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Maduekwe appraises Nollywood growth, advocates more training 

By Florence Utor
06 May 2018   |   4:10 am
The Managing Director of Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC), Dr. Chidia Maduekwe, has described the growth and current state of Nigeria’s film industry, Nollywood...

Maduekwe speaking at the seminar

The Managing Director of Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC), Dr. Chidia Maduekwe, has described the growth and current state of Nigeria’s film industry, Nollywood, as phenomenal and incredible. He stated this at the opening of a two-day seminar, organised by Motion Picture Practitioners Association of Nigerian (MOPPAN). It had as theme ‘Filmmaking: Opportunities and Challenges in Nigeria,’ which recently took place in Kaduna.

Whiel delivering a paper titled ‘Developing Quality Content for Television and Cinema in Nigeria,’ Maduekwe said Nollywood remains Africa’s most vibrant movie industry, with an average production of 50 movies per week and 1,500 to 3,000 films per year. As such Maduekwe said the growth in film production in Nigeria could only be sustained through training and capacity building of practitioners.

According to him, “The film industry has continued to provide content for the cinema and television stations in the country, through the sustained activities of practitioners. They have been able to sustain the narratives as well as the expressions of the depth and breadth of not only Nigeria but Africa’s cultural diversity.”

Despite the successes recorded in the industry, there still subsist some challenges yearning to be addressed, Maduekwe submitted and listed measures being put in place to address them to include the introduction of tax breaks for filmmakers, development of co-productions treaties, fast tracking of the implementation of Nigeria’s copyright laws, and sustenance of a robust Nigerian film industry through the interventions of the Nigerian Film Corporation. Others are curbing and fight against piracy and copyright infringement, promotion of effective marketing and distribution framework and, most importantly, the transformation of the Nigerian Film Corporation to a film commission in line with global and continental best practices.

Maduekwe, however, decried the dearth of skilled manpower for the industry, which he said has been inundated with repetitive themes and storylines, poor funding windows, infrastructural deficiencies, poor marketing and distribution framework as well as lack of safety nets for investments.

Impressed by the objectives of the seminar and the enthusiasm exhibited by participants at the seminar, who were mainly MOPPAN members drawn from the 16 states of the northern, Maduekwe announced that NFC would make the National Film Institute, Jos, available for the next training workshop/seminar for members of MOPPAN.

Earlier, President of MOPPAN, Alhaji Abdullahi Maikano Usman, explained that the objective of the seminar was to shore up the competencies of filmmakers in the pursuit of their profession. He expressed the appreciation of members of MOPPAN to the Federal Government and its agencies, including the NFC, Band of Industry, National Film and Video Censors Board, Nexim Bank for the support and assistance extend.

In the same vain, the corporation has announced a call for entries from qualified Nigerians for participation at its 2018 Annual Film Essay Competition, themed, ‘Projecting Nigeria’s Values as a Great Nation Through Film.’

In a statement issued in Jos and signed by its Head of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs, Brian Etuk of the institute said interested participants should forward their entries in the following format: Arial Font, 14 point size, typewritten in double space and should not be more than 15 pages on A4 size paper. Participants must be Nigerians, should be above 18 years and below 25 years of age.

Submission of entries opened since May 2 and closes on June 29. Entries are to be submitted either in hardcopy, addressed to the Managing Director/Chief Executive, Nigerian Film Corporation, 218T, Liberty Dam Road, Jos, Plateau State, in an envelope clearly marked 2018 NFC Annual Film Essay Competition, or through the e-mail;

Prizes for the winning essays are N250,000, N100,000 and N75,000 for the first, second and third best entries respectively. This is in addition to rights of publishing the winning essays in journals as may be deemed necessary. Winners will be announced in August 2018, and presentation of certificates of participation and cash prizes will take place at ZUMA Film Festival 2018 edition scheduled for December 1 through 7 in Abuja.

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