The Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC) has initiated a partnership with the country’s defence headquarters (DHQ) to enable the movie industry correctly tells the story of the country’s military.
Gabriel Olonisakin, the chief of defense staff, disclosed this on Thursday during an interactive session between stakeholders in the film industry and the defence department of civil-military cooperation in Abuja.
Olonisakin, who was represented by O.H Ngalabak, the defense chief of the civil-military cooperation, said the relationship between the DHQ and Nollywood started about 40 years ago but there is a need to change the narrative on military films in the industry.
According to him, the experience of the American military during their operation in Somalia made them collaborate with Hollywood to retell their stories and there’s a need for such a collaboration between Nigeria’s film industry and its military.
“You always here that somebody was being killed in Maiduguri or that a soldier died but we need to pass the explanation across. It is the filmmakers that can do that and that is the reason for the collaboration,” he said.
Chidia Maduekwe, the NFC managing director, who also spoke during the interactive session, stated that the objective of the meeting is to establish necessary procedures to project Nigeria’s armed forces in the proper perspective through filmmakers.
The DHQ, he explained, was concerned about the manner in which many Nigerians portray its personnel, during occasional appearances in films, such that they tend to fall short of national aspirations that many viewers are proud of.
To signal the commitment of the DHQ towards the partnership, Maduekwe added that the military hardware, software, and the funding required to produce world standard films would henceforth be made available for such collaboration.
According to him, individuals wishing to produce independent and private films should feel free to seek the needed assistance from the DHQ in terms of guidance and all the training on how best to portray the Nigerian military in films.
“We are indeed a great nation that has contributed so much to internal, regional, global peace and security. As such, our armed forces are continuously paying the supreme sacrifice to maintain the sovereignty of this country,” the filmmaker said.
“They certainly deserve our support and encouragement in all ramifications, particularly on global viewing screens. Presently, there are many exploits by our armed men that such stories can easily be produced as epic movies under effective supervision of our globally acclaimed Nigerian filmmakers.”
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