Posts Tagged ‘Sandra Obiago’

Sandra Obiago (Founder/Director, CFC); John Momoh (Chairman, Channels Television); Prof. Ralph Akinfeleye (Head of the Department of Mass Communications, University of Lagos); Olufemi Ayeni (Zonal Director, National Broadcasting Commission); Ngozi Iwere (Executive Director, Community Life Project). Photo © 2011 Bic Leu

Over 60 national broadcasters gathered at Terra Kulture yesterday for Communicating for Change’s (CFC) Broadcasters ’ Forum on the Role of Media in Successful Election. With support from the Ford Foundation, CFC premiered two short films–Game Over and One Voice is A Majority– that address such electoral issues as voter apathy and election poll violence.  (Click here for my on-location coverage of the filming of Game Over).  CFC created the storylines to address what its contracted professional research company uncovered about people’s views of the electoral process after conducting research groups and interviews in Kano, Enugu, and Lagos.

Sandra Obiago (Founder/Director, CFC) Photo © 2011 Bic Leu

Sandra Obiago (CFC Founder/ Director) presented the two films to the broadcasters in attendance with a challenge:

…unless you continue to rise up and create strong platforms for these kinds of messages to guide Nigerians in the right direction–empower them to choose democracy and good governance over bribery, corruption, and dirty politics –unless you work in partnership with us–your VERY OWN survival is not guaranteed. We are in this struggle together and as the saying goes, ‘one hand washes the other’.

Obiago also stressed that the media that supports the education of the electorate ensures that they can continue to operate properly and fulfill their role in a democratic system that protects freedom of speech.

John Momoh (Chairman, Channels Television) and Prof. Ralph Akinfeleye (Head of the Department of Mass Communications, University of Lagos). Photo © 2011 Bic Leu

The event continued with a panel moderated by John Momoh (Chairman, Channels Television) and included Prof. Ralph Akinfeleye (Head of the Department of Mass Communications, University of Lagos); Olufemi Ayeni (Zonal Director, National Broadcasting Commission); as well as Ngozi Iwere (Executive Director, Community Life Project).

After demonstrating that only one person in attendance had read the federal voting law, Prof. Akinfeleye emphasized the media’s role in the interpretation and education of electoral legislation for the general public. Iwere highlighted the difference between “public relations journalism” and “investigative journalism” by encouraging journalists to “scrutinize the candidates”. Ayeni referenced the National Broadcasting Code in his entreaty for the media to pay attention to their generated content and to “avoid praise-singing and denying access to contrary political views.”

The CFC production team. Photo © 2011 Bic Leu

CFC plans to hold similar Broadcasters’ Forums to screen the films in Port Harcourt, Kano, and Abuja in the coming weeks.

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Ikechukwu Omenaye (Continuity), Leonard Nformi (Director of Photography), Mellamby Iloegben (Director), Solomon Emmanuel (Sound)

Yesterday, I took a break from The Return of Jenifa shoot to see a different side of film making in Nigeria. Sandra Obiago, Founder/Director of Communicating for Change (CFC), invited me to observe the production of a short educational film that CFC is producing to deal with electoral issues.

Leonard Nformi (Director of Photography) sets up the shot

Per Obiago, the concept for Game Over was generated by results from nationwide focus groups and interviews: “The films were created to respond to the knowledge, attitudes and perceptions of ordinary citizens regarding the upcoming elections. They are meant to entertain and at the same time challenge Nigerians to get involved in the elections and political process.”

Young men alert villagers of the chairman's arrival

Mellamby Iloegben (Director) directs the extras in the village square scene

Game Over addresses voter apathy by showing viewers that the power to create change lies with the electorate. Directed by popular director Mellamby Iloegben, the film uses the characteristics of a Nollywood-style drama to champion a social cause. The film unfolds in a fictional village during the reelection campaign of the negligent local government chairman.

Set-up for the village square scene

Along with Game Over, CFC is producing One Voice Makes a Majority– which will be shot over the weekend–to address election violence. Both movies are funded by the Ford Foundation. CFC plans to air the movies with all broadcasters nationwide from January to the elections in April. The organization is also partnering with three bus companies to screen the movies as on-board entertainment during the Christmas and Easter seasons.

Bolaji Fati (Production Manager), Chidiogo Uzuegbu (Production Assistant), and Odega Shawa (Location Manager)

According to Bolaji Fati (CFC’s General Manager), “Through strategic communications, we try to convince Nigerians that we must do our part and vote in order to bring about positive change. These movies show that the voice and the will of the people make all the difference.”

Sunset in Eriyo Amute at wrap time

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