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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.”