Blurring Nollywood and Documentary : Human Trafficking from Nigeria to Europe

the Nollywood styled Documentary Film on Sex Trafficking Victims from Nigeria to Belgium.

Visuel du projet Blurring Nollywood and Documentary : Human Trafficking from Nigeria to Europe
Réussi
25
Contributeurs
08/03/2019
Date de fin
2 335 €
Sur 2 000 €
117 %
Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Interview with the director

<p><img alt="Zubi-1543334508" src="https://d3v4jsc54141g1.cloudfront.net/uploads/project_image/image/557561/zubi-1543334508.jpg"></p> <p><strong>Can you introduce yourself?</strong></p> <p>My name is Azubuike Erinugha, popularly known as Zubi. I am a Nigerian filmmaker based in Europe but I am a product of the   fast developing grass root film culture originating from Nigeria and popularly called “<em>Nollywood</em>”. Luckily I work with cast and crewmembers in Nigeria and in Belgium to showcase African realities in the diaspora end, especially in Germany and Belgium.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>What made you pursue filmmaking?</strong></p> <p>I guess the most effective and efficient method to depict realities of life is through film. In order to tell those of us at home the real truth about the actual lifestyles and situations of the African immigrants in Europe, the film medium happens to be the best approach. As an artist and a creative writer I have made up my mind to devote my resources and energy in propagating this unusual stance.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>What roadblocks did you face when you started out?</strong></p> <p>The major obstacle I faced was how to pursue this vision of an African narrative facing the conflicting ideas of collaborators who are not Africans. Although both cultural backgrounds attend the same objectives but the approaches vary in outlook, practice and expressions. At the beginning it was almost an impossible task to convince collaborators that what they know may not be the truth! However during the production of The Champion Sportsman, a film I collaborated with a Berlin based network of artistes, <em>InterArte</em>, we all had to learn the hard way in integrating cultural discrepancies. Although getting funding appears to be the main complication, but learning to deal with cast and crewmembers outside your homeland was my biggest challenge.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>What is your greatest achievement till date?</strong></p> <p>I can attribute my greatest achievement to practical questions I always get while in Germany and Belgium. Africans and non Africans besiege me with: “when is the next film coming?”. This basically confirms we have been able to cross the borders of Africa with a popular culture that is now suitably recognizable in the heart of Europe. Each time we have a film premiere or a normal screening, many people from Asia, Europe, America and Africa converge in one location to witness and discuss an original film subject from sub Saharan Africa. For people from other </p> <p>backgrounds to learn about our culture without traveling down to our continent, I think it is a great achievement.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Why do you choose comedy to tell stories?</strong></p> <p>The messages in our films are based on strong truths that are usually delivered in heavy forms. Such hard truths are very bitter that we have to practical techniques to “sugar coat” these realities. These “sugar coats” are prepared in humour, satire and various kinds of comic reliefs. This style makes it easier for our audiences to follow the film from beginning till the end in order to get the messages stuck in their heads, kick off applicable discussions and direct desired impacts in our lives and in our societies.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>How did you come up with the idea for your new film? </strong></p> <p>A Dutch newspaper recently reported incredible cases of victims of sex trafficking originating from Nigeria to Belgium. I overheard a discussion about these girls being as young as fourteen years arriving Europe for the purpose of sexual exploitation. When I learned how these girls are massively deceived, manipulated, violated, exploited and traumatized, I think it a good idea to create a new form of awareness for further potential victims and their families. We want to see how we can help prevent more girls from falling into the same hell they have no idea that is raging hell!</p> <p><strong>How did you come up with the idea for your new film?</strong></p> <p>I am currently enrolled in postgraduate cultural studies with bias in film and media at the Nasarawa State University, Keffi. I have also indicated my interest to conduct an academic research on how Nigeria could use the tool of <em>Nollywood</em> in combating this endemic problem of international sex trafficking between Nigeria and Europe. This research will also be included in this monumental documentary film we are in the process of producing.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Can you tell us a little more what it would be?</strong></p> <p>Owing to economic situations that a lot of families are ravaged by poverty, a lot of girls are easily lured into becoming trafficked victims. We have learnt that these girls and their parents may even approach traffickers themselves and beg to be trafficked. Such potential victims are made to take oaths and pledge loyalty to their bosses and pimps while agreeing to pay back outrageous sums of money from anywhere around 30,000 Euros up to 60,000 Euros! The tragedy starts from coming to Europe by land! Those who do not die on the route will end up serially raped, utterly</p> <p>backgrounds to learn about our culture without traveling down to our continent, I think it is a great achievement.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Why do you choose comedy to tell stories?