CHATROOM, a movie produced by Peju Ibekwe with the aim to foster discussions around gender-based violence against women and the need to eradicate the silence culture, made its debut on Thursday, March 5, in commemoration of International Women’s Day (IWD) 2020.
Deputy British High Commissioner Harriet Thompson hosted guests, members of the press, cast and professional organisations to an exclusive screening of the movie. They had the pleasure of viewing the movie as it debuted for the first time at the residence of the deputy British high commissioner in Ikoyi, Lagos.
Attendees at the private screening included delegates from the United Nations Women, the Institute of Counsellors, The Education Partnership Centre, the Aspire Coronation Trust Foundation, Women at Risk International Foundation (WARIF), the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Sterling Bank.
Also in attendance were Omawumi Megbele, award-winning musician and actress who also starred in the movie, Odunlade Adekola, award-winning actor, Ronya Man, Israeli singer, dancer and actress, Nengi Adoki,Canadian trained actor and singer, Waje, award-winning musician, among others.
The movie, CHATROOM, is an inspiring story of hope and triumph. Set against the backdrop of an original TV dance reality show, it tells the story of a young girl, Ebiere, who enters a TV reality show contest to escape the haunting ghost of her past and her present deprivation. However, an incident in the house forces her to go back to the past she had tried to forget and further reveals a disturbing secret that would throw the entire nation into shock. The hilarious experiences in the house turn the table in an unexpected way bound to keep audiences in stitches and at the edges of their chairs at the same time.
Peter Thomas, deputy head of mission, British Deputy High Commission, introduced the movie highlighting that men have a major role to play in protecting women from gender-based violence and asked men all over to commit to protecting the female gender.
Peju Ibekwe, the movie producer, said she produced the movie for various reasons but two of these reasons stand out.
“First, I believe that a life can only be truly fulfilling when it positively impacts another life. There are so many hurting women and girls out there that have experienced abuse and need to break their silence, speak their truth, start the process of healing and live their best lives. CHATROOM will be beautifully entertaining, literally therapeutic and an experience that cannot be missed,” Ibekwe said.
“Secondly, Africa has a lot of exciting and intriguing stories waiting to be told creatively. I have always been passionate about production and CHATROOM is one of so many more wholesome content that I will be working on,” she said.
While seeking partnerships from public-spirited corporate organisations to partner on the screening of the film to women groups across the country, she said efforts would also be made to train counsellors, screen in schools and set up trained counselling teams across all tertiary institutions in the country.
CHATROOM was screened in commemoration of IWD 2020. The movie started conversations on gender-based violence against women and the need to eradicate the silence culture when speaking up would start the healing process.