder endorsement for the film, billed to premier in cinemas in November.
“The youth of today need to have a sense of the past, we have no sense of history, hence the resolve to have the film 1976, which is simply called ‘76”, he said.
Princewill said the visit to Obasanjo was important, “considering his position at that time in the country. He was there. In the front row. We deemed it wise to come and show him the film and curry his esteemed endorsement, which as you can see we have just got. We give all the glory to God."
The movie which is set to span across six continents, will become the first all-Nigerian, made in Nigeria movie chosen to have its own world premiere at the prestigious 41st Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). The event will also be transmitted live via social media. A first for Nigerian audiences.
The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is one of the most recognized film festivals in the world and a very important partner in facilitating the rise of emerging Oscar contenders.
The film will have its specially laid out red carpet premiere on Sunday the 11th of September at the one Isabel Bader Theatre, which promises to be a truly unique & momentous occasion.