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Filmmaker Risks Losing PhD Opportunity in Finland Due to NIMC, NIS ‘Issues’

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Akin Alaka, a filmmaker resident in Lagos, has narrated how he risks missing out on travelling to Finland for his PhD programme due to the lack of coordination between the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) and the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).

Alaka told FIJ that his ordeal began on January 8 when he applied for a passport renewal at the NIS office in Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos, in January.

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He stated that the officials that attended to him said his National Identification Number (NIN) belonged to someone else.

“The officials gave me the strange information despite the fact that the NIN was already linked to my phone number. They then told me to enrol for another NIN before revisiting their office,” Alaka said.

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“When I went to the NIMC office to enrol for my new NIN, I made a mistake. I put my first and second name on the same line.

“When I eventually discovered I had made this mistake, I went to NIMC to correct it. I paid N1,000 for the correction and they recaptured my face. Then they asked me to come back in two weeks.”

The filmmaker said when he visited the office again for his NIN collection, an official told him that registration was not properly done. The official told him to reapply for yet another NIN because they could not access his data.

Alaka said he paid another N1,000 when he re-enrolled a third time.

“The NIMC issued me a number and provided a tracking ID. But they could not make the number operational. Its status kept showing that it was inactive,” Alaka said.

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“By this time, I had run out of time in terms of commencing the PhD programme in Finland. My flight ticket had also expired as well. With no job in Nigeria and being expectant of my passport, I did all I could to redeem the opportunity but I was ultimately unsuccessful.

“While awaiting the NIN to come out, I sent 10 emails to the NIMC, but they only responded once. They assured me that the number would be functional in less than 72 hours, but a month passed and it still did not function.

“I also went to the NIS office to determine if they could access my data on their system but they claimed they could not find any. In my desperation, I called an acquaintance who works with the NIS to proffer solutions on what to do.

“He told me that no data would reflect until I paid a N20,000 bribe. But after I paid the NIS staffer, my effort still did not bear any fruit. The official assured me that my passport would be ready in three days but I have yet to receive it.”

Alaka is presently unsure whether he would still be able to go for his PhD programme in Finland.

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“I already had a four-year resident permit for the programme since 2020. I should not have spent more than two years outside Europe since I got the opportunity, but COVID-19 happened. Now, I do not know if it is still possible to go there and do my programme,” he said.

According to Alaka, the lack of coordination between the NIS and the NIMC was to blame for his predicament.

“I do not have a job here and I am forced to do something I did not even plan for. Both the NIS and the NIMC are to blame,” he lamented.

“I do not know if they did anything. All they say is to come back in two weeks. There is no coordination between the two agencies. They leave you floating between them.”

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Exclusive: Funke Akindele rakes in close to almost N1billion in two years (Top 100 movies)

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Funke Akindele with husband, JJC Skillz

The task of a movie director is to direct the actors and other staff members to convey the desired theme behind a script, basically bringing it to life. This is why their role in film production is critical to how it is embraced by the viewers.

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Although attending theater or film school might be very helpful, becoming a filmmaker in practice is not an easy undertaking. Nollytrailers believes the trick is to just get started producing movies with whatever tools you have. Some of the most well-known directors in this era started like this. Greats like Walt Disney, James Cameron, Francis Ford Coppola, Woody Allen, Katherine Howe, David Fincher, Guillermo Del Toro, Stanley Kubrick, John Cassavetes, Wim Wenders, Akira Kurosawa, Orson Welles, and Martin Scorsese evolved from turning meager ideation into enchanting viewership experiences.

For many aspiring actors, directors, photographers, designers, make-up artists, editors, costume designers, set designers, authors, screenplay writers, and other artists, the film industry is a dream worth throwing their entire existence to. Making a movie is laborious and expensive in terms of the concept and budget. The duration of the process ranges from months to years, usually because good filmmakers are literally meticulous ‘dream weavers’ – they are skilled in projecting fantasies as reality and creating an entire culture and cult-like community out of their act.

Nollywood’s rapid expansion in the last two decades has seen the rise and rise of great filmmakers, who are creating captivating work pieces that attract billions of naira in screening revenues every year. From the legendary Ejiro brothers, Jeta Amata, and Tunde Kelani to Kunle Afolayan, Kemi Adetiba, Omoni Oboli, Niyi Akinmolayan, Ishaya Bako, and densely-followed Funke Akindele and others, Nigeria’s filmmakers have continued to produce money-spinning films stealing attention from Hollywood blockbusters across the African continent with the biggest spend coming from the huge Nigerian market (see our analytical article on Africa’s box office here).

