By Odera OZOKA


Historical - Development 2015

A young, innocent Igbo boy (Emeka) living underground during the Biafran War, makes an unlikely friendship with a wounded Yoruba soldier (Kayode) of the Nigerian army. The two must find the courage to leave their hide-out and each other to relocate to safer grounds amidst a war torn country.

    • Year of production
    • 2015
    • Genres
    • Historical, Drama, Art - Culture
    • Countries
    • Languages
    • Budget
    • 1 - 3 M$
    • Duration
    • 90 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Odera OZOKA
    • Writer(s)
    • Odera OZOKA
    • Producer(s)
    • Ashley ELLIS (Black Tower Production), Odera OZOKA (Black Tower Production)
    • Synopsis
    • A Forgotten Place is a narrative feature film set during the Nigerian Civil War (Biafran War). As the Nigerian army kills Igbos and occupies major towns in Biafra, EMEKA a twelve-year-old Igbo boy, lives in an underground bunker for safety. In the opening scene, Emeka hears a woman pleading with a soldier for her life while a baby wails. Terrified, he sits in a dark corner of the bunker and listens. Suddenly, the sound of one gun shot and her voice is no longer heard. Then another. The baby’s cries cease. Emeka shudders. The soldier argues with another man, and a few more shots are fired. Then there’s nothing. After time passes, Emeka looks outside. He finds a horrific display of dead bodies strewn everywhere, fallen in the midst of fleeing. Then, he stumbles upon one single living person, a wounded Yoruba soldier named KAYODE. Emeka drags the unconscious Kayode into the bunker and dresses his wounds. This act of kindness begins a friendship.

      During their time together, Kayode teaches Emeka how to survive; they reminisce about their lives before the war and what they both look forward to at its end. Emeka has a small radio through which they gather updates and opinions on the war from various local and international voices.

      One day, passing Nigerian soldiers come in contact with Emeka and try to kill him, but Kayode intervenes, killing them. In the process, he is severely wounded in the neck. Later, UJU, a mysterious young Igbo woman traveling with a rescued baby, UCHE, and a small goat, stumbles across the bunker. Kayode calms Uju’s obvious anxiety by handing over his only weapon, an AK-47, to earn her trust. He confesses that he doesn’t know how long he’ll live and begs her to take Emeka wherever she's headed. He is on a mission to reconnect with his family and trying not to get caught, as he is AWOL.

      After a difficult goodbye, Emeka, Uju and the baby Uche head on in search of the hidden city where the Igbos are said to have taken refuge. They traverse harsh and disparate terrain and begin to build a family unit out of the most desperate circumstances. Through their imagination and triumphant spirits, they create their own fun as a means of temporary escape.

      Meanwhile, Kayode proceeds in the opposite direction, determined to see his family one last time. As his body becomes weaker and weaker, he moves in and out of a hallucinatory state, which exposes his worst memories of the war, his best memories of his family, and his hopes and fears of what the future holds. On his journey, he meets a pretty but weathered French photo-journalist, ANNE, who has been abandoned in the middle of the foreign landscape. Unable to communicate with Kayode but terrified of
      traveling alone, Anne decides to follow the soldier in an attempt to find a safe town.

      A Forgotten Place is about hope, fear, and the strength of the human spirit. It seamlessly moves between scenes of harsh realism and colorful, surreal sequences, creating layers of experience.
    • Partners & financing
    • Project Act Grant
      Gong Publishing Company
    • Production schedule
    • Pre Production : Mar- Sept 2015
      Production: Oct- Nov 2015
      Post Production: Nov 2015- Mar 2016
    • Beginning of shooting
    • Oct 01, 2015
    • End of shooting
    • Nov 06, 2015
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