Bayelsa plans film academy, spends N100m monthly on power generation

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PLANS are underway by Bayelsa State government to establish a film academy. In fact, the state government intends to turn the academy into a film city when it is established.
The state Governor Deprieye Alamieyeseigha disclosed this while receiving the Hollywood star, Damy Glover, at the Government House, Yenagoa. Glover was the special guest of honour at the first African Movie Academy Awards held at the weekend in the state.

Alamieyeseigha expressed delight that the home-video industry was growing in Nigeria. With over N55 million revenue generated last year, the industry, he said, had demonstrated that it would soon cease to rely solely on natural resources.

He praised the operators for filling the gap, which the demise of local cinemas of late 70s created.

The governor said the home-video industry employed a number of Nigerian youths, some of who would have taken to crime because of idleness.

Alamieyeseigha added that the state, which is endowed with natural settings for film-making, would fully tap the potential to become a filmmaker haven.

His words: "God has given this state natural resources, vegetation and creeks that even that of Hollywood will be a child's play".

The governor said his faith in the industry and the need to showcase the tourist potential of the state informed his decision to host the maiden edition of the African movie event.

He listed some of the potential as the Commonwealth Graves of British Soldiers that died in the Nembe British War in 1895 Akossa Lighthouse, the Monila and Bronze heads and the slave trade routes.

Alamieyeseigha lauded Glover for projecting the African image in the Hollywood, especially in one of his films where he played the role of the first South African post apartheid President, Dr. Nelson Mandela, describing it as excellent.

He added that it generated a lot of discussions at the Harvard University in the United State (US).

In his response, Glover thanked the governor for the warm reception accorded him and pledged his readiness to assist the state, especially in networking with Nigerian actors to develop the industry.

Glover said that only African actors could tell the continent's stories well in their films.

The state Commissioner of Information, Douglas Oronoto, said the vision of the governor for the film village would be executed in three stages.

The state government has also said it spends over N100 million monthly to service its Kolo Creek Gas Turbine, which supplies Yenagoa, the state capital, and the environs with electricity.

Alamieyeseigha said six megawatts of gas turbine would be established to boost electricity supply in the state before the end of his tenure.

The governor spoke with journalists while inspecting the state cultural centre that hosted the movie academy awards.

He lamented that political intrigues had continued to trail the attempt at connecting the state to the national grid since its creation, saying that Bayelsa remained the only state in the country to generate its own electricity.