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Zuma Film Festival is special to FCT: Wike

The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, has reiterated the FCT Administration’s commitment to nurture and support talent for sustainable economic growth and development in the FCT.

Mr Wike stated this at the opening of the 13th edition of Zuma Film Festival in Abuja on Friday.

The festival, holding from December 1 to December 8, was organised by the Nigerian Film Corporation in partnership with the FCT Administration and the Federal Ministry of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy.

The minister, represented by the Permanent Secretary, FCTA, Mr Adesola Olusade, said that the collaboration with the film corporation was significantly contributing to the local economy of the city.

He acknowledged the pivotal role of the film industry in shaping collective identity and promoting cultural exchange through the convergence of culture.

According to him, the benefit of the partnership extends far beyond the realm of entertainment.

Wike said, “Through this festival, our residents are being exposed to a plethora of artistic expression, cultural diversity and thought-provoking narratives that challenge perspective and enable dialogue.

“The collaboration is also facilitating the development of our local film industry, not only home-grown talent, but also providing a platform for emerging film-makers to showcase their creativity.

“As a result, the FCT creative industry stands to gain, not only culturally, but also economically with increased employment opportunities and the potential growth in related industries.

“As we embark on this year’s festival, let us celebrate the power of cinema to transcend boundaries, celebrate diversities and ignite conversations that inspire positive change.”

He urged the relevant stakeholders to embrace the potential of the partnership to elevate Abuja city to cultural richness and creativity.

Mr Wike added that the festival served as a platform, not only in showcasing Abuja talents but also fostering meaningful connection within the industry.

This, he said, could be done through networking with fellow film-makers, producers, and enthusiasts, collaborating and exchanging ideas that could spark new and innovative projects.

“This festival holds a special place in the heart of the FCT. It embellishes not only the spirit of artistic expression, but also the economy and cultural significance that illuminate throughout the nation’s capital.

“The theme of this year’s festival, which is “Cultural Convergence” is appropriate in today’s interconnected world.

“It underscores the power of film to transcend boundaries, unified diverse cultures and foster a sense of shared understanding and appreciation,” the minister said.

Earlier, the Minister of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy, Mrs Hannatu Musawa, said that the festival provided the needed platform to showcase Nigeria’s rich cultural diversity.

Represented by her Senior Assistant on Film and Music, Mr Baba Agba, the minister urged Nigerian film-makers to use the opportunity to celebrate the country’s form of arts and exploit its potential.

The Spanish Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Juan Sell, said that his country had been part of the festival on several occasions and pledged to continue to support the Nigerian film industry.

Mr Sell said that Spain would continue to stand with Nigeria’s strength in cultural diversity and creativity.

Also speaking, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Film Corporation, Dr Chidia Maduekwe, said that the festival would be sustained as an annual national event.

Mr Maduekwe, who is the Chairman, Planning Committee, said that 13th edition of ZFF would showcase some of Nigeria’s greatest audio-visual, cultural products, projects, and exhibitions in the creative sector.

“The activities and events of ZUFF 2023 have been curated to offer the best of opportunities for film enthusiasts, policymakers, investment experts, film-makers, exhibitors, and value chain operators.

“This will challenge our inner creative minds, innovative skills, excite, inspire and further propel our collective efforts in creating the economy out of the industry,” he said. 

(NAN)

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