BARBARA KALU –Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has hailed the African International Film Festival (AFRIFF) for providing the platform for film-makers in Africa and the rest of the world to exhibit excellent movies and also engage in creative conversations that will improve the profession.
The Minister made the commendation on Sunday night in Lagos at the opening of the 7th edition of AFRIFF
“Standing here and gazing at this great gathering, I can feel the confluence of passion and creativity and the promises and possibilities that the future holds for the global movie industry,” he said.
Alhaji Mohammed, who commended Nollywood for inspiring the movie industry in Africa, said the Federal Government of Nigeria is constantly engaging the stakeholders towards growing the industry.
“The object of our gathering tonight, the platform on which we celebrate African and International film-makers, is one of the great stories of Nollywood, for AFRIFF – the festival with a vision to inspire and indeed create an ecosystem for the global movie community – was birthed because there is Nollywood,” he said.
The Minister disclosed that the government is pushing for a single-digit interest on loans for infrastructural developments for the Industry, and supporting the building of 100 community cinemas to be evenly spread across the country and also supporting
”We are also close to having a world-class pre- and post-production facility using the current NTA infrastructure with a few additions,” he said.
Alhaji Mohammed said with the advent of the Digital Switch-Over in television broadcasting, the Federal Government is ensuring that the set-top boxes are enabled to allow the 24 million TV households in Nigeria to buy movies with and without the need of data.
The Minister, who thanked AFRIFF for training 1,500 African aspiring film-makers at home and abroad in its untiring effort to develop the industry, stressed the need to have an industry that can deliver a profitable return on investment for all the players.
AFRIFF is the annual gathering of local and international filmmakers and professionals, celebrities, actors, directors, film critics, and other stakeholders.