As part of its core developmental activities that will have a tangible impact on young Nigerian talent in the film-making industry, the Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF), is organizing a Screen Writing Lab to develop great story ideas From Script to Screen. From the Lab, AFRIFF will select 10 to 20 Short scripts to put through an advisory board for detailed analysis and feedback sessions, enabling writers to gain intensive support in the techniques of developing a visual story. Ultimately, instructors will select 3 to 5 projects to be awarded with a monetary prize towards the production and realization of the film. The aim is to develop story ideas that can be realized into world standard productions.
The National Film School’s Head of Academic Planning, Mr. Edward Ossai, emphasized the need for a screen-writing lab to educate practicing scriptwriters and new entrants on the art and business of scriptwriting. He added that the lab is very timely because the script is the basis for any film production, affirming that some of the major challenges in Nollywood movies today include poor scripting and storytelling techniques.
Professor Femi Okiremuette Shaka, of the University of Port-Harcourt, described the forthcoming Screen-writing Lab as a laudable project in capacity building for aspiring screenwriters for Nollywood.
He applauded the project as yet another opportunity being offered to Nigerian youths, especially those of the Niger Delta, to shun crime and social unrest, and challenge their reservoir of creativity in order to become relevant to the flourishing entertainment industry and the job-creating machine known as Nollywood.
The first Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF), themed “Africa Unites” is a platform that will bring together both local and international film makers, celebrities, actors, irectors, film buyers, distributors, visual artists, film students, amateurs, film lovers and the media to showcase Africa’s motion picture achievements. It will hold from the 1st to the 5th of December, 2010, in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital which is increasingly gaining status as a centre for arts and culture.
Communications Consultant for AFRIFF, Celine Loader, said, “The heartbeat of youth culture is in Arts & Entertainment, with the film making industry as its driver. We have the potential to create tens of thousands of jobs in the industry if only we can close the huge skills gap that exist and build technical capacity, particularly among students and young graduates.”
Loader further disclosed that AFRIFF is gaining international awareness, including an advertorial in the influential Hollywood Reporter at the recently concluded Toronto Film Festival.
Founded in 2009, the Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) has a vision to create a platform for the world to zoom in on the diversity and creativity of Africa through motion pictures. Starting December 2010, in the tradition of the likes of the Cannes Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival, AFRIFF will unite film makers from across the world on the African soil. It will hold yearly in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria hosting both local and international film-makers, celebrities, actors, directors, film buyers, distributors, visual artists, film students, amateurs, film lovers and the media.
AFRIFF will launch the unique Film & Equipment Market, which will grow content and equipment trade out of Africa and foster partnerships.