The Lagos State Government’s partnership with EbonyLife Creative Academy has produced 240 competent, young and vibrant filmmakers in the last six months to address the skills gap of professionals in the film industry.
The Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf made this disclosure at the second edition of the quarterly graduation ceremony of trainees in film production, cinematography, directing and acting, among others, held at EbonyLife Place, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Mrs. Akinbile-Yussuf described the partnership between the State Government and Ebonylife Creative Academy as a value-adding collaboration that is equipping youths with necessary creative skills to make them topnotch practitioners in the film industry and also, provide job opportunities for the unemployed.
While congratulating the graduands for enduring the various rigorous sessions and the practical aspects of producing their own films, the Commissioner also commended the perseverance, sense of duty and overall comportment of the trainees throughout the three-month period, especially for weathering the storm and emerging successful.
She said: “Although you are graduating today, let me remind you that the journey has just started. You must make yourself relevant in the industry by prioritising professionalism as against quick-fix or desire to make quick gains”.
“Lagos, as you know, is a city that never sleeps and this portends a great deal for the entertainment industry to leverage on the vibrancy of this city. Invariably, the huge population of Lagos coupled with the lifestyle of its inhabitants, who are fun-loving people, is a great advantage for you to creatively express yourselves and make a fortune out of it”, the Commissioner stated.
She told the newly trained filmmakers that apart from the training opportunity provided, the State Government will also support their creative ideas through loan facilities that have been provided for film production purposes.
Her words: “The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, in demonstration of his love for the film industry, recently approved a special fund for film-makers with the inauguration of a committee to oversee the disbursement of the funds to qualified individuals who can access several millions of Naira from the fund”.
Saying that to whom much is given, much more is also expected, the Permanent Secretary, Princess Adenike Adedoyin-Ajayi, challenged the trainees to justify the huge investment of the government in tourism and entertainment, such that the Governor would be encouraged to sponsor the training of more beneficiaries.
“This is an investment for the future, we are expecting that you go out and make impacts. We want to hear good reports about you. There are some set of professionals that are already making waves, not just in Lagos State and Nigeria alone but globally”, the Permanent Secretary stated.
She, therefore, urged the film graduates to be driven by the desire and ambition to give back to society and also become mentors to others, saying “Don’t let it all stop here, continue with the vigour with which you have started now and even improve on it”.
The CEO of EbonyLife Media, MO Abudu, expressed satisfaction with the feedback received so far regarding the impact which the training is making in the industry, noting that the good reports rekindle her hope of better tomorrow for the film industry.