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890 youths graduate from Africa Film Academy, Premiere ‘Akanji’

IN line with Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration’s commitment to entertainment and tourism, 890 youths sponsored by the Lagos State Government have graduated from the African Film Academy (AFA) after a six-week free intensive training.

The 890 youths were beneficiaries of the ‘Film in a Box’ programme organised by the AFA in conjunction with the Lagos State Government, to train and empower young people in the creative industry in three different centres – Alimosho, Epe and Badagry respectively.

The beneficiaries were were trained in Acting, Art Directing, Light and Lighting, Editing, Sound Production and Post Production, among others.

Elated by the gesture, the graduands commended the Sanwo-Olu led administration for its commitment to the creative industry and youth development, especially with job creation in the state, and promised to support and ensure his victory for a second term in office during  next year governorship election.

Speaking at the ceremony that held at the Lagos Theatre, Igando in Alimosho on Tuesday, October 25, Sanwo-Olu restated his administration’s commitment to collaborate with stakeholders in the entertainment industry to train and acquire skills that would create an ecosystem to give livelihood to creative minds.

   The governor, who assured that his administration’s T.H.E.M.E.S agenda is to make life a lot easier and beneficial to all Lagos residents, especially the youths, said the State Government is committed to achieving its 30years (2022 to 2052) development plan, which was unveiled recently at the 2022 Ehingbeti Summit, as well as building an African Film City in Epe axis of the state.

   He words: As a government, we are committed to using entertainment and tourism to connect with the future so that Lagos can be a one-stop shop not in Nigeria or Africa but in the world. 

   “We  therefore urged those in the creative industry to harness the opportunities provided on the right track to ensure a better and greater Lagos as well as taking the State and Nigeria to an enviable position.”

   Governor Sanwo-Olu also urged those who graduated from AFA and other creative initiatives by the State government to take advantage of the Lagos States Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) and the State Film Fund, to become self-employed and employers of labour.

   Earlier in her address, the Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Pharm. Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, said the AFA Film in a Box initiative was to make the youths agents of change in the creative industry and break new grounds to enable them to become self-reliant.

   She stated that the concept had been expanded to develop the arts and culture for optimum performance to stimulate economic growth, skills and job creation to bridge the gap in the state creative industry.

   While congratulating the graduates, Akinbile-Yusuf assured them that Lagos State Government would continue to monitor their growth and assist them in producing competent creative works in the industry.

   In her welcome address, renowned filmmaker and Chief Executive Officer of African Film Academy,  Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, who commended the doggedness of graduates, urged them to explore the creative industry with training received from the academy.

   She said though the mandate was to train 600 youths, 890 students were trained by the Academy across the three centres in Epe, Alimosho and Badagry, noting that some of those trained in the Academy had gotten jobs already as they were also taught the business side with the creative side.

   Highpoint of the ceremony was the premiere of ‘Akanji’ one of the films by the graduands during their training in the academy. 

   Anyiam-Osigwe disclosed film would be in the cinema portraying Alimosho to the world.

    She commended Sanwo-Olu’s administration for the huge investment in the entertainment and creative industry. She also commended the State Government for its investment in the health sector, adding that the equipment at the Badagry General Hospital to respond to emergencies, especially when a facilitator fell ill and was taken the health institution is an attestation of the investment.

   On his part, foremost filmmaker, Tunde Kelani, thanked the Lagos State government for investing in the entertainment and cteative industry, which he averred would curb youth restiveness in Lagos and make young people to be entrepreneurs.

Kelani also commended Governor Sanwo-Olu on the proposed Lagos film city, saying the name of the governor would not be forgotten.

He also urged the graduands to give themselves to more, stressing thar learnkng is a continuous process. He encouraged them imbibe teamwork and not forget their mentors.

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