Film Corporation reveals plans

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It gives me great pleasure to share our thoughts on some of the plans for the forthcoming Zuma Festival scheduled for 4th– 8thMay, 2008. It is important that we keep the public abreast of development so that they can flow with us, as we all look forward to this important event in the annals of our motion picture industry." These were the words of the managing director of the apex film body, Mr. Afolabi Adesanya at a media briefing on the much-publicized Zuma Film Festival holding in Abuja between May 4 and 8, 2008.

Adesanya, who recalled that the history of the festival dated back 1992 and 2003, when it was hoisted as the National Film Festival, until in 2006, when it was rebranded Zuma Film Festival, after the popular Zuma Rock along the Abuja/Kaduna Expressway in Suleja, on the outskirts of Abuja, pointed out that hence, the event became a truly International Film Festival with the adoption of global best practices, in its organization and participation.

Running a chronicle of the major events of this year's edition of the biennial film event, Adesanya disclosed that amidst the opening ceremony lined up with cultural/musical concert and screening of the official Opening Night Film, the honourable Minister for Information and Communication will declare the festival open.

Talking about film screening which constitute a major tradition of film festivals, the list of competitive and non-competitive films are inexhaustible. But more importantly, the NFC boss revealed that an emerging talent screening will be staged in association with the International Emerging Talent Film Festival (IETFF), Monte Carlo, France. This, he explained is meant to encourage young filmmakers by showcasing their works and providing avenue for them to exchange ideas and improve their skills.

Workshops and master classes, the intellectual components of the festival which enables world-class film experts to pass on the tools of the trade, to the younger generation of filmmakers and provide the platform for mentoring relationships have also been scheduled for different categories among which are, Heart of Africa Forum, to create an interface between the Heart of Africa Secretariat and the Film Community; Women Film Forum, to discuss gender issues/challenges in production; Filling the Gaps, an initiative of the National Film & Video Censors Board; Production Master Class, making Films for the Global Market; Producing with Digital Format; The ABC of Film Markets; Film Festivals and Strategies for Maximizing the Business Potential They Present; Film Financing, parley with financial experts, bankers, money market operators and international film financiers; Role of Government Support for The Film Industry; The French Government example; and Digital Cinema and Intellectual Property Issues, a discourse on anti-piracy strategies.

Other activities include, the NFC annual film lecture/NFC annual essay competition awards presentation, Film X (Film Market) which comprises exhibition stands where production companies, government agencies, etc, locally and internationally can exhibit their products and services. Also market screenings are incorporated to enable buyers watch films they are interested in. Meetings/dating is also set-up between parties interested in co-productions. Space is also created for the 'Shorts Film Corner' where shorts are screened daily and filmmakers can have question & answer sessions with journalists, audience, etc.

Running under the theme, Films Without Borders, the objectives of the festival, Adesanya said, is to provide a platform for interaction among film industry practitioners to share experiences, ideas and knowledge relevant to the industry; provision of a platform for marketing and distribution of Nigerian films; enhancement of quality production of Nigerian films; promote the Nigerian film industry as a viable investment option to the Nigerian and International business communities; present the Nigerian film industry as an alternative source of income generation and employment; recognize and reward excellence in the Nigerian motion picture industry; and promotion of tourism, Nigerian art and culture.