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HISTORY

The Summary for this unviewed film is based on reviews in the 7 Apr 1976 Var, the 17 Apr 1976 NYT, the 26 Apr 1976 Box, the 28 Apr 1976 LAT, and the 28 Apr 1976 MPHPD. The actor who portrays “Aziz Mohamed” is listed in the opening credits as Yomi Obileye and in the closing credits as Yomi Onileye. Actor Tom Aldredge’s character is alternately spelled “Amed” and “Ahmed.”
       Principal photography was set to begin 26 Aug 1974 in Lagos, Nigeria, the 23 Aug 1974 DV reported, and the 7 Apr 1976 Var noted that the film was shot completely in Nigeria with both U.S. and Nigerian crews.
       Countdown at Kusini was “conceived and entirely financed” by Delta Sigma Theta, an 85,000-member African American women’s service sorority that owned DST Telecommunications, according to the 5 Feb 1976 and 7 Apr 1976 Var. More than thirty Hollywood technicians worked with a Nigerian film crew. Lillian Benbow, the film’s executive producer, was past president of Delta Sigma Theta. Sorority president Betty Williams told the 19 Apr 1976 HR that members donated between $300,000 and $400,000 to the film’s $1.2-million “negative cost,” and raised another $400,000 in “outside contributions.” Rolling Ventures, a film company owned by director-screenwriter-star Ossie Davis and his co-star wife, Ruby Dee, also contributed. The remaining production costs were covered by Tan International, a group of African American businessmen. The 26 Apr 1976 Box added that the Nigerian government and the Presbyterian Economic Development Corp. also participated. The major actors, including Davis, Dee, and Greg ... More Less

The Summary for this unviewed film is based on reviews in the 7 Apr 1976 Var, the 17 Apr 1976 NYT, the 26 Apr 1976 Box, the 28 Apr 1976 LAT, and the 28 Apr 1976 MPHPD. The actor who portrays “Aziz Mohamed” is listed in the opening credits as Yomi Obileye and in the closing credits as Yomi Onileye. Actor Tom Aldredge’s character is alternately spelled “Amed” and “Ahmed.”
       Principal photography was set to begin 26 Aug 1974 in Lagos, Nigeria, the 23 Aug 1974 DV reported, and the 7 Apr 1976 Var noted that the film was shot completely in Nigeria with both U.S. and Nigerian crews.
       Countdown at Kusini was “conceived and entirely financed” by Delta Sigma Theta, an 85,000-member African American women’s service sorority that owned DST Telecommunications, according to the 5 Feb 1976 and 7 Apr 1976 Var. More than thirty Hollywood technicians worked with a Nigerian film crew. Lillian Benbow, the film’s executive producer, was past president of Delta Sigma Theta. Sorority president Betty Williams told the 19 Apr 1976 HR that members donated between $300,000 and $400,000 to the film’s $1.2-million “negative cost,” and raised another $400,000 in “outside contributions.” Rolling Ventures, a film company owned by director-screenwriter-star Ossie Davis and his co-star wife, Ruby Dee, also contributed. The remaining production costs were covered by Tan International, a group of African American businessmen. The 26 Apr 1976 Box added that the Nigerian government and the Presbyterian Economic Development Corp. also participated. The major actors, including Davis, Dee, and Greg Morris, agreed to defer their salaries until the film made a profit. The aim of DST Telecommunications, said Williams, was to produce material to counter the “inaccurate portrayal of black people in media.”
       Columbia Pictures acquired distribution rights in early 1976, the 4 Feb 1976 DV reported, and hoped to premiere the film in Atlanta, GA, on 9 Apr 1976, according to the 29 Mar 1976 HR. The 24 Mar 1976 Var announced an opening date of 7 Apr 1976 in New York City. The 22 Apr 1976 Los Angeles Sentinel noted that the Los Angeles, CA, premiere was held at an historic downtown theater on 28 Apr 1976, with the lead actors in attendance.
       According to many reports in Var, including the 14 Apr 1976 and 21 Apr 1976 editions, box office receipts were “mild” and the film “never got off the ground.” Later reports suggested that Countdown at Kusini lost millions of dollars.
       The 12 Jan 1977 Var ran a public notice that Cineffects Color Laboratory, Inc., in New York City had scheduled a 25 Jan 1977 auction of five reels of “16mm CRI negative and 16mm track,” and five reels of original 35mm color negative and 35mm CRI negative, “all of which materials comprise a completed feature film called Countdown at Kusini.” The sale was “to satisfy the artisan’s lien” of Cineffects Color Laboratory. The accounts belonged to “joint venturers” Guylanor, Inc., and Lady Libido, doing business as Rolling Ventures, all partners of the Kusini Company, a limited partnership. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
26 Apr 1976.
---
Daily Variety
23 Aug 1974.
---
Daily Variety
4 Feb 1976.
---
Hollywood Reporter
29 Mar 1976.
---
Hollywood Reporter
19 Apr 1976.
---
Los Angeles Sentinel
29 Jan 1976
Section A, p. 3.
Los Angeles Sentinel
12 Feb 1976
Section B, p. 3A.
Los Angeles Sentinel
26 Feb 1976
Section B.
Los Angeles Sentinel
8 Apr 1976
Section C, p. 5.
Los Angeles Sentinel
22 Apr 1976
Section C, p. 6.
Los Angeles Sentinel
29 Apr 1976
Section C, p. 2.
Los Angeles Sentinel
12 May 1977
Section C, p. 4.
Los Angeles Times
4 Feb 1976
Section F, p. 7.
Los Angeles Times
18 Apr 1976
Section F, p. 13.
Los Angeles Times
28 Apr 1976
Section F, p. 17.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
28 Apr 1976
p. 96.
New York Times
17 Apr 1976
p. 10.
Variety
5 Feb 1976.
---
Variety
24 Mar 1976
p. 8.
Variety
7 Apr 1976
p. 22.
Variety
17 Apr 1976
p. 10.
Variety
21 Apr 1976
p. 15.
Variety
12 Jan 1977
p. 72.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
DST Telecommunications, Inc. presents
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
Unit prod mgr/1st asst dir
2d asst dir
Nigerian 2d asst dir
Nigerian 2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
In association with
In association with
In association with
In association with
Assoc prod
Exec prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Gaffer unit mgr
Asst still photog
Chemtone
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
Asst ed
Negative ed
SET DECORATOR
Prop master
COSTUMES
Ward asst
MUSIC
Orig mus comp and cond
Mus rec and mixing eng
Elec piano, Red Salter's band instruments played b
Fender bass, Red Salter's band instruments played
Drums, Red Salter's band instruments played by
SOUND
Sd eng
Asst sd eng
Rec coord
Sd re-rec
Sd transfers
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Titling & opt eff
MAKEUP
Hair stylist
Make up artist
Make up asst
PRODUCTION MISC
Scenario and film cont
Scenario and film cont
Loc prod supv
In charge of prod
Asst to prod
Prod asst
Prod asst
Loc comptroller
Nigerian loc asst prod mgr
Loc casting dir
Loc prod secy
Loc prod asst
Loc prod asst
Scr supv
Loc coord
Financial consult
Nigeria federal film unit crew
Nigeria federal film unit crew
Nigeria federal film unit crew
Nigeria federal film unit crew
Nigeria federal film unit crew
Nigeria federal film unit crew
Nigeria federal film unit crew
Nigeria federal film unit crew
Nigeria federal film unit crew
Nigeria federal film unit crew
Nigeria federal film unit crew
Nigeria federal film unit crew
Nigeria federal film unit crew
Nigeria federal film unit crew
Nigeria federal film unit crew
Nigeria federal film unit crew
Nigeria federal film unit crew
Nigeria federal film unit crew
Nigeria federal film unit crew
Nigeria federal film unit crew
Nigeria federal film unit crew
Nigeria federal film unit crew
STAND INS
Stuntswoman
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on a story, "A Gig for Iqbal," by John Storm Roberts (publication date undetermined).
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Cool Red
Release Date:
7 April 1976
Premiere Information:
New York City opening: 7 April 1976
Los Angeles opening: 28 April 1976
Production Date:
began 26 August 1974 in Lagos, Nigeria
Copyright Claimant:
Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.
Copyright Date:
7 April 1976
Copyright Number:
LP46372
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Duration(in mins):
99
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

