Lagos State Government has disclosed that its partnership with EbonyLife Creative Academy has produced 240 competent, young and vibrant filmmakers in the last six months as a way of addressing the skills gap of professionals in the film industry.

The Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Pharm. Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf made this disclosure on Friday, at the second edition of the quarterly graduation ceremony of a new set of trainees in film production, Cinematography, Directing, Acting, among others, held at EbonyLife Place, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Pharmacist Akinbile-Yussuf described the partnership between the State Government and Ebonylife Creative Academy, as a value-adding collaboration that is equipping youths with necessary creative skills that would make them practitioners of top-notch in the film industry and also provide job opportunities for the unemployed.

She said that the training of a new crop of professionals in film production shows that the State Government is already producing practitioners that would change the narratives in the film industry.

While congratulating the graduands for enduring the various rigorous sessions and the practical aspect of producing their films, Akinbile-Yussuf, also commended the perseverance, sense of duty and overall comportment of the trainees throughout the three months, especially for weathering the storm and emerging successful.

She said “Although you are graduating today, let me remind you that the journey has just started. You must make yourself relevant in the industry, by prioritizing professionalism as against quick-fix or desire to make quick gains.

“Lagos, as you know, is a city that never sleeps and this portends a great deal for the entertainment industry to leverage on the vibrancy of this city. Invariably, the huge population of Lagos coupled with the lifestyle of its inhabitants who are fun-loving people is a great advantage for you to creatively express yourself and make a fortune out of it.”

She told the newly trained filmmakers that apart from the training opportunity provided for them, the State Government will also support them to ensure that their creative ideas see the light of the day through loan facilities that have been provided for film production purposes.

“The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu in demonstration of his love for this film industry, recently approved a special fund for filmmakers with the inauguration of a committee to oversee the disbursement of this funds to qualified individuals who can access several millions of naira from this fund,” the Commissioner stated.

Saying that to whom much is given, much more is also expected, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Princess Adenike Adedoyin-Ajayi, challenged the trainees to justify the huge investment of government in them, such that the Governor would be encouraged to sponsor the training of more beneficiaries.

“This is an investment for the future, we are expecting that you go out and make impacts. We want to hear good reports about you the more that there are some set of professionals that are making waves, not just in Lagos State and Nigeria alone but internationally and globally, ” the Permanent Secretary stated.

She urged the film graduates to be driven by the desire and ambition to give back to society and also become mentors to others.” Don’t let it all stop here, continue with the vigour with which you have started now and even improve on it.”

The CEO of EbonyLife Media MO Abudu expressed satisfaction with the feedback received so far regarding the impact which the training is making in the industry, saying that the good reports rekindle her hope of better tomorrow for the film industry.

She urged the trainees to stay focused, work hard, be determined to cause a change in the film industry and keep being creative in all they do, this, she said, would make them thrive to produce better productions after graduation.

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