Johannesburg-basedCapitol International Productions' project Lemona, to be directed by Kinshasha-born Balufu Bakupa-Kanyinda, was revealed at this week's MannheimMeetings co-production market by Nigerian-born scriptwriter-producer AlbertEgbe.
Speakingexclusively to Screendaily.com in Mannheim, Egbe saidthat the decision to shoot the on celluloid rather than follow the"Nollywood" wave of low-low-budget video production had beentriggered by his belief that "celluloid film is more permanent and aproper art form for storytelling."
"What'smore, I've always liked to be in the forefront of things and when I go tofestivals, people make a lot of noise about this Nollywood, but it never featuresin any festival," he said.
"Ratherthan shoot a film in a week, I said we should take our time and do a properfilm that is acceptable anywhere in the world," Egbe explained.
"There are different levels of filmmaking in Nigeria and the video filmscater for one audience, I want to see if I can move to an international levelof filmmaking."
Accordingto director Bakupa-Kanyinda, Lemona's Tale is a"prophetic projection" of civil rights activist Saro-Wiwa's destinyto be murdered by the then military government of Nigeria for speaking up forhis Ogoni people.
"KenSaro-Wiwa tells the story of the main character Lemona's fateful life which endedwith her condemnation to a death sentence by hanging, This brings to mindPushkin who dies in a duel with swords like the hero of his novel EugeneOnegin," he said.
Budgetedat $1.4m (Euros 1.2m), Lemonawill be shot in English atlocations in Nigeria, South Africa, the USA, and possibly also the UK.
Egbe addedthat he is applying to be selected with the project to the BerlinaleCo-Production Market to be held in Berlin next February.