The German Embassy has donated a film scanner worth 60,000 euros (N20.37 million) to the National Film Video and Sound Archive, owned by the National Film Corporation.
The Embassy said it has also began work on the restoration and digization of the iconic film Shehu Umar.
A statement by the Public Relations Officer, Mrs. Juliet Archibong said the German Embassy interest in the film stemmed from the story the film tells, the rich Nigerian Culture it portrays in addition to the dexterity and creativity of its production.
“Since the film was damaged and in Celluloid form, the Embassy sought to restore and digitize it in line with modern technological advancement in films and then would be screened at the 2018 Berlin film Festival and later on across Nigeria using the expertise of the Arsenal Institute of Film and Video Archives Berlin Germany”, the statement added.
NFC said disclosed during a visit recently by the Arsenal Institute.
A representative of the institute, Mrs. Stephanie Schulte Strathaus said work has started in earnest on the restoration and digitization of Shehu Umar and announced a donation of a film scanner to the National Film Video and Sound Archive.
In line with the existing bilateral relationship between Nigeria and Germany, the German Embassy formally expressed their interest in Shehu Umar to the Honourable Minister of Information and Culture who in line with his keen interest in the creative industry as a potential revenue generating and job creating hub promptly approved the release of the film and the attendant terms and conditions attached to the release as suggested by the NFC.
These terms and conditions include the ultimate protection of the rights of Nigeria to the film, the repatriation of any financial benefit accruing from the screening of the film and the transfer of the restoration and digitization technology to Nigeria through the training of staff of the archive who would be invited to Germany to witness the rounding off of the restoration and digitization process and the eventual screening of Sheu Umar.
Responding, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Film Corporation, Dr Chidia Maduekwe thanked the delegates for their visit and interest in the film and the Nigerian culture.
He stated that there will be many areas of collaboration between Nigeria and Germany, adding that the Nigeria Film Corporation would transfer all its celluloid films from the Lagos zonal office to the National Film Video and Sound Archive in Jos for proper preservation and future digitization.