Friday, January 8, 2016 2:12 pm
The producers of the film, 93 Days, said contrary to the allegations contained in the press statement released by the Adadevoh and Cardoso families, they actually enlisted the help of the two families from day one.
In a statement made available to TheNEWS/PMNEWS, the producers categorically and strongly denied all the allegations contained in the recent press statement released on behalf of the families by one Dr Anna Adadevoh that the producers never sought the approval of the families before hitting the location.
“The said allegations are not only untrue they are malicious and scurrilous and a calculated attempt to sabotage our feature film. The film, 93 Days, is not the biopic of anyone individual and has never claimed to be the story of Doctor Stella Adadevoh. Whilst that in itself is a strong story, we found it more compelling to tell a story that celebrates many of the heroes of the fight against Ebola,” the statement reads.
According to them, “these include the doctors, nurses and staff of First Consultant Hospital, the employees of the Lagos State and Federal Ministries of Health, Members of the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), corporate and individual Nigerians who rose to the challenge of fighting the scourge as well as the World Health Organisation, WHO team that came into help at the risk of personal injury and even death.”
They continued; “For us, this presented a more universal story of human courage, dedication and sacrifice that may inspire our great country and its people. Ours is a pride story that shows Nigeria at one of its finest hours and casts our country in a positive light around the world.”
The producers noted that to ensure the universal appeal of the film, they enlisted, at a great cost, Nigerian and International actors to feature in the film amongst these were Danny Glover, Keppy Ekpeyong and Bimbo Akintola.
“We want to state plainly that we do not require anyone’s consent to make the film as we have a constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom of speech and expression. Besides, the matters portrayed in the film were derived from facts that are well within the public domain and those facts which were not already publicly known were provided to us by those privy to the said facts,” they stated.
“For instance, we obtained additional information from interviews with the survivors of those who lost loved ones, volunteer doctors and nurses as well as officials of the Lagos State Ministry of Health.
“To honour those protagonists of the Ebola story, it was essential for us that the film be, as much as possible, an accurate, genuine and sincere record of the facts relating to the country’s efforts to fight the disease. In fact, that was the only way of doing justice to those brave individuals (and foreigners) who had given so much in the service of the country.
Early this week, the families of Dr. Adadevoh dissociated self from the movie meant to honour the late brave physician.
The families claimed that the script of the film was shared with the family only after it was completed and they strongly questioned the integrity and authenticity of the story as it relates to the depictions of late Dr. Ameyo Adadevoh.
“The inaccuracies in the movie do a great injustice and a disservice to the life works of Dr. Ameyo Stella Adadevoh. Specific accounts in the script are incorrect and Mr. Afolabi Cardoso (husband) and Bankole Cardoso (son) are depicted in the movie without their consent,” the families had alleged.
But contrary to the allegations, the producers stated that the family gave their comments on the script and their amendments were incorporated into the final script.
“…The late Stella Adadevoh’s son, Bankole Cardoso, consented to the making of the film and to being portrayed in the film. Not only did he consent, he was kind enough to provide us with information concerning his late mother’s actions during those trying times. The facts provided by him proved useful in the development of the script and we have his interview on film should anyone require further proof. In essence, the story of Dr Stella Adadevoh depicted in the film was obtained partly from facts provided to us by the Adadevoh and Cardoso families and more importantly by her son, Bankole Cardoso,” the producers claimed.
They also disclosed that it’s to their understanding that Dr Ama Adadevoh and certain elements within the family are involved in another film project on the Ebola story and are attempting to derail “93 Days” in the misguided belief that to do so would ensure the success of their own film.
“It is plainly wrong for these people to try and monopolise the Ebola story exclusively for themselves by trying to prevent the making and release of a film that so many of the people concerned have supported and contributed to.
“Our film features many of the people who were in the vanguard of the fight against the terrible disease. Many of these people lost loved ones and made other sacrifices still unknown to a majority of Nigerians. They have supported the film and want their story told and it is only fair that their stories are told,” the producers summed.
The much anticipated film 93 Days was produced by Bolanle Austen-Peters and Dotun Olakunri. It was directed by Steve Gukas with Nollywood stars, Keppy Ekpeyong as Liberian Patrick Sawyer and Bimbo Akintola starring as Nigerian heroine, Dr. Ameyo Adadevoh.
Asides Hollywood icon Danny Glover, the film also features some of Nigerian best, including Bimbo Manuel, Gideon Okeke and Somkhele Idhalama.