As Lagos gradually unlocks its economic space, a post-lockdown agenda has been suggested by one of the youngest production companies in the creative industry.Speaking on recovery for the creative industry in a COVID-19 economy, Matthew Simpa, a veteran filmmaker and Head of Ben Auto Entertainment,said collaborations among producers was the way forward towards recovery.
Simpa, whose experience dates back to the 1980s era of pre-digital till date, said, as head of the film production department at Ben Auto Entertainment, he hoped to take the company to lead a fresh wave of creativity in the industry.
“Collaboration is the way to go after COVID-19 crisis,” stated Simpa. “It will be unwise for individuals to, alone, bear the brunt of a movie production as sharing the burden would result in improved quality and ability to compete on the global scene.”
He said talks were ongoing with some Nollywood producers in Lagos, Asaba and Port Harcourt to embark on such projects immediately the COVID-19 restrictions are relaxed. With Ben AutoEntertainment, I finally get the opportunity to take my dream to the apogee of my career,” said Simpa, adding, “Ben Auto has been in business for decades with its tentacles in the automobile sales business, event and hospitality, music, education and so on.”
Simpa avered that his expertise,combined with experience and business acumen of Managing Director, Prince Ben Ukadike, would suffice enough to energise sustainable collaboration that”will result in yet another revolution in the movie/video production sector.”
In his over 30 years of filmmaking, Simpa has always been on the forefront of revolution. After his exploits with Meshfilms Ltd in producing celluloid films on reversal film stocks in the mid-1980s to early 1990s, he joined the evangelical home movies train in 1995 and helped create a growing evangelical film making sector. In 2014, he produced Outside the Box, yet another revolutionary Christian movie that is still widely acclaimed six years later.
In March this year, he joined newly created Ben Auto Entertainments as head of the film production department. Ben Auto Entertainment recently acquired state-of-the art video production equipment. The company’s main goal now is to enter into collaboration with interested movie/video producers to do joint productions.
Simpa’s oeuvre in film productionsinclude quite a number of titles in pre-digital era. He studied cinematography at Nigerian College of Film Technology, Owo, Ondo State, in 1984. He was the Assistant Director of Jagunlabi, a celluloid film produced by Tajudeen Sowole and directed by Sunday Ossai, with Yemi Meshioye as lead actor, in 1988.