The Vice President of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbajo, has called for collaborations between filmmakers in Nigeria and Canada, even as he promised to fast-track the co-production treaties between the two countries.
Osinbajo stated this in Ottawa, the capital of Canada, during a session with some Nigerian leaders in the filmmaking industry in Canada, shortly before he attended the screening of a movie titled, ‘Two weeks in Lagos’, directed by Kathryn Fasegha.
The vice president, who was on a three-day visit to Canada, applauded the team for making Nigeria proud in the Diaspora, while encouraging them to keep up the good work.
Following a request for co-production treaties between the two countries, Osinbajo said, “On the part of the government, I am ready to see what can be done to fast-track production treaties between Nigeria and Canada.”
Earlier, the Nigeria High Commissioner to Canada, Adeyinka Asekun, had told the Vice President that the co-production treaties will help Nigerian filmmakers at home and in Canada to collaborate, and improve the capacity of the industry.
He added that Nollywood was an employer of labour, and could add substantially to the gross domestic product of the country.
On her part, Fesegha, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Balm of Gilead Production, told the VP that the co-production agreement will be of great benefit to the average Nigerian filmmaker and help build the economy. She also stated that while there were big filmmakers who had made it big in Nigeria, there were a lot more who were struggling to find funding to produce their movies.
Austin Odigie, a member of the Canadian Media Producers Association and Senior Producer, Broadlens Studios Inc, said the co-productions will enable Nigerian as well as Canadian producers to work together, and invariably increase the capacity of Nollywood in Nigeria and Canada.
Odigie, who is the director of the Canadian-Nigerian horror thriller, ‘The Wiccan Girl’, used the opportunity to introduce his next film project, ‘Six Days’ to the vice president.
A professor of Film Studies, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada, Prof Aboubakar Sanogo, also stressed the need for Nigeria, which is home to the biggest movie industry in Africa, to have a co-production agreement with Canada.