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Shehu Umar, Nigeria’s film classic, goes global

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The Director General, National Film Corporation (NFC), Mr. Chidia Maduekwe, says the classic film “Shehu Umar” , is being surfed online globally, having been digitized, premiered and re-presented across Asia.

Maduekwe revealed this on Tuesday night at the opening ceremony of the 2020 Zuma Film Festival (ZFF) in Abuja.

A scene from Shehu Umar

“About three months ago, we received a report from in Asia that they want to have a sale’s right of the film and we asked our partner in Germany to go ahead.

” Today, the film is being re-presented in the Asian continent, so that is the benefit of a festival of this nature”. he said.


“Shehu Umar” is a film adaptation of the book written by Sir Abubakar Tafawa Belewa, Nigeria’s first republic Prime Minister.

Maduekwe said the 2020 ZFF retained last year’s theme; “Content Connectivity, Every view, Every where”, due to the challenges posed by COVID 19 to the creative sector.

” The challenges have presented Nigeria’s film industry with huge opportunities of using modern technology for film production, marketing, distribution and exhibitions.” he said.

The NFC helmsman noted that the 2020 ZFF focused on promotion of creativity, employment generation and wealth creation for sustainable economic development, while stating that COVID 19 safety protocols were adequately adhered to at the event, through the use of virtual participation windows.


He said they would leverage ZFF 2020 to showcase films to the press, audiences and film critics as a way of co- production, sales of film rights and marketing.

In her remark, the chairperson, Diaspora Commission, Mrs Abike Dabiri urged Nigerians to always be the best in whatever endeavour they chose, as this would make them ascend to the top of the world.

” Nigerians are talented and always emerge best in everything they do.  Recently, two Nigerians won an election in the United States and we are proud of them,” she said.

She commended the NFC for organizing the 2020 ZFF, pledging to support them for the sustainability of the programme.


Similarly, the Director General, Voice of Nigeria (VON), Osita Okechukwu, commended youths for their creativity, observing that Nigerian films were highly rated globally.

“Nigerian youths have talent that can make a difference in the entertainment industry.” he said.

Meanwhile, Abubakar Umar, Chairman, NFC, said that screening of short films and documentaries produced by Nigerians would be part of the programme.

Speaking at the event, Umar said more films produced by Nigerian stakeholders and others from outside the country would be screened, to provide windows of opportunity for the development of the Nigerian film industry.


According to him, NFC board members were committed to ensuring sustainable development of the creative sector and would always support the ZFF.

“We will continue to support institutions, foreign and domestic linkages that will provide stakeholders the opportunity to contribute to the nation’s economy.” he added.

NAN reports that the ZFF is an annual event hosted by the NFC and billed to last for seven days featuring red carpeting, film premiers of ”Badagry, the joy of return” and ”Cultural diversity in film corporation”, film screening, annual film lecture, master classes, emerging talent worship and an award night. (NAN)

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