The City of Kano witnessed a large turnout of film makers from across the northern part of the country for the maiden training programme organised by the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC) in partnership with the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) for film professionals. The objective of the training workshop which began on Monday, October 17th, 2011, is to enable participants and others under the various film associations and guilds access SMEDAN enhanced funds for film production activities.
The workshop with the theme, “Enterprenual and Business Skills Development” took place at the Murtala Mohammed Library, Kano. Meanwhile, Lagos production center took its turn of the training workshop for filmmakers on Tuesday, October 25th at the Main Auditorium, Lagos office of the Nigerian Film Corporation, Obalende – Ikoyi Road, Lagos.
Participants in the Kano workshop were drawn from the various guilds and associations of film practitioners under the rubrics of “Kannywood” and AHFIP, acronym for the Association of Hausa Film Professionals. Participants from Niger, Kwara, Zamfara, Kaduna, Plateau and Bauchi states also attended the 5-day training workshop.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the training workshop, the managing director/ chief executive of Nigerian Film Corporation, Mr Afolabi Adesanya and Alhaji Nadada Umar Muhammed, director general of SMEDAN, reiterated the need for film professionals to bequeath to upcoming generations, an industry that is well founded and structured. Both chief executives maintained that one of the key factors to ensure that the motion picture industry continues to grow sustainably was in the injection of funds into the sector to ensure a full marriage between the arts/entertainment aspects of the film production activities with the business aspect.
Adesanya, while declaring open the workshop, traced the history of inadequate funds for film production activities in Nigeria, and explained some far reaching efforts by the Nigerian Film Corporation to provide windows of funding opportunities for film professionals. The establishment of the National Film Development Fund (NFDF) and the collaborations with SMEDAN, NEXIM Bank of Nigeria among others, Adesanya said, represents the corporations commitment to ensuring that the motion picture industry in Nigeria is positioned to compete with other film cultures of the world.
Also speaking, Alhaji Nadada said that, SMEDAN was well positioned and ready to assist film professionals with funds to boast their business. Nadada stressed that most Nigerian small and medium scale businesses collapse even before take off because of lack of adequate funding and elaborate and implementable business plans. He assured that SMEDAN’s partnership with the Nigerian Film Corporation would be sustained until practitioners begin to appreciate the intervention of the two agencies.
Two filmmakers, Mallam Adulkareem Mohammed, immediate past president of Motion Picture Practitioners of Nigeria (MOPPAN) and Rukayya Umar Santa, a producer/marketer, thanked the Nigerian Film Corporation and SMEDAN for the workshop. The new friendly film production environment in Kano, they maintained has made it necessary for more funds to be made available to film makers. On behalf of other film makers in Kannywood, AHFIP and participants at the workshop, the duo promised to utilise the knowledge from the workshop to boast film production activities.