Focus‘, a new short film, has spotlighted police brutality and digital rights violations in Africa.

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The project is a co-production of Paradigm Initiative and Up In The Sky Films with backing from the Netherlands, the US Department of States, and the Open Society Initiative for West Africa.

The film dwells on civil rights, liberty, and justice in the digital ecosystem while spotlighting the enactment of repressive laws, police brutality, illegal arrest and killings of citizens, internet disruptions, and illegal surveillance.

According to the filmmakers, ‘Focus’ is based on true events curated from people’s experiences and documents the series of youth-led civil agitations, protests for absolute online freedom, and violation of rights in Africa.

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It comes on the back of concerns about the outright ban and state-sponsored surveillance of digital platforms and telecommunications service providers on the continent.

Directed by Tolu Ajayi, a Nigerian poet, ‘Focus’ also spotlights the fundamental challenges of digital rights in Africa and urges governments and stakeholders to initiate and enforce laws that support every citizen’s internet freedom.

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On the project, Ajayi stated: “This is a story of the Judas’ kiss and the smeared lips. It is a short narrative of digital foul play; an utmost betrayal of popular trust and constitutional rights to protect basic human interests online.

“We took a cue from the series of state-ordered activities that have hindered social and political will, justice and expression offline and online. It is a tale of mass struggle flying in the face of digital oppression.”



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