By Vera Anyagafu
The importance of reflecting good morals in story telling in Nigeria will go a long way to correcting the wrong perception of Nigeria to the outside world.
Film makers often portray negative sides of the society, which leaves a bad impression of the country.
For many other reasons, reflecting good values of Nigeria through film making and or story telling would assist in positioning Nigeria as best tourists attraction for visitors and investors.
It is with this view in mind that the Lagos state Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, is collaborating with Nollywood to make the industry more attractive to both local and international investors.
The collaboration was sealed in a virtual stakeholder-engagement meeting with Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, .Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, , President of the Theatre Arts and Motion Pictures Practitioners’ Association of Nigeria (TAMPAN), Bolaji Amusan; a popular Nigerian actress and filmmaker, Fathia Balogun Williams, among other key Nollywood personalities, on Sunday, June 28, 2020.
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Discussions on how the existing relationship between the movie industry and state government would be further strengthened, was hugely emphasised, in addition to how the industry can effectively be deliberate in their story-telling such that the morals from their films will reflect the strength, values and the resilience of Nigerians.
According to the Commissioner, who chaired the meeting where former Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture in Lagos State, . Steve Ayorinde; Nigerian film-maker, Mahmood Ali-Balogun; the President of Actors Guild of Nigeria, Emeka Rollas Ejezie and the CEO of LEARNTOR, Mercy George-Igbafe among others, were present, Nollywood stars should pay attention to selling the brand of Lagos State and Nigeria as a whole to the outside world, such that investors would be willing to invest in the nation’s film industry.
The Commissioner said is better not to portray the negative side of the society, noting that the entertainment and tourism industry across the globe is private sector-driven and thrives on public-private-partnership.
And maintaining that no effort should be spared to making the industry more attractive to both local and international investors, she said it is important for practitioners to register with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, being the regulator of all activities relating to Tourism, Entertainment, Arts and Culture.
She also informed the artistes of the state government’s plans to establish a film village to further ease the challenges faced by the filmmakers during movie production, revealing that 100 hectares of land has already been earmarked and secured for this purpose in Epe area of the state.
Uzamat further disclosed that efforts are being intensified to complete the ongoing reconstruction of the J. K Randle Centre for Yoruba Culture and History in Onikan, as well as the Glover Memorial Hall located in a high-brow area on Lagos Island.
The two edifices, when completed, will help create an avenue for the younger generation to develop their talents and skills, while enhancing the activities of the movie practitioners and all other stakeholders in the Tourism and Entertainment industry, the Commissioner said..
TAMPAN President, Amusan, urged the state government to revive community cinemas in all the local council areas as a way of rekindling the interest of residents in cinemas.
He noted that community cinemas would generate revenue for the government, especially the various local council areas, and will also advance the progress of the motion picture industry.