Movie producer/director, Mr Paul Obazele has called for synergy between the government and filmmakers in order to enhance the socio-economic and political development of the nation.
Obazele who is also the founder/President of the prestigious Legends of Nollywood Awards made this call at this year’s edition of the programme held at MUSON Centre Onikan, Lagos on Thursday.
The cerebral actor noted that the body deliberately chose the theme: ‘Film and National Security’ as theme for the 2021 edition of LNA “because of our conviction that if properly exploited, film can also be used as instrument for the enhancement of national security.”
He noted that from inception of the Nollywood industry, films by practitioners had constituted a veritable source of inspiration for the nation’s economic, political, social and cultural life and ‘its impact in harnessing national security cannot be over-emphasized.”
He added further, “We are all witnesses to how Nollywood has empowered Nigerians especially our teeming youths, by providing employment for them in various stages of the production process.
“This has not only kept them engaged, it has in no small measures contributed to the sustenance of the national security.
“Although Nollywood’s ability to harness national security, cohesion and development has been widely acknowledged, what has been missing is the corresponding support for the industry and its practitioners needed to manifest their potentials.
“It is gratifying to note that the Nigerian military recently collaborated with a notable filmmaker Paul Apel aka Papel to produce ‘Eagle Wings’ a movie that touched on national security.
“We need more of such collaborations or provisions of funds for practitioners to contribute meaningfully toward fostering economic, cultural, social and political consciousness of the people.
“We at LNA strongly hold that given the right operating environment, our filmmakers are capable of producing movies that would inform, educate and provide advice on how to address the many development challenges in the country.
“We therefore advocate a synergy between government and stakeholders in the industry that would further consolidate the role of film as a change agent.
“When filmmakers are enabled through non-conditional grants and other funding mechanism, they will have no choice but to key into government policies on transformation and nation building.”
Obazele who gave awards to established movie stars, journalists and other eminent Nigerian for what he termed their contributions in building what is today known as the Nollywood.
He noted that LNA “aims at identifying and recognising great men and women who through their art, ingenuity, foresight, and vision laid the solid foundation for the establishment of the vibrant motion picture industry called Nollywood.”
Obazele commended the founder Revival Assembly, Apostle Anselm Madubuko for his prayers and support.
The works in which some of the movie stars were recognised and celebrated dated back to 30 years or close to it.
Among those who were given awards are Gloria Young (Glamour Girls), Ngozi Nwosu (Living in Bondage), Ngozi Ezeonu (Nneka the pretty serpent), St Obi, Olu Jacobs and wife, Joke Silva (Lifetime achievement awards), Sunday
Omobolanle aka Aluwe and Adebayo Salami (Owo Blow), and Ernest Obi (Rattle snake).
Others are prolific director, Jimi Odumosu (Evil Encounter), Richard Mofe-Damijo (Lifetime achievement award), Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba, the incumbent chairman, Ajeromi-Ifelodun LCDA, Hon. Fatai Adekunle Ayoola, and President Ohaneze, Lagos, Chief Solomon Ogbonna Aguene.
Others are Pete Edochie, Mallam Usman Baba Pategi aka Samanja, Chief Wale Adenuga, Zack Orji, Alex Usifo Umaigbo, Madam Taiwo Hassan, and Patience Ozokwo, while late Mr. Sadiq Daba, and late Chief Eddie Ugbomah, got posthumous award.
Also Chief (Dr) ifeanyi Chukwuma Odi, and wife of Apostle Madubuko, Ambassador Pastor Emmy Madubuko were honoured.
In the media category, the Publishers of online publication, newsonthemove.com.ng, and Yes Magazine, Samuel Awoyinfa and Azuh Arinze and Afolabi Odeyemi, got awards for their contributions in building what is today known as Nollywood, through their various stories and feature articles in the softsell genres.
Another highlights of the event was the presentation of certificates to graduands of the various skill acquisition programmes of the LON. They are mainly made up of the under-privileged and physically challenged people.
They were trained in script writing, costume and make-up, production management, continuity, cinematography and editing.
Obazele commended the sponsors of the programme which include Ecobank, Sterling Bank and Nigeria Institute of Sports among others for their support over the years.
The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba, called on the Nollywood practitioners to access the fund put in place by the Federal Government for the creative industry, which he said they were yet to access.