Friday, February 15, 2013

Abuja Agog For ZUMA 2012

Event Themed To Connecting People By Al-Amin Ciroma Sunday 6th May, 2012, marked yet the opening ceremony of yet another edition of the nation’s biennial film festival, the Zuma. Over the years, the event has attracted filmmakers, professionals and stakeholders, film enthusiasts and practitioners of the motion picture industry in and around the country. One can judge that each edition passing, Zuma Film Festival (ZFF) has made remarkable strides with a consistent growth pattern and heightened participation profile, robustly attesting to its flagship status in the country and equally reinforcing Nigeria’s enviable profile as the largest film market in Africa. This year’s edition, which is the 6th came with ministerial promises with Mr. Labaran Maku, the nation’s Minister of information has assured film practitioners of the acceleration of the functionality of the much anticipated national film fund. The minister told excited participants at the opening ceremony of the event, that he pushed to ensure a quick consideration of the film fund policy by the federal executive council, through the resilience of film practitioners for the growth of the motion picture industry. Earlier, in his goodwill message, the minister has said the performance of the Nigerian film industry has continue to elicit positive comments from well meaning and candid assessors on the giant strides recorded in the history of motion picture development in Nigeria. He said, from the forces of sheer determination and a creative endowment, an industry that has become a source of great national pride was created. “It is to the credit of resilient and ardent film practitioners in the Nigerian motion picture industry that we now have a truly indigenous exportable product ranked by UNESCO as the second most important product after petroleum in Nigeria. “I therefore commend the vision and assiduity of the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC), the organisers of Zuma film festival for sustaining an event that serves as veritable rendezvous to celebrate such indomitable spirit of enterprises and rallying point for domestic and international filmmakers and enthusiasts alike to network and showcase audiovisual products that have heightened Nigeria’s global status as a foremost film destination and Africa’s production hub.” Said Mr. Maku. He also assured the motion picture professionals that the Goodluck Jonathan administration is convinced that Nigeria has the rich cultural base to lead the world and is committed through its transformational agenda to vigorously pursue the policy an legal needed to assert the veracity of the film medium as patent tool for cross-cultural integration as succinctly captured by this year’s theme of Zuma Film Festival, “The Human Story: Connecting People.” In his welcome remarks, the Managing Director, NFC, Mr. Afolabi Adesanya said that their preparation for the 6th edition was significantly boasted by the gracious acceptance of the president to the Grand Patron of the Zuma Film Festival. According to him, this is a confirmation of the present administration’s support for the Nigerian film industry and the objectives of the festival. Mr. Adesanya said the event will be graced with the annual film lecture, titled, ‘Filmmaker as a social realist and cultural advocate.’ Adding that the theme was chosen to identify with the nation’s present dynamics and project the potency of film to grapple with it. He said, “I am particularly enthralled by the new waves of collaboration that birthed the idea of the colloquium on meeting the vast challenges of the Nigerian film industry at this edition. My excitement stems from the support we have received from other agencies who are convinced the industry deserves more attention than it us getting at the moment to take its pride of place in the comity of filmmaking nations.” Said the NFC boss. Top highlights of the event were conferment of lifetime achievement award to some eminent personalities, among them, His Royal Highness, Oba Sany Dosunmu, the Olu of Owu Kingdom of Abeukuta, Ogun State, who lead two others, Professor Jonathan Hayness and Mane Cisneros Manrique to received the coveted award. Oba Dosunmu waz honoured for his notable contributions as foremost contributions to the growth of the Nigerian motion picture industry, Hayness was honored for his endless contribution to the growing and the giant industry in Africa. While Manrique was also accorded with the lifetime achivement award for the organisation of film festivals dedicated to the projection of the works of African filmmakers, domestic and in the Diaspora. Also commenting on the event, the festival director, Halima Oyelade says the ZFF has fles Nigeria’s cinematic muscle and proved to be a rendezvous for celebral celebration of Nigeria’s rich cinematic cultural heritage. She pointed out that the general excitement which has gripped Nigerians and film enthusiasts knows no bounds. The festival, according to her, has surely met all its expectations. The four day event ended up with grand dinner and award night where so many prominent Nigerians graced the event. His Excellency, Katsina State Governor, Barrister Shehu Shema was accorded with an award for being the best governor that supports the growth of entertainment industry in Nigeria and national development. The Information Minister, Labaran Maku highlighted that Nollywood has become a source of national pride. So many film professional received award of excellence, with Tunde Kelani, aka TK emerged as the best director for his film, ‘Maami.’ Also honoured is an aced journalist Shuaibu Hussein of Guardian Newspapers as the Best Film Journalist, 2012. ___________ Published in LEADERSHIP (May 2012)

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