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Sahara Group picks Afolayan to groom budding filmmakers

By Shaibu Husseini
03 July 2016   |   2:34 am
The lack of capacity in some areas of filmmaking particularly areas that bother on technical’s have been identified as one of the gaps in the Nollywood industry.
Kunle Afolayan

Kunle Afolayan

The lack of capacity in some areas of filmmaking particularly areas that bother on technical’s have been identified as one of the gaps in the Nollywood industry. While, Nollywood can boast of some of the continents talented actors and actresses, there is a still a dearth of capable hands who can effectively and efficiently deliver in areas such as cinematography, production design, sound design, colour grading and even continuity. Even though the industry is well over 20 years old, there are only finger countable professionals worth their mettle that are working behind the camera.

However, there have been several interventions aimed at building capacity and there will still be many more in the years ahead. For instance, just this Friday, the Mainframe Film and Media Institute run by accomplished filmmaker Tunde Kelani send forth the institute’s first set of students who were trained in basic filmmaking techniques. The Institute hopes to take in fresh students for another round of training by August 2016.

But there is a unique intervention that is facilitated by Sahara Group that seeks to promote a hub of enterprise that connects budding filmmakers with stakeholders that can help hone their skills to enhance productivity, excellence and sustainability in their careers. Called ‘Grooming Film Extrapreneurs’, the initiative is the maiden project under Sahara Group’s Extrapreneurship Framework, which according to the promoters is being driven by Sahara Foundation, the Group’s corporate responsibility vehicle.

According to the promoters ‘’the extrapreneurship platform will help Sahara drive integrated economic empowerment programmes through strategic partnerships and support for innovative as well as scalable business ventures. Over the next four years, Sahara Foundation plans to directly impact 12,000,000 beneficiaries and also create value through the identification, development and maintenance of relevant stakeholders through which beneficiaries can grow and sustain businesses. This will be achieved through skills acquisition training, mentoring and access to a network of committed stakeholders’’.

Importantly, the promoters say that the extrapreneurship framework seeks to support young filmmakers by providing an enabling environment for them to develop self-sustaining businesses through exposure and collaboration with budding and established stakeholders in the filmmaking industry. ‘‘It is a concept centered on wealth creation and preservation and it is a practical step to go the extra mile unlike entrepreneurship which focuses mainly on income generation. The core of the extrapreneurship framework is to create a platform that finds, creates and connects young people with business interests in emerging markets’ they said adding that ‘’this will be achieved by leveraging on key strengths of bringing together various committed stakeholders through a platform that will promote partnerships amongst organizations from various sectors to solve common social problems’’.

Multiple award winning and leading filmmaker, Kunle Afolayan is the lead faculty for the project. Afolayan is expected to over-see the process of shortlisting entries and grooming the eventual winner for six months. Afolayan clarified that the initiative will be implemented via a competition that will require young filmmakers in Nigeria channel their creativity into celebrating entrepreneurship in Nigeria by shooting a 15-minute documentary that captures entrepreneurs at work across the nation.

According to Afolayan ‘the theme of the documentary is: My Nigeria, My Platform…Nigeria through entrepreneurs’ eyes whilst the documentaries will help shape a positive narrative about Nigeria – one that captures our enterprise and productivity as a people – we also plan to use this platform to create a hub of shared creativity and thinking in the film industry that will promote and sustain growth’’.

Afolayan whose latest film The CEO will be premiered on July 16 in Lagos expressed the hope that the ‘Grooming Film Extrapreneurs with Kunle Afolayan initiative’ will birth a new dawn of excellence in the film industry and foster an extrapreneurship hub that scale up expertise, productivity and sustainability in the sector.