Nigeria’s Information and Culture Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has charged African and particularly Nigerian film makers to focus on making films that tell positive stories about the continent and Nigeria in particular.
He made this known at the 2016 Africa Movie Academy Award in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, South South Nigeria.
He said regardless of the challenges facing Nigeria and the continent, there are still a lot of wonderful and positive narratives and opportunities which must be told through the massive platform at the disposal of the film makers.
“It should be a point of duty and a responsibility to tell stories that‘ll project our image better and I the right way. We have a lot of positive narratives that the world must know and understand, all that we can send through our films,” he added.
He also stated that the Federal Government was committed to making the film industry as vibrant as it should be. In that regard, he said the business aspect of the industry must link up with the creative aspect so as to have the real creative economy that the country desires.
“We are working towards making the Motion Pictures Practitioners Council bill a reality. We are seriously on it and once we get the clean copy of the draft bill, we‘ll make sure it gets to the National Assembly for quick action. If that becomes reality, the industry would be better for it. Curbing the menace of piracy and strengthening agencies that work closely with the creative industry is another of our area of focus,” Alhaji Mohammed explained.
Alhaji Mohammed told the film makers that the Nigerian Government was putting strategies for creating a National Endowment for the Arts, where creative’s can have access to all the required and needed resources for effective work.
On his part, the chief host of the 2016 AMAA, Rivers state Governor, Mr. Nyesom Wike applauded the organisers of the event for putting up a prestigious award that attracts huge traffic from across the continent and the world at large.
“AMAA has a very important socio-economic value to River State. The event will show case the business and generally economic potentials of the state and also tell the world that indeed the state is safe because people have come from far and near and are safe,” Wike disclosed.
Meanwhile, the founder of AMAA, Peace Osigwe reiterated the need to emphasize peace as creatives.
She said when she hosted the first edition in 2005,it was in the Niger Delta, particularly in Bayelsa State and now it has returned to the Niger/Delta which is a good platform to tell the world the Niger Delta, the Nigerian and African story in their true form.
The President of the Jury, Shuaib Hussein disclosed that AMAA is becoming more competitive. According to him, in 2016, the 14-man jury received about 450 entries from 50 countries.
“We encouraged more entries to come in. The aim of the award is to encourage Africa’s originality and showcase the continents unique talents. We noticed a lot of ambitious and ingenious films from different categories. We also notice a growing diversity of genres among films,” Hussein said.
He also applauded the massive presence of the work of female film makers and described it as encouraging but decried the decline of children films and charged film makers to do more children films and also charged African leaders to collaborate more with AMAA to have a befitting continental film industry.
AMAA 2016 had different categories, from best short fil, best documentary film, best animation, best film in African language, best director, best film, best actor among others.