It was all emotions on Tuesday night at Genesis Cinema when `Alero’, a film that frowns against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), held a private screening.
It tells the story of a young girl who was circumcised by her parents as part of the customs of their village, shedding light on the physical and psychological effects she had to endure.
The film was a collaboration between Dorothy Njemanze Foundation, an NGO that sensitises the public on how to deal with all forms of abuse, and FilmCorp Advocacy Films.
‘Alero’ was written and directed by Lummie Edevbie and stars Ada Ameh, Dorothy Njemanze, AIK Odiase, Efosa Ebeye and Joy Otaro as the titular character.
The Executive Producer of the film, Dorothy Njemanze told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the film was part of plans to commemorate the International Day for Zero Tolerance for FGM.
Njemanze said that the essence of the film was to use visual means, especially motion pictures to showcase the dangers involved in practicing FGM, in order to elicit the right responses.
She added that the film was aimed at shedding light on the wrong misconception that FGM only takes place in rural areas.
“FGM takes place rampantly in urban areas, contrary to popular opinion, as people call these ‘surgeons’ from the villages to the cities and towns to circumcise their girls.’’
She told NAN that the film was made in line with international standards with the help of FilmCorp Advocacy Films, and could be viewed on international movie sharing platforms such as Netflix.
The lead actress Joy Otaro, who played ‘Alero’, told NAN that acting in the movie opened her eyes to the realities of FGM and pushed her to fully understand the horrors women who were cut faced.
Otaro urged young people to be actively involved in the campaign against FGM till the menace was fully eradicated from the cultural system.
The screening also featured a panel discussion on the history of FGM, its scope and health implications.
The panel comprised Dr Eleanor Nwadinobi, a medical consultant, Mr Bem Alugh, a representative of Education, as a vaccine initiative and Mr Edosa Oviawe, an employee of IPas.
A member of the audience, Jane Maduka praised the cast and crew for the innovative film, especially its ability to pass the message and evoke lots of emotions from the audience.
She expressed the hope that initiatives such as the film would enable the younger generation see the need to rise together to fight FGM.
NAN reports that copies of the Simplified Version of The Violence against Persons (Prohibition) Act were also distributed to the audience.