The Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke, has commended the producers of the new Nollywood international movie "Streets of Calabar", currently in cinemas across Nigeria, describing the quality of the film as "exceptional".
Speaking to reporters after watching the movie at the Silverbird Galleria in Abuja last Wednesday night, Chief Edem Duke said that for Nollywood producers, scriptwriters, actors and actresses, "Streets of Calabar" is a "benchmark to go by".
Calling it a "sheer thriller", the minister said: "The quality is exceptional, the plot is intriguing and the characterization, the storyline and the suspense are first rate".
He said that setting "Streets of Calabar" against the locations of the premium tourism destinations across Cross River State adds "a lot of value to the film and is also a major statement (about) the tourism investment which the Cross River State government has made"
The minister, who was accompanied by some of his deputies in the Tourism ministry, described Charles Aniagolu, the writer, producer and co-director of "Streets of Calabar", as an extraordinary talent of international repute, who has raised the quality bar for Nollywood productions. "I think there is a lot that professionals in this sector can learn from him and that is not humouring him in any way ", the Minister said.
Earlier, Charles Aniagolu's the writer, producer and co-director of "Streets of Calabar" said that the movie was filmed in Cross River State and London with an international cast and is set to be released in cinemas in Nigeria and across Africa in January 2013.
He said that the movie is aimed at showcasing the tourism attraction and rich culture of Calabar with a fascinating story line wrapped around a character, Anthony Ofoegbu, who was deported from London to Calabar for criminal act.
He said that the popular Calabar Carnival, Obudu ranch and other tourist locations in Calabar were reflected in the movie, which will go international and helps sell Calabar to the global world as good tourist haven.
Speaking on the choice of actors and actresses featured in the movie, Charles said that foreign and Nolly wood artistes of great talents were used to give the storyline life and image.
Charles, who is an international producer and director of television features, documentaries and commercials for various TV stations and companies around the world He also does radio/TV reporting for CBC Canada, ABC Australia, CBS America, RTE Ireland, France 24 in Paris and Global Radio/TV News, based in London.
As a BBC trained broadcast journalist, Charles worked for 8 years with BBC World Service Radio and BBC World Television as a reporter, producer and news presenter.
Charles later worked as a casual television reporter with ITN, a news producer with Sky News and more recently, as a news presenter on CNN International.
Charles holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communication from Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio and a Master of Arts degree in Broadcast Journalism and Film Production from the Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio. He also holds a certificate in Intellectual Property Law, from the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Academy, in Geneva, Switzerland.