Afolabi Adesanya, managing director, Nigerian Film Corporation NFC), and Viswanathan Awadh Kumar, the Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria in Abuja recently
Afolabi Adesanya, managing director, Nigerian Film Corporation NFC), and Viswanathan Awadh Kumar, the Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria in Abuja recently
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India and Nigeria have agreed to partner to boost film production activities of both nations.

This was the outcome of discussions between Afolabi Adesanya, managing director, Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC), and the Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Viswanathan Awadh Kumar, in Abuja recently.

According to Kumar, the film industry of India has assumed a high level of economic activity and as such there was the need to co-operate with other nations of the world, especially Nigeria. Kumar, who was passionate in his comments, regretted that there has been no formal co-operation and partnership arrangement between Bollywood and Nollywood, a situation which widens the existing gap between Film Professionals of both nations. He, however, said it was not late to close the gap.

Speaking earlier, Adesanya noted that indeed there was a gap between the film industries of both nations. He traced the history of India films in Nigeria and asserted that Indian films have had a great influence on Nigeria's socio-cultural and economic development. Adesanya who is desirous of seeing that Nigeria's movie industry improves and develops, informed his host that there was the need to have the Nigerian motion picture industry relate with the Indian experience.

The NFC boss, who was optimistic about the success of the various reforms within the sector, apprised his host of some of the restructuring exercises being initiated by the NFC for the sector; these include the establishment of the National Film Development Fund, Motion Picture Practitioners Council of Nigeria, and the NFC Film Grant.

Adesanya, affirmed that Nigeria was willing to tap into the Indian experience so as to improve in the content, techniques and production of Nigerian movies. This, he said, could be achieved through exchange programmes between film schools, and co-production activities between film makers (cast and crew) of both nations.

Adesanya highlighted the achievements of the NFC in recent times and assured the High Commissioner of NFC's readiness to take up the challenges of Nigeria partnering with the Indian Film Industry.

Responding to the concerns of the Nigerian motion picture industry, Kumar noted that Nigeria and India shared a common destiny in motion picture production. He traced the history of the Indian film industry to 1914 when a full length film of 3 hours was first produced. According to him, the Indian Film industry was being driven by private individual film makers and production companies, with assistance of the Indian government in providing the enabling environment through the provision of finances and grants through institutions such as the Film Finance Corporation of India, and National Film Development Corporation.

Kumar listed some film institutions with whom Nigerian film makers could take up training and professional skills. These include the prestigious Palmer Film and Television Institute which was established 50 years ago. The Institute, which is located in Mumbai, Kumar said, has the best Film Archive in the entire world.

Impressed by the activities of the NFC, Kumar announced the willingness of the Indian High Commission to partner NFC on the proposed Indian Film Week. Also that the Indian High Commission would provide scholarship for Nigerian film professionals, especially resource persons of the National Film Institute in Jos as a capacity building support for Nigeria. He also used the opportunity to invite Nigeria to the 30th edition of the International Film Festival in India scheduled to take place in India, from, November 23rd to December, 3rd 2007.