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RMD leads Kelani, Mo Abudu on mission to drive Lagos’ film tourism

Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has inaugurated a committee on Film Production Empowerment to be chaired by a veteran filmmaker and Nollywood actor, Richard…

Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has inaugurated a committee on Film Production Empowerment to be chaired by a veteran filmmaker and Nollywood actor, Richard Mofe-Damijo, popularly known as RMD.

The nine-member committee, comprising five actors and four government officials were selected to drive the vision to actively support youth creativity and entrepreneurship in the sector.

Industry veterans in the committee are popular cinematographer, Tunde Kelani; a film and television producer, Ms Mo Abudu; movie director, Mr Kunle Afolayan, and Mrs Peace Anyiam-Osigwe.

The government officials in the committee are Adebukola Agbaminoja, Ferdinand Tinubu, Taju Olajumoke and Mrs Funke Avoseh who will serve as the committee secretary.

The intervention project initiated by the governor aims to jump-start the transformation of the entertainment and tourism sector as it seeks to fund youth creativity and entertainment activities in the state, following the disruption caused by the spread of COVID-19 that impacted negatively on entertainment and tourism in the state.

The committee’s inauguration came months after the governor set aside N1bn seed capital to unlock the potentials in hospitality and tourism businesses, a scheme designed to support creative ideas of movie and entertainment producers who are constrained by funds so as to bring their concepts into reality.

Governor Sanwo-Olu described entertainment and tourism as enablers of growth with huge potential for employment opportunities.

The sector, according to him, is critical to achieving his administration’s youth development objectives, given its high rate of absorption of creative young people in its supply chains.

He said, “We realised many of our film production experts and directors face a lot of funding impediments. We are intervening to close this gap and bring credible veterans who have the knowledge and have demonstrated capacity in the industry to drive this project.”

Sanwo-Olu also stated that the committee had been given the authority to disburse the support grants to movie producers who have fresh ideas and those whose stories are yet to be completed. He also charged the committee to work out its engagement modalities and administrative responsibility of selecting the beneficiaries of the scheme.

“As we roll out this scheme, we want to be able to help the industry around job creation and bring youths out of unemployment, using the creative industry. We also want to create entrepreneurs that will use their creativity to enhance the market shares of the sector. We want to support the industry practitioners to raise capacity, support development of local content and discourage the action of taking proceeds from the industry out of the country, thereby denying local practitioners the benefits of their talents,”

Responding, the committee chairman, Mofe-Damijo described members of the committee as passionate practitioners in the entertainment industry.

“We don’t have any excuse not to perform in this assignment. We will do everything in our capacity to ensure that result which the governor has envisioned comes to reality,” he assured.