Tuesday, 23 May 2017

German Embassy To Screen 'Shehu Umar' At The 2018 Berlin Film Festival - NFC

The German Embassy expressed special interest in Shehu Umar one of the films in the National Film Video and Sound archive of the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC).
This interest stemmed from the story the film tells, the rich Nigerian Culture it portrays in addition to the dexterity and creativity of its production. Since the film was damaged and in Celluloid form, the Embassy sought to restore and digitize it in line with modern technological advancement in films and then screen it at the 2018 Berlin film Festival and later on across Nigeria using the expertise of the Arsenal Institute of Film and Video Archives Berlin Germany.

In line with the existing bilateral relationship between Nigeria and Germany, the German Embassy formally expressed their interest in Shehu Umar to the Honourable Minister of Information and Culture who in line with his keen interest in the creative industry as a potential revenue generating and job creating hub promptly approved the release of the film and the attendant terms and conditions attached to the release as suggested by the NFC. These terms and conditions include the ultimate protection of the rights of Nigeria to the film, the repatriation of any financial benefit accruing from the screening of the film and the transfer of the restoration and digitization technology to Nigeria through the training of staff of the archive who would be invited to Germany to witness the rounding off of the restoration and digitization process and the eventual screening of Shehu Umar.

During a visit recently by the Arsenal Institute, a representative of the institute Mrs. Stephanie Schulte Strathaus informed the meeting that work has started in earnest on the restoration and digitization of Shehu Umar and announced a donation of a film scanner to the National Film Video and Sound Archive. The cost of the scanner which was funded by the German Embassy is put at about (€60,000.00) Sixty Thousand Euros. The cost of shipping the scanner, installation and computer software would be borne by the German Embassy.

Markus Ruff, also of the Arsenal Institute mentioned that on their visit to the National Film Video and Sound Archive they had discovered other films like: KANTA of KEBBI, SAND of PRIDE, OBA of BENIN and KULBA NO BARNA and that the institute is interested in getting to know more about these films for possible restoration and digitization.

Responding, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Film Corporation and custodian of the film, Shehu Umar thanked the delegates for their visit and interest in the film and the Nigerian culture and stated that he strongly believes that there will be many more areas of collaboration between Nigeria and Germany. He added that the Nigerian Film Corporation would transfer all its celluloid films from the Lagos zonal office to the National Film Video and Sound Archive in Jos for proper preservation and future digitization.

Mrs. Juliet Archibong
Public Relations Officer

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