Gov’s Aide Tells Ijaw Filmmakers to Up Game

… As Global Film Tourism Market Hits US$ 118. 6 million By 2033.

The Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Bayelsa State Governor on Tourism and Facilitator of South-South Tourism Roundtable initiative, Dr. Piriye Kiyaramo has tasked Ijaw filmmakers to improve on the quality of their film production to benefit from the expanding market, informing that film tourism market size may likely hit US$ 118.6 million by 2033, at a compound annual growth rate of 5.9% from 2023 to 2033.

Speaking at the just concluded third edition of the Bayelsa International Film Festival 2023 in Yenagoa Bayelsa State capital recently, Dr. Kiyaramo described the film festival as ‘one giant hidden commercial goldmine’ for the Ijaw nation, saying that film tourism, otherwise known as film induced tourism has become a specialized form of tourism where visitors explore popular film locations due to their appearances in films and television series.

According to the governor’s aide, film tourism encompasses tours to production studios as well as movies or television-related parks, noting that the film tourism market has been projected to grow at a steady rate during a forecast period which he attributed to the rise of pop culture and immense consumer demand for film related activities.

He said economies of countries have been revived through film tourism which works to strengthen local businesses through revenues generated at destinations before and after filming activities, adding that promotional advertisements for films also play very important role in increasing potential tourists traffic to film locations, resulting in more frequent visits to such film places.

While calling on the indigenous filmmakers to redouble their efforts in the industry, Dr. Kiyaramo maintained that Bayelsa State is endowed with beautiful breathtaking potential film locations such as landscapes, seascape with rich cultural heritage, historic sites, and very hospitable people.

He however, reiterated that though Bayelsa State with such beautiful sceneries would not easily attract the world without being deliberately portrayed positively through our films and television series, citing the case of New Zealand which became popular because of the film, The Lord of the Rings filmed there that has continuously drawn thousands of film tourists to it.

“Movies affect tourism as they offer another reason for a person to visit a particular location seen in films and television series. Someone may have had no interest in visiting New Zealand until they saw the film, The Lord of the Rings, and found out that it was filmed there. We have many of such beautiful locations in Bayelsa State that can be used in our Ijaw films, which can pull tourists to Bayelsa and the Ijaw nation at large.

“Another clear benefit of film tourism is that the production company would spend money in the given location, while film-induced tourism is often a happy side-effect. Shoots on location offer the viewer a more authentic atmosphere and support the narrative of any story, so it becomes a win-win for all that are involved.

“Also, it creates a pleasant working environment for the film industry to attract more production companies to film on-location, which would help the government to monetize that by turning these locations into tourist attractions. Even though the phenomenon of film-induced tourism is new, its benefits are far-reaching, and our Ijaw filmmakers can tap into this opportunity.

In his remark, Director/Founder, Bayelsa International Film Festival 2023, Mr. Moses Etonzor said the four-day festival was aimed at celebrating the art of filmmaking with a view to attracting filmmakers, industry professionals, and film enthusiasts from all over the world to Bayelsa State.

According to Etonzor, the festival is to promote and support the Nigerian film industry, (Nollywood), as well as provide a platform for international filmmakers to showcase their works, featuring diverse range of film screenings, such as feature films, documentaries, short films, and animations, informing that panel discussions, workshops, and masterclasses are also conducted by industry experts during the festival period.

“These sessions provide valuable insights and knowledge sharing opportunities meant to inspire filmmakers and industry professionals. This festival plays hosts to various networking events, which allow filmmakers to connect with each other along side industry professionals, and potential investors, for collaborations and partnerships, which can further enhance the growth and development of the film industry in Ijaw nation and Nigeria, at large.

“The Bayelsa International Film Festival 2023 is a significant event that celebrates the art of filmmaking, promoting cultural exchanges, supporting the growth of the Nigerian film industry. It also provides a platform for filmmakers to showcase their works, learn from industry experts, and connect with like-minded individuals in the film community,” Mr. Moses Etonzor said.

On his part, Rob Nilsson, reknown American filmmaker, a poet and painter, best known for his feature film, Northern Lights, co-directed with John Hanson and winner of the Camera d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival (1979), known for directing and playing the lead role in Heat and Sunlight, produced by Steve and Hildy Burns, expressed his joy for having the opportunity of revisiting Nigeria to participate in the third edition of Bayelsa International Film Festival 2023 in Yenagoa.

In her remark, Gail Schickele, wife of late American filmmaker and United States of America Climate Change Director, described the Bayelsa International Film Festival 2023 as most exciting moment in Nigeria, informing that it was her first trip to Nigeria with her late husband’s lifelong friend, Rob Nilsson who was revisiting his history in Africa. According to her, it was a visit of great discovery and joy.

“We have been treated with the greatest of care by Moses Etonzor and the ever- blossoming Bayelsa International Film Festival that supports loving, exuberant, and talented youth – inspiring filmmakers, artists and more. Our admiration is heightened in the observation of the care and concern of elders concerning the arts, the environment, and the future of their families and tribes.

“On this point as always, David’s heart was pure, and his mind was clear about the African tradition of guidance and protection from the Elders runs deep and true,” Gail Schickele said.

High point of the festival was the presentation of a post humous award of recognition on late reknown American filmmaker, David Schickele, to his wife and son, Gail Schickele said Nighttrain Schickele by the management of Bayelsa International Film Festival 2023 for his pioneering contributions to the growth and development of the film industry in Nigeria which gave birth to Nollywood and his dedication and commitment to the African cultural heritage.

Awards were presented to winners in different categories from within and across the globe. The Most Outstanding Bayelsa film Makers Award and Best Actress went to Amb. Timinepere Jombo Idoko, Best Actor went to Daniel Uroupatei Fawei, Best Director Tarila Afore, best Cinematographer, Richman Ineyi Weri, best Costumier, Joy Otugha, Best Script Writer, Princess Ruth Alazigha while Best Makeup Artist, was bagged by Itubor Regina Kokopamo.

Dignitaries that attended the four-day festival include the son of a popular American filmmaker, Nighttrain Schickele, Award winning travel writer Pelu Awofeso, Bayelsa State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Hon. Iti Orugbani, Train Schickele (Hollywood Actor),
Uche Agbo (Vice President, Directors Guild of Nigeria) and Prof. Saviour N. A. Agoro (Special Guest/Filmmaker),

Others are: Prof. Ben Binebai (Facilitator), Prof. Osakue Omoera (Jury Member), Prof. Samuel Sunday Ogunbiyi (Chairman, DGN Port Harcourt chapter), Dr. Radulph Kansese (HOD, Theatre Arts, Niger Delta Delta University), Dr. Ovunda Ihowo (Snr. Lecturer/Filmmaker Port Harcourt), Chief Livinus Nnochiri (Nollywood veteran actor), Fred MAYFORD (Movie Director), Sunday Ade (Filmmaker)
and Athy Nestor (Chairman, Actors Guild of Nigeria, Bayelsa State chapter), among several others.

Participating countries include Nigeria, United States of America (USA), Uganda, South Africa, and Cameroon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

scroll to top