ArtMattan Films, a film distribution company based in New York, has recently announced the restoration of Nollywood’s 1976 feature film, ‘Shaihu Umar’.
The film, which is based on a novella by Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, follows the life story of an Islamic scholar named Shaihu Umar, who was separated from his mother and faced trials of slavery before being adopted by his Arab master as a son.
The restoration of the film was carried out by the Berlin-based Arsenal Institute, which brought the film back from its original negative.
ArtMattan Films, who acquired the distribution rights for the film, is also the founding sponsor of the New York African Diaspora International Film Festival (NYADIFF).
Directed by Adamu Halilu, this notable work of Nigerian cinema was rediscovered in 2016 when the negatives and prints were found in the Nigerian Film Corporation’s archive.
“The film’s significance lies in its rediscovery as a cultural and historical depiction of Nigeria during a transformative period in African history, produced during a period that was not far removed from independence,” according to the reports.