With the budget that brought The Black Book to life, we won’t be surprised if it goes directly for a streaming release. The high budget covered expenses such as transporting generators to Tarkwa Bay for night shooting, which Effiong proudly describes as “easily the most logistically advanced adventure ever done in the Nigerian film industry.” Furthermore, professionals from six different countries were involved in the project, including the UK, the US, and South Africa.
The Black Book, starring Richard Mofe Damijo, Femi Branch, Ade Laoye and Ireti Doyle, is Editi Effiong’s feature-length directorial debut.
Editi Effiong is known for producing Up North, Day of Destiny and The Set Up under Anakle Films. He made his directorial debut with a short film titled Fishbone, available on YouTube.
In a CNN segment in 2022, he revealed that he was forced to assume the director’s seat because the filmmakers he had approached couldn’t commit to a single project for at least one year. Even the lead Richard Mofe-Damijo worked on the project for 13 months.
While we wait for the release details to be announced, here is everything we know about The Black Book, which Effiong co-wrote with Bunmi Ajakaiye based on a story by him.
In Effiong’s feature directorial debut, old scores bubble to the surface when a man’s only son is killed by a gang of corrupt policemen and he falls back on his military training to get justice. “The Black Book is a very human story about a father who is looking for justice when his son is killed by people,” the director said. “Nigeria has a history of drug trafficking, and The Black Book explores that from the 80s and how those events in the 80s affect what we have today. It also pays a lot of homage to young people who have borne the brunt of that violence.”
The Black Book stars Richard Mofe-Damijo as Paul Edima, possibly our lead with the military background, in a role that demanded a lot of physical training and placed him on a year-long prep of a strict diet and gym commitments. An IMDb entry has also confirmed Ireti Doyle, Denola Grey, Ade Laoye, Sam Dede, Femi Branch, Alex Usifo Omiagbo, Kelechi Udegbe, Ikechukwu Onunaku, Taiwo Ajai-Lycett, Bimbo Akintola, Patrick Doyle, Bimbo Manuel, Norbert Young, Funky Mallam, Asabe Madaki, and Olumide Oworu. With seasoned actors who can deliver very strong performances under the right director, this hints at how thrilling the story might be. Strong stories call for strong performers.
The Black Book is co-written by Editi Effiong and Bunmi Ajakaiye (Up North). Credited as producers are Kemi Lala Akindoju and Editi Effiong (who owns the story idea and directed) for Anakle Films. The cinematography was handled by Yinka Edward (October 1, The Milkmaid). Other departments as listed on IMDb include music (Kulanen Ikyo) and makeup (Carina Ojoko). Director Effiong journaled his set experience of making the film here.
Considering the film’s budget, The Black Book will most likely head directly to a streaming service that will be ready to pay to add this film to its library, possibly as an original.
The Black Book has now officially been confirmed to premiere on Netflix on September 22.
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