Kannywood, Northern Nigeria’s thriving film industry, could be getting a massive boost in the not too distant future. The Nigerian government has promised to set up a state of the art film village in Kano, the industry’s nerve centre, which will become a hub of filmmaking activity in the country.
Abdulmumin Jibrin, a member of the House of Representatives, disclosed details of the plan to members of the press. He said that the proposed film village would include a 400-capacity auditorium for training, a cinematography centre, sound stage, hostel, eatery block, hotels, shopping mall, a stadium, and a clinic. According to Mr Jibrin, work on the 20-hectare film village should commence soon, as the Federal government is expected to make available about N1 billion for the first phase of the project.
The former President of Motion Pictures Association of Nigeria, MOPAN, Sani Mu’azu, expressed optimism that the project would not only give a facelift to Kannywood’s largely informal setup but would also create jobs. He further noted that the presence of a standard filmmaking centre in Nigeria would reduce the importation of film equipment.
The Kano State government says it will contribute to the project by training some of the artists in cinematography and filmmaking abroad. The State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, also thanked the federal government for taking the project to the State.
Efforts to improve the productivity and output quality of Nigeria’s film industry have carried on through successive administrations, but stakeholders have called for greater government participation in the sector in order to encourage its expansion. This, they say, will benefit the local economy by creating jobs and improving the industry’s potential revenue generation capacity.