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Film Corporation Set To Deliver On New Mandate

By Gregory Austin Nwakunor
16 February 2020   |   3:46 am
The Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC), in the next few months, will increase the number of its training and capacity building workshops for stakeholders in the motion picture industry.

A scene from Deceptive Heart, AP Photo/ Sunday Alamba

The Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC), in the next few months, will increase the number of its training and capacity building workshops for stakeholders in the motion picture industry. Already, the corporation has enhanced its SHOOT! programme for professional training.

Giving this assurance is the corporation’s managing director, Dr. Chidia Maduekwe. He assured stakeholders in the creative sector that the NFC is set to stimulate film production activities across the country. Maduekwe said the country has enormous human resources and creative giants who need minimal assistance and support in terms of the provision of enabling environment to enable them unleash hidden potentials.

He is optimistic that NFC, with the support, collaboration and partnership of state governments, organised private sector, offshore cooperation agreements and stakeholder’s participation in its industry programmes, will effectively deliver on the directives of the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

The minister’s directive has led to the activation of the processes that will ultimately lead to the utilisation of the vast opportunities — human and other resources — spread across the length and breadth of the country for accelerated transformation of the film industry into a robust creative economy.

The minister had mandated the NFC to undertake specific designation of the corporation as the hub for capacity building, film entrepreneurship and as a repository of all Nigerian film archive. For Maduekwe, NFC is poised to powering possibilities, the new paradigm, driving the vision of the apex film agency.

Already, the training arm of the corporation, the National Film Institute (NFI), has increased its training programme from just the certificate programme when it was established to diploma, bachelor’s degree and the recently introduced master’s programme in film culture and archival studies.

At the beginning of the year, the minister had issued a directive to the nation’s apex federal film agency for the immediate implementation of a set of actions intended to reposition the film industry for maximum benefit to all Nigerians.

The NFC, in the directives, was also charged with the responsibility of promoting activities that will make Nigeria the hub of film festivals and markets in Africa. In shoring up its film entrepreneurial training across the country, the NFC has identified and created specific cities that will drive this effort. The cities are, Asaba, Lagos, Ilorin, Kaduna, Kano, Bauchi, Umuahia and Jos. In these cities, specific locations to be jointly identified with host state governments will provide direct and impactful training for youths from contiguous states as well. The hubs will be centres of full film production activities, with great and positive impact on employment generation and wealth creation.

Meanwhile, the corporation is ready to accommodate the envisaged increase in the volume of audio-visual materials at its National Film Video & Sound Archive in line with the ministerial directives. The National Film Archive Policy developed by the NFC shall provide needed guidelines. In compliance with the framework of making the corporation the national repository of all Nigerian film archive, it is expected that henceforth copies of all films, video works, music, sound and film posters are to be deposited at the NFVSA in Jos for posterity, and at no cost to the depositor.

All such deposits will be protected under extant copyright and exhibition laws of the country. In cases of deteriorated motion pictures, the NFVSA will, with the consent of the depositor undertake restoration and digitisation.

It will be recalled that with the assistance of the German Government and some of its institutions, the NFVSA recently acquired digital scanners for the restoration of deteriorated films, just as it has commenced offshore training in Germany for personnel of both the NFVSA and lecturers for the master’s degree in film culture & archival studies being undertaken by NFI.

In making Nigeria the hub of film festivals and markets in Africa, the NFC will continue to hold Nigeria’s foremost film festival – ZUMA — yearly. It was last held in 2014 before its reintroduction and rebranding content and outlook. More international participation has been recorded, as well as domestic participation.

The NFC, in addition to providing financial and technical support and assistance to private film festivals and markets, will this year introduce the National Travelling Film Festival across the country to be hosted yearly by states of the federation. The biennial Anglophone Film Festival between Nigeria and Ghana will be pursued further. The first State of the Federation to host the traveling film festival (Nigerian National Film Festival) will be announced soon. Other film festivals to be mounted by the corporation yearly include the Berlin- Lagos Archival Film Festival and International Student Film Festival at the NFI, Jos.

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