Well, Nollywood has done it again, and it’s called Orah.
At just 15, Orah Dokubo killed someone but escaped justice by hightailing it out of Africa, her newborn baby in tow. Fast forward 17 years, and she finally lands in Canada, the land of moose and maple syrup. However, she does this illegally.
Yet another crime thriller
Orah becomes a cabbie, shuttling a fancy attorney and his big-shot Nigerian pal, Bami Hazar — who are both into international money laundering — around Sudbury. Drama and murder comes in when Hazar puts out a hit on Orah’s son, forcing her on a one-woman mission to serve up a side of justice, extra spicy.
One-man writer and director
Orah is written and directed by Nigerian-Canadian filmmaker, Lonzo Nzekwe, the brain behind the indie gem, Anchor Baby (2010).
11 years in the making
Lonzo Nzekwe revealed in a chat with Hollywood Reporter in November 2022, that he’d been brewing this movie since 2011. The producers, Floyd Kane (Diggstown) and Amos Adetuyi (The Boathouse), joined the team in 2017. Apparently, if you’re not the patient type, filmmaking isn’t for you.
Shot in Canada and Lagos
Sudbury, Ontario, took the spotlight in 2022. Then Lagos joined the party for additional touches. Real recognises real.
It’s not every day you see Somkele Iyamah-Idhalama (93 Days, Gidi Up), Tina Mba (The Set Up, Battle on Buka Street), O.C. Ukeje (The Arbitration, Brotherhood), Femi Lawson (Because We Are), Lucky Ejim (Render to Casear, The Tenant), Oyin Oladejo (Star Trek: Discovery, Endlings) and Emeka Nwagbaraocha (Far From Home) in a single picture. This movie is giving the best of both worlds — diaspora and motherland.
Screening at TIFF
Orah has snagged an invitation to the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), where it will mingle with other Nollywood gems like Black Harvest and I Do Not Come To You By Chance, as well as Death of a Whistleblower (South Africa), Banel & Adama (Senegal) and Sira (Burkina Faso).
Looks like the spotlight will twirl around various corners of the continent this season.