Eight films from the Nigerian movie industry otherwise known as Nollywood will be showcased at the forthcoming Toronto International Films Festival (TIFF) in Canada come September this year.
Organisers of the film festival will focus on film producers that are based in Lagos and the platform will be a golden opportunity for the selected films to get international exposure and market.
At a joint media briefing by the organisers and Lagos State Government, Artistic Director of TIFF, Mr Cameron Bailey said the time had come for Lagos and indeed Nigerian films to be on the global stage.
Mr Bailey stressed that apart from the films, two Nigerian actors based in Lagos will also be selected for recognition as he noted that over 500,000 tickets had been made available for the event where the city of Lagos will take the centre stage.
The Artistic Director reiterated that Lagos was among the cities to be celebrated at the Toronto event because the State remained the heart of film industry in Nigeria just like Mumbai in India and Hollywood.
“There is a bond already between Nigeria and Canada, between Lagos and Toronto, quite a lot of people from here now reside in Canada; every year we play host to thousands of people from all over the world but we are partnering with Lagos so as to ‘consume more of Lagos,’ get more of Lagos, creative works from here are everywhere, in Barbados, in London, in South Africa and the rest of the world, so we want films from here that project the image of Nigeria and Lagos to continue to win the Oscars and other world class awards,” he added.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Information, Mr Steve Ayorinde hinted that Lagos would be fully involved in the event which would hold from the 8th-18th of September this year.
“Lagos will be a city of focus at the Toronto International Films Festival and the government is really glad with this development because it is in line with government’s drive to boost tourism and this development is coming just days after the unveiling of the logo of Lagos at 50 celebration which kick-started the preparation for the celebration of the 50 years of the creation of Lagos state, it is coming just two weeks after Lagos was celebrated in Brussels, Belgium where the governor made some pronouncements at the Centre for Fine Arts Exhibition that will develop Lagos into a cultural city, so in essence, Lagos State will be fully involved and welcome collaboration that will promote talents and engender creativity on a large scale” according to Ayorinde.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner for Tourism Arts and Culture, Mr Folorunsho Coker on his part maintained that the involvement of Lagos at the ‘City to City’ focus at TIFF was in line with the Akinwunmi Ambode’s government cardinal programmes called ‘THESE’ which is an acronym for tourism, hospitality, entertainment, sports and excellence.