By Maureen Okon
A Canadian company has offered to sponsor the training of no fewer than 3,000 Nigerian film makers on animation, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has disclosed.
The minister disclosed this at the opening of the French, Japanese and Nigerian animated films festival on Wednesday in Abuja.
According to the minister, the Canadian firm, Toon Boom, based in Montreal, will teach the Nigerian youths in animation technology.
”The firm will provide what is industry grade certification and tools so that those Nigerians can compete for global work. The firm works for Disney, Nickeledeon. It is Nigerians who will do the actual training. It’s a train the trainer and certification programme similar to what happened in India”, he said.
” On the whole we envisage 5,000 Nigerian youths being trained. But we are starting with 3,000″, he added.
Mohammed said that his ministry was also collaborating with the French government on capacity building for Nigerian film makers also in the area of animation and children films.
He noted that as prolific as Nollywood was, the industry had not done too well in the area of animated and children film.
He said that the country had the potential and huge market for animation and children films if they were well developed.
Speaking also at the event Denys Gauer, the Ambassador of France to Nigeria, said that animated films was still rare in Nigeria in spite of being the second largest film industry in the world.
“Having this in mind we should not forget the fledgling Nigerian animated industry, Nigerian animated movies are still rare despite being the second largest film industry in the world.
“There is a dearth of animation and children movies although Nigeria is well known for its talent, imagination and creativity.
“More animated studios are opening in Abuja and Lagos. But this sub-sector is still facing some challenges.
“It is the reason why, we have decided with our Japanese partners to dedicate one of the four evening to the animated industry in Nigeria.
“It will include some Nigerian short film screenings and a panel discussion in partnership with some Nigerian animation studios.
“I wish to thank the company EVCL and Shrinkfish Media, for their cooperation in organizing this dedicated night which will be held on Friday,’’ he said.
According to him, to further strengthen the relations between France and Nigeria a workshops with facilitators from Europe would be organised in 2017.
“The Instutit Francais will organise a program on animation, that will include workshops with facilitator from Europe Animation School such as Les Gobelins in Paris; but also meetings with experts in international co-production, large audience screening and more to strengthen the sector,’’ he assured.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that, the second edition of the animated film festival was scheduled from Nov. 2nd to 5th in Abuja.