This is good news for young filmmakers. As part of its empowerment programme across the nation, the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) has extended a start-up grant to 250 young film entrepreneurs in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State.
This announcement was made at a 2-day event held last week at Rontex Hall, Imowo Road, Ijebu-Ode, with a training session where seasoned industry practitioners and theatre arts lecturers offered participants insights into a successful career in filmmaking.
Anchored by Associate Professor, Tunji Azeez of Lagos State University (LASU), facilitators include Professor Olu Obafemi of the Department of Theatre and Performing Arts, University of Ilorin; Professor Shola Fosudo of the Department of Theatre and Music, Lagos State University; Professor Rasaki Ojo-Bakare of Federal University, Oye-Ekiti; and Professor Ayo Akinwale of the Department of Theatre and Performing Arts, University of Ilorin.
In his opening remarks, Executive Director, NFVCB, Adedayo Thomas said that the initiative was a deliberate effort by the NFVCB to bridge the gap between established industry players and up and coming ones across Nigeria. He noted that all similar interventions and support efforts by either government or investors had been directed more at established names in the industry, with little or no support for new entrants.
“As the key regulator of the Nigerian motion picture industry, the board has decided to bring practical knowledge of how to be successful in the sector to these passionate youths… We do not only train them but we are also giving grants to 250 selected ones, as part of our efforts at assisting stakeholders in the industry, especially the young ones.
“This is to enable them start something or go for more practical training in filmmaking, by attending courses in acting, scriptwriting, directing and production,” he said.
Prof. Obafemi, who spoke on ‘Why Film is Key Aspect of Development’, advocated infrastructural and resource development of the industry, urging government to take seriously its economic diversification agenda, by enabling the creative industry to the degree of providing 30 percent of the country’s workforce.
While speaking on ‘Exploring Dance and Music for a More Effective Film Industry in Nigeria’, Ojo-Bakare emphasised the need to use more kinetic energy to generate interest of film lovers, averring that verbal narratives, being a cultural attitude, is the problem of most Nigerian films. He decried situations whereby dialogues override actions, just as soundtracks also break suspense, adding that dance and music, could be injected to break unnecessary dialogues, using the Bollywood example.
Akinwale, whose talk at the event was centered on motivation, explored the theme: ‘Film and My Life’. The veteran artiste, who disclosed that his children and cousins are also doing well in the film industry, noted that he had maintained passion and self-discipline on the job. He urged beneficiaries of the NFVCB grant to utilize the fund judiciously.
The seminar was attended by other film practitioners including president, Theatre Arts and Movie Producers Association of Nigeria (TAMPAN), Bolaji Amusan aka Mr. Latin, who was a rapporteur at the event.