During a trip to the newly independent nation of Fahari, Africa, Red Salter, an African American jazz musician, falls in love with Leah Matanzima, but she is involved in Fahari’s struggle against a puppet government run by multinational corporations. Jealous of Leah’s friendship with white British journalist Charles Henderson, Red reluctantly joins her support of revolutionary leader Ernest Motapo and helps her obtain guns from weapons dealer Saidu. When Fahari officials arrest them, Charles rescues Leah and Red; then spirits them away in a motorboat, but Ben Amed, a French mercenary hired to assassinate Motapo, rams them with another boat and kills Charles. Marnie (Yola), Motapo’s traitorous nephew, arranges with Amen to ambush Motapo at a railroad junction near Kusini, but Leah and Red arrive in time with revolutionary fighters. After killing Marnie and Amed, Leah welcomes Red to Africa’s revolution against European ... +


During a trip to the newly independent nation of Fahari, Africa, Red Salter, an African American jazz musician, falls in love with Leah Matanzima, but she is involved in Fahari’s struggle against a puppet government run by multinational corporations. Jealous of Leah’s friendship with white British journalist Charles Henderson, Red reluctantly joins her support of revolutionary leader Ernest Motapo and helps her obtain guns from weapons dealer Saidu. When Fahari officials arrest them, Charles rescues Leah and Red; then spirits them away in a motorboat, but Ben Amed, a French mercenary hired to assassinate Motapo, rams them with another boat and kills Charles. Marnie (Yola), Motapo’s traitorous nephew, arranges with Amen to ambush Motapo at a railroad junction near Kusini, but Leah and Red arrive in time with revolutionary fighters. After killing Marnie and Amed, Leah welcomes Red to Africa’s revolution against European imperialism. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.