93 Days: ‘Crew members thought they contracted Ebola while filming’

93 Days: ‘Crew members thought they contracted Ebola while filming’

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The producers of the Ebola movie, ’93 Days,’ have opened up on the challenges they encountered while filming the movie.
One of the producers, Bolanle Austen-Peters, while speaking recently at the movie premiere at the House on the Rock, Lekki, Lagos, said the cast and crew members had to battle with psychology issues that came with filming in locations where Ebola had taken place.
She explained, “I know for a fact that some of the people in the costume unit came to me on a daily basis that they were experiencing the symptoms of the Ebola virus. They were feeling pains. In housing the cast and for locations, we used the help of friends. When my friend got to her house and saw 50 people, she threw a tantrum. I had to beg her.”
Austen-Peters maintained that the cost of putting the film together was not a child’s play as they wanted it to have an international appeal. “We want the world to embrace it, so we needed to bring in international actors. The cast here were understanding. We could not afford them, but they took a pay-cut for the production.
We even wanted to take more people who were part of the production to the Toronto International Film Festival in Canada for the international premiere, but we could not afford to it. If we look at the opportunities as well, we had a lot of people who supported us,” she said.
According to the director, Steve Gukas, it is not every day a filmmaker gets the opportunity to film where the real story took place and it was a huge blessing to be able to do it.
“We did not film at just First Consultant in Obalende, Lagos, alone, but in the very ward that Patrick Sawyer was admitted and died. We also filmed at the actual wards used in the Isolation Centre at Yaba, Lagos.
“The chief medical director at Yaba was one of the volunteers who worked with the Ebola patients and the ambulance drivers we used in the film were actually the same people who transported the patients. We had the actual locations and in most cases, the actual people. That has brought a degree of authencity that we may not have found elsewhere,” the director said.
The host of the premiere, Pastor Paul Adefarasin, stated that when the news of the premiere in Nigeria broke, many people asked questioned on why the church was to host it.
He noted, “The underlining message of ‘93 Days’ is a powerful one, which teaches in an experimental term many values of principle in the only race and we are humbled to be part of the story. Nigeria as a nation exemplified that alone we could do so little, but together we could do much.”
By collaborating with Nollywood, the respected pastor said it was an opportunity for the church and media to use their places of impact to share the exemplary virtue that had propagated the value of nation building and transformation while also supporting the distribution of the movie.
“The Nigerian film industry has truly come of age. Your arts would help us to reshape ancient value system and our culture norms for progress, development and a national sense of purpose. We expect many more movies from your collaborated endeavours, so that together we could arise and reshape the future for the coming generations,” he said.

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