Nollywood to mark 20th anniversary, construct village

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Lagos – The President, Association of Movie Producers, Zik Okafor, said that plans were on by the film industry to build a Nollywood Village.

Okafor said in Lagos on Tuesday that the gesture was to mark Nollywood’s forthcoming 20 years anniversary celebration.

“We want to set up the Nollywood house, build a magnificent edifice with the inscription `Nollywood’ on it as they have in other climes.

“So that when anybody comes to Nigeria, there is a place they can go and say this is Nollywood village and can get what they want in one place.

“We have been operating from our homes, so we should have a base where we can be located,’’ Okafor said.

According to him, we want a place that can contain television actors, different guild associations, creative designers and so many others in the same environment.

The president said the place, where the village would be sited, would be announced during the anniversary.

Okafor said a Nollywood foundation would also be set up to cater for veterans in the industry.

“We can’t keep on running to government for everything, even when the older ones are sick or any one of us; we have to do a lot by ourselves, but if help comes, no problem.

“The foundation will still be in the same village, so that coordination would be easier,” he said.

Okafor stated that with the establishment of a Nollywood Village, the film sector would be bonded, thereby making it easier for artists and stakeholders in the industry to meet and take quick decisions.

“It is about reconstructing the destiny of our industry for the youth to benefit from it, people talk about Nollywood but you can’t see it anywhere” he said.

According to him, 20 years in the life of an industry is short, but it has made giant strides within the years.

“We shot from VHS to digital cameras. Nollywood’s first home video was “Living in Bondage” which told the African story that nobody told.

“And now, the world is celebrating us because of our story told by us, it is an achievement.’’

Okafor claimed that successive governments in Nigeria had spent billions of naira trying to launder the country’s image “unsuccessfully”.

He expressed joy that Nollywood had been able to change the Nigerian image for the better.

“They are not talking about 419 or Nigeria oil issues, everywhere you go, it is Nollywood, in various countries we go to, they greet you; “Igwe” or “da alue” thank you,’’ he said.

He, however, said that there was still much to be done to move the industry forward.

The 18-day event would hold between Aug. 9 and Aug. 26, adding that it would feature seminars, workshops, lectures, carnivals, clinics and training clinics.

He stated that the association would also visit the less privileged in the society. (NAN)

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Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

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