Jimmy Jean Louis, Gideon Okeke and musician/singer Nneka Egbuna star in Nigerian filmmaker Andy Amadi Okoroafor's Relentless -- "a haunting story about loneliness, love and self-discovery that explores Africa's throbbing megacity Lagos, and the effects of war and loss." According to Okoroafor, the film is in the final stages of the post-production process and an official trailer is set to be released later this year. Looking forward.
Okoroafor on the creative process and inspiration behind the film: "I see Relentless as a story told through innovative contemporary images. It is not a voyeuristic eye, it is participative and engaged, it is an insider perspective and the form of the images is a vital element of the film. I want the film to look under the surface, to look at Africa with a new intensity. Relentless is a love story, a story about war, loneliness, and the workings of the human soul. It is a simple story of ordinary people finding themselves in extra ordinary situations, acting out their destiny. It is not a political story but it is about the effects of war and thus the backdrop is a component to the film, but not the hero. Though set in Freetown, Sierra Leone and Lagos, Nigeria, the story could easily have been anywhere in Africa; Cote d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Congo, Rwanda; It is an African story, but also a universal tale. An African story in its landscape and particular circumstances, but a universal story in its characters, its heart and theme. Relentless deals with the consequence of wars on the psyche of the contemporary African. From Rwanda (genocide), the Congo (the African world war), Burundi (ethnic struggle for power) to Cote d'Ivoire and Darfur. Wars with different ramifications, and brutality, Liberia and later Sierra Leone was at the vanguard of these brutal conflicts of which the biafran war into which our hero Obi was born is one the first in a long list of conflicts that has distorted Africa. The film has the ambition of exploring Africa beyond the news headlines, sound bites and statistics. It is about looking at Africa from a contemporary point of view. It's about the little people; the ones nobody reports after the satellite transmission dishes have been folded and moved to another cliché. I want Relentless to also be a mirror for African society to look at itself, criticise itself, and celebrate itself. I am making this film so that Africans would love it and be challenged by it. The world hopefully would follow. I want anybody in the world to identify with the characters and emotions in the film. Africans are believers and we somehow believe a hero will come and save us, he's not shown up and the present African generation is still looking for the new Nkrumah’s, Mandela’s, people with vision and clarity of thought. Hard to produce in refugee camps, running under fire in a world of kid soldiers. Relentless, is a celebration of Africa, the music, the sensuality, the joy, the jokes and the laughter, the energy, the sheltering sky and the hope that the good men will prevail. It is also a film about Lagos, the biggest African city and how ordinary people navigate this challenging untamed urban jungle. From the security guard to the prostitute, from the big time politician hoping to pull the strings of power, to the okada driver hoping to make it big. Finally, it is an acknowledgment of the possibilities that lie in the modern African experience; it is to shine the world's light on us, if not for our ingenuity, at least the acknowledgment of our will to survive. I am hoping to tell that African story through film, like Fela did with his Afro beat music and Chinua Achebe and Wole Soyinka did through literature and touched the world. Technically, the film will be shot on digital; this will give us the ease to cover the scope that the film entails. We are going for a highly stylised, multi-paced film that will be entertaining and busting with energy. Stylised images inspired by Asian films, combined with the pace and energy of black exploitation movies that is reminiscent of a town like Lagos. We are gunning for a polished film with a unique anarchic aesthetic but with a technical quality comparable with what operates anywhere in the world and a story that is universal and understandable to all. Stressing the pan African nature I want to give this film, we plan to use different talents from different African countries and even outside Africa, getting them to work together will be a practical triumph over the story which is about division, war and alienation. The film takes place mostly at night and late evenings expect for the redemption scenes shot during the day. The night scenes will help us produce the innovative images and texture that will stand the film apart from anything shot until now in Africa. The sound is a vital component to film and much attention will be paid to not only the sync audio and experiencing the sounds of Lagos and Freetown but also to create an exciting soundtrack that will feature prominently in scenes of the movie. I want to put great energy in designing the sound of Lagos, sounds that will reflect the relentless energy of Lagos and will be used creatively to enhance the maddening effect the city has on Obi and his loneliness, the same goes for Honey our female lead character. The film relies on great performance. I will be very careful to cast people that understand the subtle nuance of the script, that have strong screen presence but carried with delicate and insightful performance. The style of shooting is also designed to be least intrusive to the performance. This is a film that hopefully will make you laugh, cry, travel, escape but most specially, it will make you think about contemporary Africa." (source) We're a human development centered cooperative, producing in part through the generous and faithful contributions of our North Star members. Choose your membership: Annual ($36), Monthly ($3), ($5), ($10), ($15), ($30), ($70), ($200), ($500), ($1000).