</strong></p> <p>The messages in our films are based on strong truths that are usually delivered in heavy forms. Such hard truths are very bitter that we have to practical techniques to “sugar coat” these realities. These “sugar coats” are prepared in humour, satire and various kinds of comic reliefs. This style makes it easier for our audiences to follow the film from beginning till the end in order to get the messages stuck in their heads, kick off applicable discussions and direct desired impacts in our lives and in our societies.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>How did you come up with the idea for your new film? </strong></p> <p>A Dutch newspaper recently reported incredible cases of victims of sex trafficking originating from Nigeria to Belgium. I overheard a discussion about these girls being as young as fourteen years arriving Europe for the purpose of sexual exploitation. When I learned how these girls are massively deceived, manipulated, violated, exploited and traumatized, I think it a good idea to create a new form of awareness for further potential victims and their families. We want to see how we can help prevent more girls from falling into the same hell they have no idea that is raging hell!</p> <p><strong>How did you come up with the idea for your new film?</strong></p> <p>I am currently enrolled in postgraduate cultural studies with bias in film and media at the Nasarawa State University, Keffi. I have also indicated my interest to conduct an academic research on how Nigeria could use the tool of <em>Nollywood</em> in combating this endemic problem of international sex trafficking between Nigeria and Europe. This research will also be included in this monumental documentary film we are in the process of producing.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Can you tell us a little more what it would be?</strong></p> <p>Owing to economic situations that a lot of families are ravaged by poverty, a lot of girls are easily lured into becoming trafficked victims. We have learnt that these girls and their parents may even approach traffickers themselves and beg to be trafficked. Such potential victims are made to take oaths and pledge loyalty to their bosses and pimps while agreeing to pay back outrageous sums of money from anywhere around 30,000 Euros up to 60,000 Euros! The tragedy starts from coming to Europe by land! Those who do not die on the route will end up serially raped, utterly</p> <p>beaten and dehumanized. If they are lucky to get to Europe they will be hidden away from the system, brainwashed never to be in contact with anyone else in order not to be helped or rescued; and will be forced to sleep with more tons of men for little amount of money, the money that must be returned to the bosses or pimps. For how long and with how many men do these young women have to do this to pay off these large amounts of “debts” before regaining their own lives and freedom?</p> <p>Most of us outside this well organized exploitation are merely aware of the surface narratives that we all exchange and think we have an idea what these relatively naïve and gullible young women have to go through in their very young life. Most of these girls are psychologically and physically damaged for the rests of their lives.  So, the purpose of this documentary is not just to expose the obvious but also to make this ugly and tragic reality very visible to potential girls who may be willing to be deceived to be trafficked. When they know the real facts surrounding their so-called journeys, I am sure they would be less naïve and gullible. Awareness is very important at this stage.</p> <p>For this purpose we will speak to trafficked victims, pimps and traffickers, the judiciary and social works employees who have been assigned to Nigerian cases in Belgium and Italy.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Can you tell us whom you are working with?</strong></p> <p>Yes, I am working with a versed team in this particular project.</p> <p>We have an expert in this field, Sophie Samyn. Last year, Sophie traveled from Belgium to Nigeria, after living in Italy for a while, to conduct first hand interviews for her full research: “Indentured Sex Work Migration From Edo State To Europe”. Sophie is the project manager of our team.</p> <p>Heidi Rettmeyer is the leader of the Brussels production team. She is the assistant director, editor and producer.</p> <p>Axel Berhaut-streel is the cinematographer as well as the first camera man.</p> <p>Eddy Mun, the current best documentary award winner in The Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA 2018) with his film, Uncertain Future”. Eddy is also a cinematographer, sound recordist and editor.</p> <p>In Nigeria we will be working with Vining Ogu and Frank Anyanwu, Nollywood producers, production managers, directors of photography and sound designers. With Frank and Vining, we will speak with government organisations in Abuja, Benin City and Lagos.</p> <p>Roy Justine and Emmanuel Olusegun will lead the teams of editors in the Nigeria production unit.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Why according to you people should support this project?</strong></p> <p>First and foremost it is vision to save a group immature people who are helpless and do not have the capacity and capability to think right. They are misled to think they are coming to Europe to work in a hairdressing salon to make money and take care of their families but instead they are unknowingly willing to walk into becoming hopeless and ruined in life. For any form of support we receive let it be known that you, the supporter, has contributed in saving a life or two.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Do you have any advice for young filmmakers like yourself?</strong></p> <p>My only advice is that African filmmakers must strive to discuss and treat issues that will create awareness to the people of their homelands and contribute towards the development of our remote and immediate communities. We should not allow ourselves to be repeating stories that only entertain for the moment, we must try to enlighten, inform and massively educate with the arts and films that we create.</p>