Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, has urged film producers in Nollywood, Nigeria’s film industry, to consider the production of movies in Ijaw language.
The governor’s view was delivered by his deputy, Rear Admiral John Jonah (retd.), who represented him at a symposium on “The prospects of indigenous films in Nigeria” in the state capital, Yenagoa, on Thursday.
He said the state government had made the teaching of Ijaw in primary schools mandatory in order to promote the language and culture of the people, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.
The governor said the aim of Ijaw language teaching would produce Bayelsa people, who would be proficient in the language and act in Ijaw-based films effectively and professionally.
In an address of welcome, the Commissioner for Culture and Ijaw National Affairs, Dr. Felix Tuodolo, said an Ijaw film project had been conceptualised by the government.
He said Bayelsa would be made the film-making destination in Nigeria when the project commenced.
Tuodolo said that the symposium was initiated to explore different perspectives of building a profitable partnership between film makers in Nigeria and the Bayelsa Government.
He said the film industry remained a money-spinning business and that the government was ready to partner with Nollywood to produce Ijaw-based movies and television series.
The commissioner recalled that past governments in the state had hosted series editions of Africa Movie Academy Awards but expressed regret that the state never derived any visible benefits from the partnership.
Notable Nollywood movie personalities, who attended the symposium included, Olu Jacobs, Keppy Ekpeyong, Tariah Barsoge, Lancelot Emasuen, Teco Benson, Hilda Dokubo, Barbara Sokey and Comish Ekiye.