LAGOS State Government has restated its commitment to building a world class film city for producers on 100 hectares of land in Ejirin-Epe in order to make Lagos State a film production hub in Nigeria.
Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu disclosed this in his address at the second edition of the Nigeria Digital Content Regulation Conference organised by the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) and held in Ikeja, Lagos, adding that his administration is determined to strengthen the industry through various interventions, policies and programmes.
Sanwo-Olu, represented at the conference by the state Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, listed some of the interventions including the rehabilitation of the iconic Glover Memorial Hall and the establishment of the Lagos State Film Fund aimed at encouraging and developing award-winning stories by Nigerians that would compete effectively with their counterparts in other climes.
Speaking further, he added that the state government partnered with different film academies like Delyork Creative Academy, Temple Group-Ogidi Studio and Ebony Life Film Academy among others to train 890 youths and many more on script writing, directing and editing, among others, to create a pool of young and competent professionals.
The governor explained that there is a need to give form, structure, balance and protection to digital content consumption so that it does not lose its values and morals, stressing that the role the censor’s board plays in curtailing the negative influences that films and videos can have on the society cannot be overemphasized.
He maintained that the Nigeria film industry is one of the largest in the world and has grown from obscurity to employer of thousands of people while promoting national culture and unity.
He posited that the migration from traditional to digital content consumption and the operation of national and international Over-The-Top (OTT) streaming services have continued to impact the growth of the local film industry in Nigeria, noting that it has also contributed immensely to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) over the years.
Sanwo-Olu averred that with the advent of social media, arbitrary digital content is created which prompted the putting in place policies that regulate the showing of pornographic films and videos that have explicitly inappropriate content.
Expressing gratitude to the Lagos State Governor for the proposed Film City, the Managing Director of PAULZIE Moving Concept and the Director of Information, Association of Nigeria Movie Directors, Mr. Paul Ibeh said that, at the completion of these laudable projects, the cost of film production in Lagos State would come down drastically.