By Maureen Okon
The Canadian government has offered to sponsor the training of no fewer than 1,000 Nigerian film makers on animation films, the Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed disclosed on Wednesday.
The minister disclosed this at the opening of the French, Japanese and Nigerian animated films festival in Abuja.
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 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 were 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 workshop 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 second edition of the animated film festival opened in Abuja on Nov. 2 and will last till Nov. 5 in Abuja.