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    ESIFF 2023: Will Edo State become the new Lagos and Asaba of Nollywood?

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    Is Edo State the rising star of Nollywood?

    For the past 4 days, the Edo International Film Festival (ESIFF) has been taking place in Benin, with a lot of celebrities and dignitaries in attendance.

    Amidst movie screenings and workshops, one thing is certain: Governor Godwin Obaseki envisions making Edo State a haven for filmmakers, ensuring they choose to showcase their creative prowess locally. Recognizing the financial and job opportunities the creative industry brings, Obaseki aims to replicate this success in Edo State.

    Thankfully, Edo State is brimming with talent, with more than half of Nollywood hailing from this state. The likes of Dakore Egbuson and her brother Timini, Nancy Isime, Victor Sanchez, head of productions at Multichoice, Director, Lancelot Imaseun, and many other renowned filmmakers and actors,

    Uche Agbo, head of Nigerian film festivals, said, “I never seen a governor so vested in seeing creatives thrive.” And he might just be right.

    Panelists at ESIFF 2023

    The government has set up the Edo Film Project under the Ministry of Arts and Culture with the aim of training and equipping filmmakers and actors.

    The government also has partnerships with foreign German organisations like the Film Akademie to train indigenous makeup artists, stuntmen, actors, directors, and others through exchange programmes.

    The establishment of the Edo film festival, which is just in its second year yet has so much reach and support, is also laudable.

    But perhaps the biggest achievement of all is African Magic series, “Enakle” being filmed in Edo State, with 70% of the crew being from Edo.

    Undoubtedly, it has a long way to go before it can rival Lagos and Asaba in film production, but it’s well on its way.

    Before Obaseki leaves the government house, there is the question of continuity, but one need not worry about that as ESIFF has been made a private-public organisation.

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