Obaseki says Edo State is keen on making an impact in the Nigerian film space.
Edo governor, Godwin Obaseki, has called on Nigerian filmmakers to start considering the state as a creative hub for their productions because he’s ready to support them.
The 66-year-old laid out his plans to Nollywood filmmakers at an industry mixer in Lagos State on Sunday, October 15, 2023, ahead of the second edition of the Edo State International Film Festival (ESIFF).
The governor assured industry stakeholders that his government is building infrastructure and training a pool of talented people to meet all their production needs.
He said, “The strategy is to make sure we develop Edo as a hub for production by making it easy for producers to come and work there — make it more convenient and cost-effective. What do you need as a producer? You need talent and to be able to manage your costs.
“When you come to Edo, we’re training people across the spectrum as cinematographers, sound engineers, and all sub-aspects of production, so that you can find somebody who is experienced and talented enough to support your work.”
Obaseki emphasised that Edo is keen on making an impact in the film space and will provide opportunities for filmmakers who need a platform.
This vision fueled 2022’s maiden edition of ESIFF, a festival he said supports local filmmakers, creative industry partnerships, global promotion, innovative technology and cultural exchange.
Based on the success of last year’s event, the 2023 edition attracted over 3,000 film submissions from 126 countries, with the most entries coming from Nigeria, Iran, India, the United States and Brazil.
“It’s like people are looking for outlets to show their works and this festival is more like a marketplace, particularly for young people,” the governor told journalists after his keynote address.
Obaseki is confident of sustainability
Obaseki will leave office in 2024 after eight years in the governor’s seat, but he’s not worried about his successor ruining his investments in the creative industry.
He noted that the investments have been structured in a way that the government is merely an enabler, providing room for industry players to take control.
“What we’re doing strategically is focus on those areas that will make it easier for producers to come for their productions in Edo. At the end of the day, everyone wants to make money,” he said.
One of the government’s most significant film investments is the planned construction of a film village, located in Benin City, which Obaseki believes will be a gamechanger.
This year’s edition of ESIFF will take place between November 30 and December 2 in Benin City.