Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending the Doctor Bello movie premiere at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC and I really enjoyed the film!

Doctor Bello stars Isaiah Washington, Vivica A. Fox, Jimmy Jean-Louis and internationally known Nollywood star, Genevieve Nnaji. The movie was directed by Nigerian filmmaker Tony Abulu --who also makes a cameo in the movie. 

Just to provide a bit of background information on Nollywood --Nollywood is a colloquialism used to describe the Nigerian feature film industry. The name derived as a play on the U.S. feature film industry in Hollywood, California --similar to India's Bollywood feature filming industry.

Reportedly, Nollywood is the world's third-largest producer of  feature films after India and the US --outselling both its western and eastern competitors. The $250 million filming industry, churns out roughly 2,000 films per year at an estimated cost of $15,000 (US dollars) per film.

Doctor Bello centers on an American oncologist, played by Washington, who travels from New York City to distant and unfamiliar territory --Nigeria, in search for the cure to cancer.
Brilliant cancer specialist Dr. Michael Durant ( Isaiah Washington) is emotionally troubled, wrestling with the traumatic loss of his 10 year old daughter from cancer. Immersing himself in his work in the hospital, away from his wife ( Vivica A. Fox), he forms an unlikely bond with a sick, loving, but rambunctious 11 year old boy Sam (Evan Brinkman). Sam’s health deteriorates drastically, and with only a few days to live. Dr. Durant becomes desperate, willing to risk anything to save the child’s life. A surreptitious Nigerian nurse convinces him to seek the help of Dr. Bello ( Jimmy Jean Louis), an uncertified Nigerian doctor with a controversial past, known in the Brooklyn-African underground as a miracle worker. Dr. Bello secretly administers a strange African potion, replete with incantations to Sam and miraculously, the child begins to recover, [and] the cancer speed[s] into remission. Little did Dr. Durant know that this would start a criminal investigation by the hospital board, and eventually lead him to a mysterious, riveting journey of self discovery, love, forgiveness, and hope in the mysterious “Garden of life,” lodged deep in the recesses of Nigeria’s sky mountains.
Check out the movie trailer, pictures from the DC premiere plus more, after the break!

Actress Vivica A. Fox and director Tony Abulu (far right)

Actress Ebbe Bassey (green and blue African traditional attire), Vivica and guest

Cast of Doctor Bello includes: Evan Brinkman (front center), Bern Cohen, Ebbe; and guest
Emmy Award-winning anchor/reporter, Maureen Umeh (center wearing the black knee-length wrap dress) of Fox 5's WTTG DC and guest. Maureen is also a native Washingtonian, of Nigerian descent (She's Igbo, woohoo!) and seems to be an all around cool chick! Needless to say, my friends and I clicked with Maureen! Igbo Kwenu, eh!

Doctor Bello will premiere in New York City at the start of the African Diaspora International Film Festival (ADIFF), on November 23, 2012. The ADIFF will also be celebrating its 20th anniversary  this year and runs through December 11, 2012. For more information on the ADIFF go here!

To learn information about the Doctor Bello movie, head here

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