The Edo state government has reiterated its commitment to providing jobs within the creative and motion picture sectors using the ongoing International Films Festival as a platform.
This was made known during the opening event of the festival, which held in Benin on Thursday September 1.
Delivering the keynote address at the opening ceremony of the Edo International Film Festival, the Governor of the state, Godwin Obaseki, extolled the uniqueness of the state as a hub of culture and innovation which has been of advantage to the people.
He also stated that the state has worked with partners in investing in the creative industry towards making it a haven of tourism.
‘’Over the centuries, we have been the cradle of culture, innovation, and creativity in this part of the continent. What you see here today is believing in our arts. Edo state has taken the lead in working with our partners to strategically invest in the creative industry. We have taken our time to take advantage of our unique opportunity in terms of our creation and our endowment. Our goal is to be the hope of culture and tourism in West Africa,” he stated.
To showcase this effort and improve capacity building among filmmakers, the governor sponsored 10 movie productions, which will be part of the screenings at the four-day festival. This is expected to provide jobs for a thousand people. He reiterated his optimism about the impact of the festival to be held annually stating that the date for the next edition will be announced on the last day of the festival, this Sunday.
The event also featured a noiseless party for attendees.
In attendance were dignitaries including Team Leader TME, Sandra Vermuijten, Aubrey Silinyana, Director of the King Moshoeshoe film festival; Head of Programmes Skills Development for Youth Empowerment, Tobias Wolfgarten; Convener and Co-Chairman of the film festival, Mrs. Dare Ukinebo and Festival Director, Mr. Davidson Izegaegbe, among others.
The Edo State International Film Festival holds between September 1and 4 at the Victor Uwaifo Creative Hub and Sound Stage in Benin.
The event is featuring masterclasses with industry experts, panel discussions, movie premieres, virtual sessions, and networking opportunities with local and international industry participants.
According to the organisers, the festival is sponsored by the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.