Tuesday, March 28th, 2023: Paradigm Initiative’s (PIN’s) movie, Finding Diana, has won the Best Human Rights Film Award at this year’s Berlin Shorts Awards.
The international recognition comes five months after the movie was premiered, and after securing more than 175,000 views on the organisation’s YouTube Channel, ParadigmHQ.
Ms. Nnenna Paul-Ugochukwu, the organization’s Chief Operating Officer, lauded the win saying the movie is greatly 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.
Paradigm Initiative (PIN) works to connect underserved young Africans with digital opportunities, and ensures protection of their rights. The organisation has worked in communities across Nigeria since 2007, and across Africa from 2017, building experience, community trust and an organisational culture that positions it as a leading social enterprise in ICT for Development and Digital Rights on the continent.
Across our regional offices in Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and beyond, PIN works to connect under-served African youth with improved livelihoods through our digital inclusion and digital rights programs. The organization’s programs include Life Skills. ICT. Financial Readiness. Entrepreneurship (LIFE) training program, Dufuna, a digital readiness workshop for girls and life at school club program.
PIN has also built online platforms that educate and serve as safe spaces for the reporting of digital rights violations. These mediums, in the form of reports, short films, and educational online platforms, include Ayeta, Londa and Ripoti.
Paradigm Initiative is also the convener of the Digital Rights and Inclusion Forum (DRIF), a pan-African bilingual Forum that has held annually since 2013.