A filmmaker is shooting a movie centred around sickle cell disease and it is part of efforts at creating awareness for the disease in the country.
The flick, titled STRAIN, is a family drama feature film about a family that suddenly discovers that their young son has the sickle cell disease.
Oluwatoyin Adewumi, the Co-writer, Producer and Executive Producer of the movie said, “STRAIN was conceptualized after hearing the near-miss story of a family.
“During our research, we made a heart-wrenching discovery that about 150,000 children are still being born with sickle cell disease annually in Nigeria. At that point, we knew there was no going back on lending our voice to the prevention, management, and cure of the disease through storytelling”.
She continued, saying that “the first version of the script was written in July 2018, and several versions after, we are finally confident that we have the right story that adequately blends entertainment, awareness, and education. We want the movie STRAIN to be a reference for discussions on Sickle Cell Disease and Genotype-match in general”.
Verte View, the producers of ‘Charmed’, has worked closely with the Sickle Cell Foundation Nigeria to produce this new movie “STRAIN” that was inspired by a true-life story. It is an emotional roller-coaster set to intrigue, entertain and educate its viewers. The themes in the film cut across age, gender, ethnicity, race, social status and it will linger on the minds of viewers for a long time to come.
Nearly 90 per cent of the world’s Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) population lives in three countries: Nigeria, India, and the Democratic Republic of Congo with Nigeria having the highest burden. 1 in 4 Nigerians are carriers of the Sickle Cell Gene. There is no better time to tell this story than now.
As the director of STRAIN, Uduak-Obong Patrick aired his views saying “being able to tell human stories has been the core of my journey as a filmmaker and I am very glad that this particular project has once again given me that opportunity to do just that. The movie STRAIN is very close to my heart, it is apt that we are projecting such a story in a time where there is so much information out there, but people still make the same mistakes all over. He said he hopes that STRAIN will not only capture the heart of their target audience but also be a strong reference point when people in their target group need to make lifelong decisions.
STRAIN enjoys a line-up of talented cast made up of veterans, on-screen debuts and child actors such as Okey Uzoeshi, Shushu Abubakar, Dr. Alex Usifo, Gloria Anozie-Young, Bimbo Akintola, Angel Onyi Unigwe, Nifemi Lawal, Enkay Ogboruche, Aproko Doctor amongst others.
Written by Donald Tombia, Oluwatoyin Adewumi & Eze Ekpo, STRAIN is produced by Oluwatoyin Adewumi and Benjamin Abejide Adeniran and directed by Uduak-Obong Patrick.
Shushu Abubakar who played the role of Yemi Ezeji in STRAIN, the movie said “Going through the script of the movie STRAIN touched my emotional side, I became even more honoured to have been cast to play the role of Yemi (a loving wife and a caring mother of two who struggles to create a balance between work and family even after the revelation of their son’s sickle cell health state). I can’t applaud Verte View enough on this masterpiece which supports that a home filled with love can overcome any situation”. –
Nnamdi Ezeji in STRAIN, the movie played by Okey Uzoeshi, said “Children are suffering… Children are dying, Words that should fill us with horror, words that should trouble us, and keep us up at night. In the comfort of our daily routine, it is easy to forget or perhaps overlook certain truths. STRAIN is a film that casts a harsh light on the easily forgotten and often overlooked ugly truths of Sickle Cell Anaemia”. He said “It is not necessarily a “call to action”, but it is a lesson, a reminder, and more importantly, a warning. Quoting his friend and colleague, Tosyn Bucknor of the blessed memory “I believe everyone should see it as it bridges no gap in age, tribe, gender, or nationality, these genes are a problem that affects us all”.
The principal photography for STRAIN held in Ogun and Lagos State, and it will be released later this year.