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Towards hosting a successful and hitch-free event, the Rivers State government recently signed an exclusive partnership deal with the organizers of the Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF).

According to AFRIFF, the new deal will further provide them the unique opportunity to immensely showcase the diversity and creativity of Africa through motion pictures, while promoting Rivers State as a centre of excellence for culture, arts and tourism.

The signing ceremony which held in Port Harcourt, was presided over by the Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Marcus Nle Ejii, who represented the Governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi.Commenting on the partnership, Ejii declared that the initiative forms part of Amaechi's vision to promote arts and culture in the State, as a key component of his economic development agenda.

He added that Rivers State, renowned for it rich heritage in arts and culture, remains the perfect venue for hosting AFRIFF, which will also help towards achieving the State's developmental objectives among the youths. According to elated Chioma Ude, Founder and CEO, AFRIFF, she said; 'We're thrilled to have Rivers State as the host for this important festival because it sends a clear message about their vision to be an African centre of excellence for arts and culture.'

She added that such a project will be leveraged to positively impact young Nigerian talent in the film-making industry. Meanwhile, as part of activities leading up to the event, AFRIFF recently commenced its screen writing labs in Universities across the country to enable aspiring screen writers gain intensive support in thetechniques of developing visual stories that can be realized into worldstandard productions.

The first was held in Jos in September.Also, preparations are in top gear for the festival, which holds in Port Harcourt from December 1 to 5. It will be attendedby local and international film-makers, celebrities, actors, directors, filmbuyers, distributors, visual artists, film students, amateurs, film lovers and the media at large.