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With Chameleon, Danisa exposes criminalities in Nigeria’s oil sector

By Chuks Nwanne
06 August 2016   |   1:22 am
After months of working on his latest movie project in Luxemburg, Chameleon, David Ivan Danisa is currently in the country ahead of the premiere of the movie that exposes illegal activities in the Nigerian oil and gas sector.
Danisa (right) with Michael Fourage on set of Chameleon.

Danisa (right) with Michael Fourage on set of Chameleon.

After months of working on his latest movie project in Luxemburg, Chameleon, David Ivan Danisa is currently in the country ahead of the premiere of the movie that exposes illegal activities in the Nigerian oil and gas sector. Though no exact date has been given for the premiere, it’s confirmed that movie, which will definitely reopen debates on illegal activities in the oil rich Niger Delta region, will hit big screen this month.

Chameleon tells the story of two antagonistic and ruthless characters, one originating from Luxembourg and the other, a Nigerian spy, on an important mission. Lucio won’t be prevented from achieving his strategic business goals in Africa. How does this relate to Muda’s mission in Europe? Muda is not exactly the person he was initially presented as. He is in search of something else. What? Why is he in Europe, and what brings him to Luxembourg? These are some of the questions the movie seeks to provide answers to.

Speaking at a press screening of the movie in Lagos, Danisa, a one-time practising journalist in Nigeria, informed that it took the production crew two years to get the movie ready for viewers.
Shots on locations in Lagos, Calabar and different cities in Luxembourg, Paris, Brussels, Danisa noted that Chameleon could be used as a political tool in a developmental way to help the Nigerian oil sector. It is borne out of the need to expose the illegalities and criminal activities of a ruthless network of individuals spread across different continents. It stars Danisa, who also doubled as the writer and producer, Michael Fourage, Carlos Ferreira, Juliana Alves Rosa, Yolanda Trono and Mendaly Ries and others.

On his preparedness to expectations from cabals, who might find the movie offensive, the trained journalists said, “Not at all, I don’t think the movie should offend anyone, however, what I have done is to re-awake our collective aspirations as a people on the parts of the people, the citizens, the governments and agencies responsible.”

With a degree in History, Danisa started his career as an investigative journalist in Nigeria, reporting on the energy desk, which gave him the opportunity to travel far into the creeks while working on some oil and gas stories.

“I wrote and produced my first ever movie on my investigations on the stealing of Nigerian crude oil in exchange for weapons. The zeal to inform people about what is happening around them in their localities in a language they can easily relate to, informed my decision to shoot Chameleon. I want to tell them the story and present it the way they will understand.”

He continued: “As a young child, at age nine, I started reading the newspaper, armed with a degree in History I joined journalism writing for the foreign desk and later moved around the various desk and then to the Business and Energy desk. All this prepared me for this movie,” he said.

On his insight into the Nigeria’s oil sector, which the movie exposes, Danisa said, “it came out of curiosity; the insight came actually when I was a teenager and they talked about the illegal bunkering of the nation’s oil. As a teenager, we discussed how this works and the money involved. Then for somebody to steal crude oil for us was a big thing then because the country was centralised and not that privatised as it is now.”

As for the reality of some of the issues raised in his movie, the filmmaker explained, “I will say they are 100% facts. I was a journalist in Nigeria, I studied History and some of the issues discussed in this movie are things I wrote on while in school. I also work in the financial institution abroad and I have worked on cases involving Nigerians, which I can’t talk about here. There are arms being shift to Nigeria as we speak and those arms are coming in for destruction,” he said.

Aside for entertainment, Danisa is on a mission with Chameleon.“I have discussed this with my boss as an editor long time before now and I think I am like a wizard. I do something independently on my environment and then I see interrelationship of an article I did days back becoming a national issue. I know when I started writing this story, it was not so big an issue in Nigeria; it was just a reflection of ideas I try to develop as a child. Sometimes, you think you are working independently and not being influenced by the variables in the environment but subconsciously it just might. Perhaps, that’s just it; this is a big issue now and our existence as a country is being threatened by it. You know this movie will create a lot of debates and discussions, are you prepared for that? I will say I am not afraid to say that I took a political position. I think it can be used as a political expression in a political way,” he said.