Film on Tafawa Balewa’s book to be screened at Berlin Film Festival

A film adaptation of ‘Shehu Umaru’, book written by Tafawa Balewa has been listed for screening at the 2018 Berlin International Film Festival in Germany.

Tafawa Balewa was a prime minister in Nigeria’s First Republic.

The managing director of the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC) Chidia Maduekwe, said this in an interview with NAN on Monday in Abuja.

Shehu Umaru, a story of African slavery, was written in 1966 and published in 1971.

It was adapted for a film in 1976 by Adamu Halilu, the pioneer managing director of the NFC.

According to Maduekwe, the German government sought to restore and digitize the film in line with modern technological advancement, using the expertise of the Arsenal Institute of Film and Video Archives Berlin, Germany.

He explained that the film is now set for screening at the 68th annual Berlin International Film Festival scheduled to take place from February 15-25.

“The German Embassy formally wrote the Nigerian government through the minister of information and culture for authorization to screen the film at the festival, although all property rights still remain with Nigeria,” he said

“The German Embassy is interested in the film stemmed from its storyline, the rich Nigerian culture it portrays in addition to the dexterity and creativity of its production.

“If there was no quality in that production, it would not be globally celebrated, as we are about to witness in Germany.

“It is good to know that Tafawa Balewa’s efforts in literature have attracted this enormous recognition to the Nigerian film industry.”

Maduekwe said the movie has been slated for screening three times during the festival including the grand finale of the festival on February 25.

“It is going to be a global showcase in telling the Nigerian story to the outside world through films, and it portends a lot of opportunities for the industry.”

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