Inside Story, Award-Winning Film on HIV & AIDS, Debuts in Lagos, Nigeria

[MSH Nigeria country leadership team with USAID, DCGEP, and Pact Nigeria staff at the Nigerian premiere. (Photo credit: Zimuzor Onyeador/MSH 2012)]MSH Nigeria country leadership team with USAID, DCGEP, and Pact Nigeria staff at the Nigerian premiere. (Photo credit: Zimuzor Onyeador/MSH 2012) 

Lagos, Nigeria -- The award-winning film INSIDE STORY made its Nigeria debut at the Silverbird Galleria, Victoria Island, Lagos, on World AIDS Day, December 1, 2012. Over 200 people from the U.S. Mission, Nigerian government agencies, and the development, banking, entertainment, media and oil sectors attended the movie premiere which included a cocktail reception, film screening and post-screening Q & A session. The U.S. Consul-General Jeffery J Hawkins Jr. who delivered the keynote address, and INSIDE STORY’s Nigerian stars, Hakeem Kae-Kazim and Kendra Etufunwa were special guests at the launch. A coalition of the Discovery Channel Global Education Partnership (DCGEP) and affiliates (Access Bank and Chevron Nigeria Ltd.) hosted the red-carpet event with Management Sciences for Health (MSH) support and with Access Bank as lead. 


A full-length feature film demystifying the science of HIV & AIDS for Sub-Saharan African audiences, INSIDE STORY: The Science of HIV/AIDS is the tale of Kalu (Kevin Ndege Mamboleo), an aggressive young Kenyan footballer who dreams of playing professional soccer. Kalu’s life changes dramatically the day he gets an offer to play soccer in South Africa, has unprotected sex with his sweetheart and is unwittingly exposed to HIV. The film is an exciting new behavior change tool that uses animated sequences to show the virus’ trajectory through the human body at different stages of infection as well as the countering effect of antiretroviral therapy.

Featuring Nigerian, Kenyan and South African actors, INSIDE STORY was produced in South Africa in 2011, with U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) funding. Addressing the Nigeria premiere audience, Mr. Hawkins Jr. described PEPFAR’s commitment to the fight against HIV and AIDS as, “driven by a shared responsibility to invest in saving the lives of those living with HIV and AIDS around the world.” He encouraged viewers to form new and stronger partnerships to fight HIV & AIDS in Nigeria.

Aric Noboa, President of DGCEP, informed the audience that the film’s aim is to show people HIV & AIDS from a different perspective. He stated: “our goal is that INSIDE Story becomes the most widely seen film in Africa.” He described the film’s production as the outcome of unique collaboration and asked guests to do whatever they could to help propagate the film.

Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, CEO, Access Bank, declared that Access joined the fight against HIV & AIDS to help counter its negative effect on African people. “One company, one person, one doctor, cannot address the issue of HIV & AIDS. I ask you to think about what you have done so far about HIV & AIDS and resolve in yourself to do something to support the fight,” he challenged the audience.

INSIDE STORY was created through the generosity of PEPFAR, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Chevron, Discovery Communications, Access Bank, the South African Department of Trade and Industry, SEACOM, UNAIDS, and in partnership with Management Sciences for Health (MSH) and Johns Hopkins Health and Education in South Africa. 

MSH played a pivotal role in this process, managing the PEPFAR/USAID funds through its Building Local Capacity for Delivery of HIV Services in Southern Africa (BLC) project, and providing technical inputs including convening a nine-member advisory board of MSH staff and U.S. and African experts who reviewed the script for accurate scientific representation and relevance.

Multi-Sector Partnerships; Awards, Nominations and Buzz

 

The INSIDE STORY Nigeria launch was the product of exemplary collaboration across four sectors – financial (Access Bank), oil (Chevron Nigeria Ltd.), education/entertainment (DGCEP), and development (PEPFAR/USAID and MSH). 

In the past year, this award-winning film has generated much buzz with such highly publicized launches, awards and mentions. The only full-length film shown at the 2012 International AIDS Conference in Washington DC, INSIDE STORY has been viewed at 12 special screenings and four film festivals by thousands of viewers in several African and North American cities. It has won six awards (three for best feature film) including Best African Film and Best Actor (for star Kevin Ndege Mamboleo) at the Zanzibar International Film Festival, Best Narrative Feature at the Montreal International Black Film Festival and a Special Jury Award at the PAN-African Film Festival.

It was also on the selection list of the Roxbury International Film Festival 2012 (Massachusetts/US). It is being distributed in sub-Saharan Africa through satellite TV, free-to-air broadcasts, digital platforms, DVDs, and theaters in order to ultimately reach approximately 300 million people within three years.

Watch a one-minute preview at: www.insidestorythemovie.org

James Ayodele, MSH Nigeria strategic communications analyst, contributed to this story.

Adebisi Aderonke Arije is director of communication for MSH Nigeria.

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