Ondo State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Yemi Olowolabi has said there are opportunities in the Nigeria film industry that are capable of strengthening the economic base of the state, if properly utilised.
The Information Commissioner stated this at a Forum organised by the State Ministry of Information and Orientation for stakeholders in the film industry in Ondo State,tagged ” Promoting the Film Industry in Ondo State: Prospects and Challenges” which was held on Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Akure.
Mr. Olowolabi said ” the purpose of coming together as you are all aware was to fashion out a template through which the Film Industry could be moved from the margin to the mainstream of the economy of the state. Government has considered it necessary to focus on the sector with a view of projecting it to the limelight” he said.
He added that government would partner with practitioners in the Film Industry for projection of the state to the outside world through film, saying “One film, they say, is more than a million words”, stressing that promoting the film industry would go a long way in creating employment for millions of youths in the society, while he said they would be able to contribute to the society in the areas of ideas and innovations, thereby profound solutions to some challenges facing the country through film.
The Commissioner hinted that the state government is planning to establish a Film/Movie College in the state, aimed at creating platforms for creative minds to take off their creative career, as a function for engagement and also create room for rental and conducive Film/Movie village where producers can produce or premier their movies.
He also noted that the Ministry has abundant Film Archival materials suitable for movie production and research purposes, stating that the materials are in Celluloid and U-matic formats which are now being worked upon to bring them to modern format for easy accessibility in film and documentary productions.
He therefore assured the participants that the state government is willing to collaborate with film makers to work together from script to screen through film equipment leasing and funding which private collaboration could facilitate.
Olowolabi however charged film and movie producers to protect and uphold values and morals while producing movies, noting that government at all levels should see the need to safeguard and cleanse the Film Industry against odds that are seen as inimical to societal norms and standard, adding that the state government would work with the National Film and Video Censors Board ( NFVCB), on film censorship, classifications,monitor and license football viewing centres and cinema houses all over the state where people gather to view through the television. He said this would ensure what they are doing are instructive to the public and free from any unwanted immortal contamination.
He therefore urged the participants to come up with ideas that would assist the government in achieving the set goals and profound solutions to all the challenges facing the film industry.
In his comment, the Resource Person who is also the South West Zonal Director of the National Film and Video Censors Board, Mr, Edward Edion lauded the present administration for organising the seminar for promoting film and movie industry in the state,saying it would go a long way in projecting the state to the outside world, particularly as the State is planning to establish a film village in the state.
The Zonal Director of the National Film and Video Censors Board urged the state government to fast track the process of setting up the proposed film village,which he said would go a long way in creating jobs for the people as well as boost the revenue of the state.
Mr. Edion also noted that the state is blessed with location sites that are suitable for movie shooting,which film and movie makers would be willing to utilise, thus making Ondo State their next destination for film makers in Nigeria.
He also called on other statesl governments in the country to emulate Ondo State by harnessing opportunities in the film industry to the development of culture, value and creation of wealth through movie productions.
Also speaking, the Proprietor of Remdel Television, Mr. Remi Ibitola, commended the initiative of the government for coming up with the idea of promoting films and setting up a film village in the state, saying it was a new dawn in the film sector as the state would soon become a film production friendly state.
The proprietor of the Akure based Television station also stated that the state would benefit alot in film promotion, stressing that tourists and movie makers would be encouraged to come to the state for their movies production.
He therefore promised to collaborate with the government in ensuring that its desired goals are achieved in the film and movie industry of the state.
In the same vein,veteran Yoruba Nollywood actor, Chief Jimoh Aliu appreciated the Ondo State Government for planning to harness the potentials in the movie industry for the development of the state.
Hetherefore appealed to the present administration in the state to develop the tourist sites in the state such as the Idanre hills and the Igbo Olodumare in Oke Igbo,which he said they are good for movie locations.
Earlier in his address, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Orientation, Dr. Deji Akinwalere said such gathering would assist the present administration in exploring the opportunities in the film and movie industry, create wealth through non-oil sectors, noting that the forum would look into prospects in the Film Industry and challenges facing the sector and come up with ways the industry could be promoted, thus, making it beneficial to all and sundry.