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AMP-EKO INT'L FILM FESTIVAL ENDS TODAY

By NBF News
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•Mba
The five-day Association of Movie Producers (AMP) EKO International Film Festival, which was hugely supported by the Lagos State government will come to a glorious end today with a gala nite at the National Arts Theatre, Iganmu.

While declaring open the third edition of the annual festival on Monday, Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), charged filmmakers to always promote and project our rich culture and societal values to the world through their movies.

Aside declaring open the festival, Fashola, also led Nollywood stars and dignitaries drawn from both the public and private sectors to the event as the chief host and special guest of honour. The grand gathering of filmmakers has: Film as a Veritable Tool for Social Engineering, as its theme.

According to Mr. Paul Obazele, the national president of AMP and host of the festival, filmmakers within and outside Nigeria, critically examined and evaluated the importance of this year's theme and proffered solutions on how best to maximize the potentials of the theme for the benefit of their immediate societies. Speaking further, Obazele, also a famous actor, producer and director, maintained that he was very satisfied with the outcome of this year's event, which included, film screenings, workshops, pitching sessions, panel discussions, trainings and high level networking on how best to move Nollywood to the next level.

'We are happy to inform you that the hardworking Lagos State Governor, Mr. Fashola graced this year's festival and equally declared it open for us, this was a big plus for Nollywood. We are also expecting His Excellency alongside other dignitaries for the gala nite/closing ceremony today. As one of our few patrons, he has equally ordered that cinematography should be made a full course at the Lagos State University (LASU), starting from the next academic session.

He has also called for a policy action on piracy, these and many more Fashola is doing to help strengthen and reposition the nation's film industry. We are ending the festival gloriously today at the banquet hall with a special awards/gala nite for all our friends and core supporters of Nollywood. We are immensely grateful to all our sponsors and supporters. The various committees set up for this festival were outstanding and on behalf of AMP, I want to sincerely thank them for a job well done.'

Meanwhile, the media/mobilization committee of the festival, which serenaded Nollywood, was jointly headed by Emeka Ossai and Ifeanyi Ezekwe, two respected names in AMP. Moreover, Mr. Emeka Mba, the Director General of the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), who chaired one of the panel discussions as a special guest, lauded the organizers for a job well done. Mba, equally called for more meaningful collaborations between Nollywood and the relevant government agencies, while speaking at the festival.