The ongoing partnership between the Lagos State Government and EbonyLife Academy to enhance the capacity of young creative minds has produced the first set of 120 graduands.
The Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, while addressing the graduands at Ebony Life Place, Victoria Island on Friday, restated the commitment of the State Government towards ensuring an enabling environment for the creative industry to thrive.
She promised that the creative industry would be given adequate attention, stressing that the sponsorship of the trainees by the State Government was to produce competent creative individuals to handle the creative industry without relying on foreign support.
Her words: “We believe that there is a need to change the narrative in the creative industry, having observed that there are quite a number of talented individuals in the industry who have impressive storylines and creative ideas that would impact the general society”.
Akinbile-Yusuf commended the trainees for their perseverance, sense of duty and overall comportment, noting that being able to weather the storm underscored their determination to excel in their chosen areas of interests.
The Commissioner added that the partnership of the Lagos State Government with the Ebony Life Academy, under its Lagos State Creative Industry Initiative (LACI), is geared towards giving the trainees leverage above their contemporaries in their chosen fields.
She maintained that the State Government counts on the trainees to change the narrative in the creative industry, just as she assured them of the support of the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, to ensure that they become truly independent in their various areas of interest.
Mrs. Akinbile-Yusuf said, “For us as a government, we are not stopping at exposing you to this training initiative alone, we also have plans in place to support your dreams and help nurture your creative ideas to bring them to reality”.
While urging beneficiaries to take advantage of the knowledge which they have acquired during the past few weeks at the Academy and make the State Government proud, Akinbile-Yusuf recalled that Mr. Governor, in demonstration of his love for the creative industry, recently approved a special fund for filmmakers with the inauguration of a committee to oversee the disbursement.
The Commissioner, however, implored the graduands to take advantage of the Special Fund for film production purposes, adding that qualified individuals can access up to ?40 million under the laudable initiative.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Princess Adenike Adedoyin-Ajayi, charged the trainees to add passion to the knowledge acquired during the training period to maximise all available opportunities.
“There are so many sides and many opportunities in this film making industry but, if you are not passionate about what you are doing, you will not go far because it is the passion that will keep you going through life’s ups and downs”, she said.
Charging the trainees against plagiarism, Adedoyin-Ajayi, however, admonished them to find their path in the creative industry and be passionate about it.
The Chief Executive Officer, EbonyLife, Mo Abudu, said the training was necessary following the need for capacity building in the film making industry and her passion for training and developing others.
She encouraged the trainees to continue to be the best they could, noting that there will be more selection processes they will undergo in their journey of life, including scriptwriting, directing, production, lighting, acting and sound.
Mo Abudu also commended the State Government for the initiative, saying that the scheme would have a great impact on society.
The Head of School, EbonyLife Creative Academy, Theart Korsten, said the school was launched three months ago with 120 students to learn additional skills and knowledge in film making.
Describing the training sessions as successful, he advised aspiring filmmakers to discover their talent and make use of all opportunities available to them in the filmmaking industry.
One of the beneficiaries, Laura Peaple, expressed excitement at the training, saying it was three months of lots of experience and learning.
“The teachers groomed us. I am impressed and proud of what I have learnt. I will keep trying and get myself out there to let people see my talent. I learnt articulation, confidence, a lot of acting techniques and I learnt to be myself”, she said.