Mr. Sukjit Dhaliwal, the Mayor of Slough in the United Kingdom, has paid a glowing tribute to the memory of the late Ato Yanney Snr., one of Ghana’s pioneer filmmakers, for his effort in capturing the contribution African soldiers played in the Second War in his film ‘His Majesty’s Sergeant.’
He said because of historical relevance, the film would be used as part of a film exhibition to be held in the UK later this year.
Mayor Dhaliwal was speaking after the launch of the film at the Weekes Drive Community Hall in Slough last Sunday, August 14. The town of Slough is well-known for its rich film history, as the prestigious Pinewood Studios and the Bucks Laboratory are all situated there.
An impressive reception of enthusiastic movie enthusiasts greeted the showing of the film with intermittent applauds --- same as documentary on the life of the late filmmaker.
Shot on Panavision in the early 1980’s in Ghana by an all-Ghanaian crew of Rev.Dr Chris Hesse (director of photography), James Mettle (camera) and Bernard Odjidja(editor), among others, ‘His Majesty’s Sergeant’ got disappeared under bizarre circumstances when it was sent to a studio in UK for editing.
So, when it was found about two years ago, the need arose that it is re-edited and transformed into DVD format for the sake of time. It has since been certified under the British Board of Film Certification (BBFC).
The revised version, thus, has Jamie Tories as editor, Len Brown (Molinaire Studios) as consultant, Bob Lampon (Fluid Waves) on voice over for the trailer, and Promolounge 4 (UK) contributing in the promotion.
Among the special guests who attended the launch included the Labour Minister of Parliament for Slough, Fiona Mactaggart, veteran film editor Bernard Odjidja, Godwin Osabutey (film producer), Charles Kyeremah (of Premiere Productions) and Rev. Peter Kamau and his wife, Pauline. Harry Fayers Rushton (of Big H Entertainment), who produced the DVD version, also graced the event.
Ato Yanney Jnr., son of the filmmaker and the C.E.O of Flamboyant Films, the Ghanaian production house, was full of joy over the success of the event. He said: “I know my father will be smiling wherever he is, because his dream has been fulfilled! His hard work has not been in vain,”
The event was sponsored by Emmanuel Celebrations Centre (UK); IPMC – one of Ghana’s Information technology firm; Royal Magma Ghana Limited; Topspeed Limited(Ghana); Ghanaian Reactor Online; Meridian FM (Tema, Ghana); K. Jones Car Services (UK) and Arc Consult Ghana Limited, among others.