Press Release: Uniport-Nollywood Workshop where Theory and Practice meet

An insider obtained the full press release of this August event organized by the Department of Theatre and film studies and Rivers State chapter of Actors Guild of Nigeria. It reads in full below

“The Department of Theatre and film studies, University of Port Harcourt last year organized a debut film workshop, production and mini festival. The workshop which was in partnership with the Actors Guild of Nigeria Rivers state chapter interfaced between town and gown with the aim of putting into practice, various film theoretical frameworks being postulated in the academia. This is on the premise that since the (re)invention of Nollywood, it has significantly contributed to the Nigerian domestic products (GDP), thus the University of Port Harcourt which has its philosophy in building an entrepreneurial University pioneers such fusion of theory and practice. The one-week program tagged Uniport-Nollywood film workshop, aimed at increasing the professional standard in Nollywood films was therefore directed to give professional practical training to film lecturers, aspiring and practicing filmmakers. This is predicated on the foundation that lack of such training opportunities offered by the 2017 Uniport-Nollywood workshop has resulted to misguided activities in the film industry. Thus, many teeming youths who are craving to join the entertainment industry and do not have the required platform to obtain a structured training have most times fallen into wanton exploitation by some miscreants in the Nollywood industry”

It went further to state “Thus the resounding success in the 2017 workshop and the quest to continue to instill discipline and professionalism in Nollywood made the university to appoint Dr. Chika Onu (DGN), a veteran director of Living in Bondage part 2 to spearhead this year’s programme. The program scheduled to commence on the 21st through 26th of this month of May will still be actualized in partnership with AGN Rivers State chapter. As usual, the first day of the programme which is the opening ceremony is often marked with pageantry and funfair. The chief host, Prof. Femi Shaka who is the Dean of Faculty of Humanities and the foremost professor of Film Studies will as usual deliver the key note lecture on Nollywood whereas the host, Dr. John Yeseibo, the HOD of Theatre and Film Studies will deliver the welcome address.

It is recalled that the idea of this project was conceived by Dr. Charles Okwuowulu (DGN) who thought that the gap between theory and practice can be bridged through the admixture of practical and theoretical courses in film as well as through town and gown workshops. Therefore, courses in this year’s workshop are designed in two modules: modules 1 and 2. Whereas the participants who attended last year’s workshop will be involved in module 2 training, those who did not attend last year’s workshop will be involved in modules 1 training. It should be noted that courses are designed in different aspects of film production such as acting, directing, costuming, camera works, make-up, set design, lighting and film editing. The curriculum is designed to provide seventy percent practical and thirty percent theory through syndicated structure. These different courses in the programme will be realized through hands-on techniques”.

Recall that Teco Benson was a lead trainer in Film Directing Techniques last year, Andy Amenechi, a veteran Nollywood director who directed Igodo amongst other chart buster movies will take the lead in the area of film directing this year. Dr. Sam Dede and Collumbus Irisonga who are renowned Nollywood stars will as usual take the acting lectures. Adiela Onyedebia will take the participants in screenwriting while Amb. Millicent Jack will be in the area of costume. Dike Nwachuku will handle makeup and Chyke Chekwas will handle Camera Techniques. Nevertheless, four Professors: Bell-Gam, Emasealu, Ohiri and Umukoro will moderate different areas in the programme. Other Film lecturers such as Drs. Nwafor, Uwah, Ihunwo, Bature-Uzor and many others will also handle different aspects of film production. Supervising directors such as Mike Ogundu (DGN), Sam Ogunbiyi (DGN), Fred Mayford (DGN), Mathew Ajjalys (DGN), Dan Chukwuezi (DGN), Fortune kezi (DGN), Promise Owoama (DGN) have been selected to supervise the production of the film which is the offshoot of the programme”.

“At the end of the film project, a mini film festival will be done as the different groups compete for various awards. This year, over one-million-naira cash prizes have been endowed by the following:

1. Prof. Femi Shaka prize for Narrative (story)
2. Prof. Emmanuel Emasealu Prize for cinematography
3. Prof. Kingsley Owete prize for special effects
4. Dr. Sam Dede prize for Acting
5. Amb Millicent Jack prize for costume
6. Charles Inoje’s Prize for Directing
7. Micheal Ogolo prize for sound
8. Lancelot Imaseun prize for Best picture

The programme has a lot of merits in our fast growing Nollywood industry. Firstly, its films exposed the social ills of the society. Secondly, it trains manpower in the area of the artistic and the technical aspects of film production. Finally, it helps the discovery and training of new talents in Nollywood. Therefore, the proceeds of such programmes will surely improve the quality of film production in Nollywood.

Registration fee: N10,000
for enquiry call: Dr. Chika Onu 08033182724
Dr. Charles Okwuowulu 0803446689
Mr. Bath Aguugo (the AGN Chairman Rivers State) 08037439101

Uniport Nollywood workshop, re-engineering the capacity in Nollywood

Frame 1: Dr Sam Dede Taking the Participants on Acting Practical

Frame 2: Teco Benson Taking the Participants on Directing Cast and Crew Course

Frame 3: Prof. Julie Umukoro Taking the Participants on Speech and Voice Course

Frame 4: Collumbus Irisoanga Taking the Participants on Acting Course

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