By Nefishetu Yakubu, Benin.
Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has expressed the willingness of his administration to collaborate with the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) to build a world class film village in state.
The governor voiced the eagerness in Benin on Tuesday, while addressing members of the guild at the 2022 Nollywood Actors Summit, which took place from Nov. 21 to Nov. 22 at the Victor Uwaifo Creative Hub.
The summit, with the theme, “Impact of Digital Technology on the Acting Profession”, drew several distinguished Nollywood stars like Joke Silver, Kanayo O. Kanayo, Destiny Etiko, Lancelot Imaseun, Nobert Young and Eucharia Anunobi, among others, to Benin.
Obaseki said that the film village would be sited on a-30 hectares of land, adding that it would have 24-hour electricity supply from the Ossiomo power plant.
He noted that the government was at the final phase of completing the designs.
He said that the government would sign agreement with AGN towards finalising the designs and all the studies that were required to attract investment.
“We will like to move to a stage where we can sign Memorandum of Understanding with the Guild, so that they can support us as we finalise the designs.
“And all the studies that are required to enable us attract investment into what I can promise you to be the first of its kind, a world-class film village in Nigeria.
“I urge the Guild, particularly the independent filmmakers, to embrace all the offers the state government are giving them to think of acting and producing their films in the state,’’ he said.
Obaseki promised to provide incentives such as accommodation, transportation, locations, security and other logistics to enable free flow of production for those willing to act and produce movies in the state.
“In the past one year, over 30 Nollywood movies have been produced and acted in the state, while during the first Benin International Film Festival, organised by the state, over 100 entries were received from over 50 countries,’’ he said.
Earlier, President of Actors Guild of Nigeria, Emeka Rollas, commended Obaseki for the establishment of Victor Uwaifo creative hub.
Rollas noted that the establishment of the standard creative hub proved that culture and tourism was one of the major cardinal areas of reform agenda of the governor.
He said that the centre would fasttrack the socio-economic development of the state and would complement the fascinating tourist attractions in the state.
He noted that the hub was already attracting big film studios and reputable filmmakers in Nigeria, adding that the Guild would also help to propel the speedy acceptance and accelerated growth of the creative hub.