Ann Adeniyi Emerges NYO National Publicity Secretary, Seeks Support for Youth Film Academy Project

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Kogi-born Folashade Ann Adeniyi has emerged National Publicity Secretary of Nigeria Youth Organization (NYO).

Adeniyi, alongside the new National President of NYO, Duke Alamboye, and other executives were inaugurated in Abuja on Thursday.

In her presentation, shortly after the inauguration, Adeniyi called on government, corporations and individuals to support NYO’s Nigeria Youth Film Academy project.

She stated that the Nigerian creative industry is a burgeoning sector that holds immense potential for economic growth and cultural enrichment.

“As of my last update in January 2022, the contribution of filmmaking to the GDP of Nigeria was significant. Nollywood, Nigeria’s film industry, was estimated to contribute over $7 billion annually to the country’s GDP, making it one of the largest contributors to Nigeria’s economy. This includes revenue from film production, distribution, and related industries such as hospitality and tourism. Additionally, Nollywood provides employment opportunities for millions of people especially the Youths across the country, further boosting economic growth and development.

“With a youthful population eager to express themselves and make their mark on the world, initiatives like the Nigeria Youth Film Academy project are vital catalysts for nurturing talent, fostering creativity, and driving innovation.

“Nigeria, often referred to as the Giant of Africa, boasts a rich cultural heritage and a diverse tapestry of stories waiting to be told. The film industry, commonly known as Nollywood, has experienced exponential growth over the past few decades, becoming the second-largest film industry globally in terms of output, surpassing Hollywood and second only to Bollywood in India.

“Nigerian cinema has garnered widespread acclaim and recognition globally, with films like ‘Lionheart’, ‘Anikulapo’, ‘Breath of Life’, ‘Canoe Boy’, ‘Dark Days’, ‘The black book’, and ‘A tribe called Judah’ gaining traction in international markets; a privilege that I the speaker, has personally as a filmmaker enjoyed after venturing into filmmaking, getting financially empowered in millions of naira and having the privilege to participate in international film festivals and international award nominations such as Kenya sports international film festival, Hecare international film festival in Canada, Los Angeles lift off film festival, Eko international film festival, zuma film festival, best of nollywood award, Universal Movie Awards, AMA awards, to mention a few.

“However, despite its success, the industry faces numerous challenges, including lack of infrastructure, limited access to funding and resources, and especially, a dearth of skilled professionals. This is where initiatives like the Nigeria Youth Film Academy project step in to bridge the gap and empower young Nigerians to pursue careers in the creative arts,” she said.

Adeniyi explained that the Nigeria Youth Film Academy project aims to provide comprehensive training and mentorship programs to aspiring filmmakers, actors, screenwriters, and other creative professionals. By equipping them with the necessary skills, knowledge, and tools, the project seeks to unleash their potential and catalyze the growth of the Nigerian film industry.

“One of the key strengths of the Nigeria Youth Film Academy project lies in its focus on youth empowerment. With Nigeria’s population predominantly under the age of 35, investing in the creative talents of young people is not just beneficial but essential for the country’s future development.

“By engaging with youths from diverse backgrounds and communities, the project fosters inclusivity and diversity, ensuring that a wide range of voices and perspectives are represented in Nigerian cinema.

“Moreover, the Nigeria Youth Film Academy project serves as a platform for social and cultural dialogue, addressing pressing issues and challenging stereotypes through the medium of film. By encouraging participants to explore themes such as identity, tradition, modernity, and social justice, the project contributes to the enrichment of Nigeria’s cultural landscape and fosters greater understanding and empathy among its citizens.

“By investing in talent development and infrastructure, the country can create a thriving ecosystem that generates employment opportunities, stimulates innovation, and attracts foreign investment.

“The success of Nollywood serves as a testament to the economic viability of the creative sector, and initiatives like the Nigeria Youth Film Academy project play a crucial role in sustaining this momentum.

“Furthermore, the Nigeria Youth Film Academy project serves as a catalyst for innovation and technological advancement within the creative industry. With the rapid evolution of digital technologies and the rise of streaming platforms, there is a growing demand for content that is both high-quality and accessible. By equipping young filmmakers with the skills to harness these technologies effectively, the project enables them to produce content that resonates with local and global audiences alike,” she added.

Adeniyi noted that collaboration is another key aspect of the Nigeria Youth Film Academy project, as it fosters partnerships between industry stakeholders, educational institutions, government agencies, and civil society organizations.

By leveraging the collective expertise and resources of these partners, she said the project can create a supportive ecosystem that nurtures talent, facilitates knowledge exchange, and drives sectoral growth.

“Filmmaking instilled in me the art of storytelling, fostering creativity and empathy.

“Through collaboration, I learned the value of teamwork and communication. Facing challenges during production taught resilience and problem-solving. These skills transcend filmmaking, shaping my success in diverse endeavors, enriching my life both personally and professionally as a youth.

“Harnessing my filmmaking success, I with the combined efforts of all the executives of Nigeria Youth organization in the Amb Duke Alamboye-led administration, and in the supportive administration of his Excellency, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, aspire to mentor and empower aspiring youth and budding filmmakers. Through workshops, scholarships, and networking opportunities, we aim to cultivate their talents, instill confidence, and provide resources for growth.

“Together, we’ll inspire the next generation of storytellers, fostering a vibrant and inclusive film community for the youths.

“By nurturing the next generation of filmmakers and storytellers, the project ensures that Nigeria’s cultural heritage continues to resonate with audiences around the world through the youths of Nigeria.

“Nigeria Youth Film Academy project represents a pioneering initiative that harnesses the creative talents of Nigerian youths to drive social, cultural, and economic transformation. By investing in talent development, infrastructure, and innovation, the project paves the way for a vibrant and sustainable creative industry that celebrates Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage and empowers its youth to shape the future of storytelling on a global scale.”

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