Some of the best known names in Nollywood have been showering applause and accolades on Governor Babatunde Fashola and his team for bank rolling the first ever Nollywood Upgrade Training and Workshops which ended at the weekend.
The project was powered through the Innovate Lagos programme. The multifaceted workshops, in the words of the organizers, will help move the Nigerian film industry and its practitioners to the next level.
The empowerment project was also aimed at supporting and assisting the Nigerian film industry, currently ranked third globally, to withstand immediate challenges being presented by piracy.
The laudable initiative was the brainchild of Nollywood Workshops, a global NGO that empowers independent film-making through consistent professional training and production.
The Nollywood Workshops team that stormed Nigeria was led by Aimee Corrigan, a film producer, new media strategist and digital educator with an MA from Harvard.
Also on the team was, Bond Emeruwa, a prolific Nollywood filmmaker, former national president of the Directors Guild of Nigeria (DGN) and current chairman, Coalition of Nollywood Guilds and Associations (CONGA).
Others were: Robert Caputo, a renowned National Geographic photographer and filmmaker with multiple feature films and Fracco Sacchi, who directs, produces and edits award winning films with focus on economic development.
"The workshops covered core areas in Cinematography, Screenwriting, Post-Production, Directing, Sound, Acting and The Business of Film and Distribution, all taught by leading global film professionals.
Participants were selected through a competitive and transparent application process that considered their experience, skills and willingness to train others in the industry."
The free training with over 110 film professionals participating, consisted of Master Classes that covered key elements of directing, camera, lighting, sound, producing and the creative process, along with new strategies in financing and distribution, helping filmmakers harness the power of digital video to achieve high quality results.
The training also presented an opportunity for Nigerian filmmakers to collaborate with their peers from Hollywood and other film industries."
Interestingly, the Nollywood Upgrade Training was designed in partnership with CONGA, to address current gaps in the Nollywood's capacity.
The training team combined seasoned Nigerian and American filmmakers and trainers. Among them were: Tunde Kelani, Mahmoud Alli Balogun, Kunle Afolayan, Cinematographer Ed Guatentag (credits include: War of the Worlds, Austin Powers, Forrest Gump), actor, Ekpenyong "Kepy" Bassey-Inyang, Screenwriter, Lee Zlotoff (MacGyver) and Producer Robert Caputo (National Geographic) among others.