Wave making media giant, Dove Media, is putting finishing touches to The Covenant Church, Nigeria's first fully dramatized and near reality biographical movie.
The movie, according to inside sources, is one of the most expensive movies ever made in Nollywood and is different in every way, as most of the artistes who took part in the production acted their parts so naturally that many could not believe the actual characters were not involved in the cast.
The Covenant Church presents in a very dramatic, realistic period setting, the birth and early years of Pa Akindayomi, the founder of Redeemed Christian Church of God, as an illiterate but faithful believer in rural Ondo town, the call of God upon his life and the extra ordinary covenant between him and God that led to the founding of one the fast growing churches in the world. In a superbly done parallel story in the movie, The Covenant Church also traces the birth and early years of the present General Overseer, Pastor E.A. Adeboye as he grew up in rural Ifewara, Osun State up to his fateful decision to attend a service of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, pastured by Pastor Akindayomi, the founder.
Shot entirely on landmark locations in Ondo town, Ifewara, Ilesha and Ebute Metta, the movie displays efforts in Acting, Production, Directing, Casting, Makeup and Cinematography. It is an excellently researched and superbly acted docu-drama by a star cast.
Produced by multiple awards winning producer, Charles Novia, the cast introduces Kunle Abogunloko and Moses Balogun in a superb jaw breaking performances as Rev. Akindayomi and Pastor E.A. Adeboye respectively. It also featured superstars like Richards Mofe-Damijo, Segun Arinze, Norbert Young, Remi Abiola and Saidi Balogun among others.
According to the CEO/MD of Dove Media, Pastor Ope Banwo, the movie gives so much to cheer about. “The Covenant Church is the dramatized biographies of the founder of Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pa Josiah Akindayomi and the General Overseer of the church, Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye. It chronicles their lives, work with God, and the covenant of God with the Pa Akindayomi. If I am not going to sound immodest, I will say that is the movie of the decade. A movie the devil fought so hard to stop.”
Speaking further on the uniqueness of the movie, Pastor Banwo, whose entry into the Nigerian movie industry has sort of redefined standards and upped the stakes in movie marketing and distribution, says all the major casts of the movie are not the regular every day stars movie lovers are used to. “The movie has sort of produced new mega stars, not because they are known, but because of the level of their acting and delivery abilities. Some of these artistes were acting for the first time. The guy who acted the part of the G.O. is such an amazing young man. The Covenant Church is Moses Balogun's first time on a movie set. He came in as a green horn and was only selected for the role because of his performance at the audition we organized for the movie. His interpretation of Pastor Adeboye is near reality. He talked like him, walked like him. His mimicking of his mannerism was faultless.”
Speaking in the same vein, the producer/director of the movie, Charles Novia, says The Covenant Church may just be about his best effort so far and he says that is very significant to him. “The Covenant Church is a movie I am passionate about. The movie is essentially a Yoruba movie and that's of a great importance to me. Also having to interpret the lives of these two men of God is an honour I do not take lightly. Also, there were very significant things that happened in the course of shooting the movie. We had to contend with a lot of things ranging from accident to my slumping at location. Every thing that could go wrong went wrong.”
Speaking on the choice of cast for the movie, the award-winning producer/director said, “When I got the story and did the screen play, I discovered that the story is so strong and compelling that I may not really need super stars to give it class and some form of weight. It is only a story that does not have strength and character that you will need to fortify, using stars. And in any case that compelling story in The Covenant Church may even be lost using heavy stars. What we achieved in the movie could not have been if we had used the most prominent actors in the country. The artistes were tremendous and they did good justice to the story. I am proud of them.”
The Covenant Church was shot mostly at the original locations in Ebute-Metta area of Lagos, Ondo town in Ondo State, Ifewara in Osun State and other locations in Ekiti State, with the original dialects spoken.
One of the revelations of the movie, Moses Layi Balogun, a rookie in the world of make believe, in an unbelievable adaptation of the mannerism, speech style and physical appearance of the original Pastor Adeboye, is bound to hold viewers spellbound with his role in this fantastic movie.
Speaking about his role in the movie, Moses Balogun feels he's lucky to have been chosen to take that role. “I don't know how to express the joy I felt when I was given the role. I still believe it is God's doing. Though the concession is that I perfectly mimicked Pastor Adeboye, taking that role was a big challenge for me. Having to act and make people see me as Pastor Adeboye on my first time out in movies did not help matters. But I thank God for his kindness and support. The crew and the rest of the cast were equally wonderful. I also thank my producer, Mr Charles Novia. He was very helpful and supportive,” Moses said.
Pastor Ope Banwo, who is also the Executive Producer of The Covenant Church, threw more light on the movie and why they spared no cost in achieving the best. “I will honestly tell you that the drive to achieve the best and do justice to the stories of these great men of God made us threw so much of our resources into the movie. A lot of people have heard about Pa Akindayomi but they now have the opportunity to witness first hand and in near reality, the life and times of this man who toiled night and day to bring light to world in a unique way. The story of Pastor E.A. Adeboye is a continuing one and it will surely keep viewers glued to their seats,” he concludes.
The movie will be marketed by DMG Sales and Distribution, a subsidiary of DOVE MEDIA. And to underscore the seriousness DOVE attaches to the movie; arrangement has been concluded with the management of NIPOST to use the 850 post offices all over the country as movie sales outlet. Also, efforts are on to enlist Sweet Sensation, Tantalizers and Mr. Biggs outlets into what is fast becoming the most aggressive movie and music marketing in this part of the world.