Honourable Henry Moran, executive director of U.S. President Bush’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities has inspired the audience of Nigerian filmmakers, financiers, government officials and film association directors with an incisive presentation on the importance of the Nigerian creative industries.
Moran spoke a workshop to introduce the American Film Institute’s (AFI) Project 2020 to Nigerian filmmakers organized by Communicating for Change (CFC), a non-profit film and development media organization, in Lagos.
A veteran arts administrator and trained actor , Moran said, "It is a very complex world and filmmakers have a way of disaggregating information for us in unique ways, they give us cultural insights. I can go to Venezuela through that film and get to know the people."
"Project 2020 is set to promote cross cultural understanding - promote ways in which films help shape people’s understanding of each other and their cultures, promote greater appreciation of values inherent in democratic systems which we share - democratic systems in filmmaking such as freedom and tolerance," he informed.
"Of all the programmes I am working on in Washington D.C right now, this is my favourite and it has offered me the opportunity to connect with my old friend, Margie Reese and be here to explore the opportunity of crafting the particular programme within AFI Project 2020. This is a stunning country with a stunning industry and it reminds me of the early days of Hollywood."
Moran spoke from his experience in building bridges between AFI and the U.S. President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, the U.S. Department of State, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National endowment for the Humanities and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Introducing the AFI Project 2020, Rose Kuo, artistic director of the American Film Institute’s AFI Fest, explained that the institute is interested in displaying the best of Nigerian and West African films at this year’s festival coming up in November and outstanding Nigerian filmmakers would be nominated for a fellowship in the prestigious AFI 2020 Project.
"People participating in Project 2020 are invited into the programme. The review process begins now as the AFI Fest is about to happen in November. In the next week or two, we will start to examine which films might be possible candidates for AFI Project 2020 and a committee of people will break the list down to a manageable 2 or 3 dozens film which we will then. bring to Washington D.C and meet with several other cultural institution partners," she said.
Kuo and Moran emphasized on the need for the films to be new, on a qualitative level and acceptable to the majority of the cultures; well conceived, educate and promote cultural insight with well-crafted script, which encourages dialogue and excellent sound quality.
Sandra Mbanefo Obiago, executive director, CFC said, "The workshop was a wonderful opportunity for Nigerian filmmakers to network with speakers from the most elite film institute in the U.S, gain insight into global opportunities for marketing their films and discover what international distributors and festival organizers are looking for."
At CFC, we believe in strengthening the international reach of aspiring and established Nollywood filmmakers by facilitating such capacity building activities towards strengthening Nigeria’s creative industries," she concluded.
Other speakers at the workshop include Dr. Margie Reese, programme officer on Media, Arts and Culture of the Ford Foundation and Donna Blair, honourable consul general, U.S Consulate General.
The event was ignited with the screening of three films from previous AFI 2020 fellows from Mali, Rwanda and Venezuela, providing a good background for a rich dialogue session between the international arts and culture experts and participants at the workshop.