February 21, 2024
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Paradigm Initiative’s (PIN’s) movie, Finding Diana, has won the Best Human Rights Film Award at this year’s Berlin Shorts Award.

The international recognition comes five months after the movie premiered and after securing more than 175,000 views on the organization’s YouTube Channel, ParadigmHQ.

Ms. Nnenna Paul-Ugochukwu, the organization’s Chief Operating Officer, lauded the win saying the movie is significantly contributing to Paradigm Initiative’s effort towards ensuring the continent is rights-respecting.

“We are keenly aware of the need to mainstream digital rights conversations and are always exploring new and innovative ways to do so. We are thrilled that our films continue to introduce new audiences to digital rights issues, including access to technology, freedom of expression, press freedom, digital surveillance, and other key issues that we passionately advocate for on the continent,” she said.

She expressed gratitude to PIN partners, Ford Foundation, Internews, Internet Society (ISOC) Foundation, Luminate and United States Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour (DRL) for supporting the movie production.

On his part, Idiare Atimomo, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Up in The Sky, which was PIN’s movie production partner, welcomed the win, saying it was satisfying.

“We are delighted by the news of this award! Being able to take pressing African human/digital rights issues and turn them into engaging cinematic content that can win in such a contested category is very satisfying. We have always trusted in the power of storytelling to mainstream these issues for wider consumption and appreciation,” he added.

Finding Diana is executive produced by Paradigm Initiative in partnership with Up In the Sky Films. The film was directed by Tolulope Ajayi and produced by Benjamin Adeniran.

The lead actress, Uzoamaka Onuoha plays 28-year-old Aisha Coker, a down-on-her-luck journalist. Also starring in the movie is Mike Afolarin who plays Izuore Duke, Rotimi Adelegan as the Governor, and Bade Smart in the role of James.

The film follows Aisha as she investigates a story of debauchery in her state government. Will her dive into the underbelly of conspiracy finally put Aisha on the map, or will it serve a bigger purpose? Finding Diana is inspired by PIN’s 2021 Digital Rights and Inclusion Report- Londa. The report highlights the state of digital rights and inclusion in 22 African countries. This is the third short film released by Paradigm Initiative following the success of Training Day (2020) and Focus (2021).

Londa 2021 examines privacy, freedom of expression, access to information, segmentation and execution, digital transformation, affordability, gender, and others within existing legislative frameworks and against the backdrop of a widening digital divide.

It also assesses the state of digital rights and inclusion on the continent and provides recommendations on what each country must do to move towards realizing gains that rights-respecting and inclusive digital practices bring. Besides providing recommendations, the report also highlights gaps existing in the featured African countries.

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