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Secret behind ‘Herdsmen’ movie —Chloe Coko



Prolific producer of the movie, ‘Herdsmen’, Chloe Toka, which garnered 22 award nominations at the Toronto International Nollywood Film Festival has revealed that the movie was meant to throw a searchlight on banditry and the lies behind it.

According to him, banditry and kidnapping in some sections of northern part of Nigeria have caused untold destructions of lives and properties and that there was the need to unveil the situation.

The movie-maker noted that the movie project was challenging as a result of the arduous work put into it and other issues. The story centred around after his niece was kidnapped by a notorious and wealthy bandit group headed by one Zakari. Khalifa, a retired assassin must come out of hiding to secure her safe release. His biggest problem is that Zakari is his sworn enemy and seeking his pound of flesh.

She said: “It is truly a humbling and gratifying experience to be recognised for our hard work and dedication to this project. To have our film acknowledged by such a prestigious film festival is a dream come true for our entire team. It validates the passion and commitment that each member of the cast and crew poured into making, “Herdsmen” a reality.

“What makes the movie truly unique is its commitment to cultural authenticity and its exploration of important social issues. We put a lot of effort into researching and portraying the region of northern Nigeria with respect and accuracy, showcasing the rich traditions and customs that are often overlooked in mainstream cinema.”

“This dedication to authenticity not only enhances the film’s visuals but also makes it more meaningful and immersive experience for the audience. The film’s protagonist, a retired assassin seeking redemption and protecting his family, adds a layer of complexity and emotional depth that sets it apart from typical action films.”

“We wanted to humanise the subject matter and create a space for thoughtful reflection and discussion about the realities faced by those affected by such conflicts. Overall, ‘Herdsmen’ is a film that stands out for its unique blend of cultural. The film aimed to raise awareness about an important social issue, particularly the impact of terrorism on communities in Nigeria.

“Our approach was to shed light on the complexity of the situation and showcase that not all kidnappers are herdsmen; there are others who use the disguise of herdsmen to carry out acts of terrorism as well.“By delving into this multifaceted perspective, “Herdsmen” sought to create a more nuanced and empathetic understanding of the challenges faced by those affected by terrorism. It provided a platform to discuss the broader issues related to security, safety, and the complexities of the Nigerian society. Our intention was to spark conversations, promote empathy, and encourage positive change by addressing the subject matter responsibly and authentically.

“Throughout the production, we were driven by the belief in the power of storytelling as a means of advocacy. The recognition and impact of the film, including the 23 nominations at the Toronto International Nollywood Film Festival, further validated the importance of the film’s message and the justification of its purpose as an advocacy movie,” she added.

Chloe’s professional focus on projects that address women’s issues, children’s welfare, and the African continent underscores her commitment to using storytelling as a tool for inspiring, enlightening, educating, and advocating for positive change. Chloe’s impressive portfolio includes multiple award-winning short films such as “ZAFI” and “AGOGO,” along with episodic series like “FARM HOUZ.”