Nollytrailers.com highlights the top-performing filmmakers and how much their works have commanded in revenue. The ‘I need to know’ teenage actor turned filmmaker and producer, Funke Akindele led the pack (by weighted average performance and combined volume) with two of her works, Omo Ghetto: The Saga and Your Excellency, in the top 11, grossing a combined revenue of 822million naira in two years. Niyi Akinmolayan follows, with four of his works grossing combined revenue of about N1.2bilion in the last 6years.

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See below a list of the 100 top-grossing Nigerian movies ever to be shown in Nigerian theaters, the producers and the filmmakers behind them. This gross sum does not include earnings from special screenings, DVD sales, online streaming, or theatre showings outside of West Africa’s English-speaking region. Since their box office totals were not adjusted for inflation, movies released before 2008 are also not included on this list.

Nollytrailers Highest Grossing Nollywood Filmmakers of All Times

References
Top 20 Films Report 9th-15th April 2021″. Nigeria: CEAN. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
Top 20 films 27th December 2019 2nd January 2020″.
Top 20 Films Report 12th 18th November 2021″.
Top 20 Films Report 17th 19th June 2022″.

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Nollywood production house Nemsia Films announces the first commissioned slate deal with Amazon Prime Video

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Nollywood production house Nemsia Films has closed the first exclusive slate deal for three commissioned feature films with Amazon Prime Video, having already produced a successful repertoire of world-class content such as God Calling, Before 30, and Journey of an African Colony.

“We are very excited to collaborate with Nemsia Films on this pioneering slate deal, which will complement our growing lineup of local Nollywood content for Prime Video customers,” said Ayanna Lonian, director of Content Acquisition and head of Worldwide Major Studio Licensing Strategy, Prime Video. “This slate deal supports our goal to showcase Nollywood at its best, by telling authentic homegrown stories in a range of genres to Prime Video customers around the world.”

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“At Nemsia Films, it is our belief in ‘no gravity for the mind’ that has led us to work with Prime Video, one of the leading streaming services worldwide, capable of delivering our stories further than we ever imagined,” said Derin Adeyokunnu, co-founder of Nemsia Films. “We are tremendously excited about the collaboration and what the future holds for Nollywood.”

Nemsia films was co-founded by Derin Adeyokunnu and BB Sasore, with a strong belief in its ethos – “no gravity for the mind” – which, in addition to their major accomplishments, has seen them become a hub for developing young and emerging talent across every facet of Nollywood. Nemsia creates visuals that have pushed the envelope in African storytelling, from concept to delivery, with the entire production chain, including top-end visual effects and post-production, sitting in-house. Adeyokunnu serves as managing partner and executive producer and Sasore is the creative director, writer, and director of most of their work.

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The first feature in this deal will be Breath of Life, written and directed by BB Sasore and produced by Eku Edewor. Breath of Life tells an inspirational story about life and destiny where one must live to fulfill their purpose and cannot die until this is done. The other two films to come from the deal will be announced later this year.

About Prime Video

Prime Video offers customers thousands of popular movies and TV shows, including Amazon Original Series such as The Boys, The Wheel of Time, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, The Grand Tour and the upcoming highly anticipated series The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, as well as critically acclaimed Amazon Original movies like Coming 2 America, The Tomorrow War, and exclusive Nollywood movies such as Superstar, Progressive Tailors Club, Bad Comments, Badamasi and much more.

Along with Nemsia’s commissioning deal, Prime Video has previously announced exclusive licensing agreements with leading Nigerian production studios, including Inkblot Studios and Anthill Studios, which highlights a commitment by Prime Video to deliver Nigerian and African film to a global audience of more than 200 million Prime members.

Customers can stream or download and enjoy anytime, anywhere via the Prime Video app on mobile, tablet, Smart TVs, game consoles, or online at PrimeVideo.com. All available to watch as part of a Prime Video membership, which is available in more than 240 countries and territories worldwide.

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Terra Kulture, Mastercard Foundation partner to Empower and Create Work Opportunities for 65,000 Young Creatives Across Nigeria

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Terra Kulture, a leading educational and recreational organization, has partnered with the Mastercard Foundation to train up to 65,000 creatives across Nigeria. The five-year training partnership program aims to equip young Nigerians with relevant skills across key sub-sectors in theatre and business. The initiative will form a significant part of the Terra Academy for The Arts (TAFTA) program.

The partnership will create an e-learning platform that will provide free education and access to employment opportunities to the most vulnerable youth, with a major focus on women between 16-35 years in Lagos, Ogun, and Kano States. The partnership will also provide participants with foundational training, support, internships, and employment and financial services linkages.

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Speaking on the partnership, the Chief Executive Officer of Terra Kulture, Bolanle Austen-Peters, stated that the intervention would positively impact Nigerian youth and culture, both now and in the nearest future.

She said, “Driving impact and creating massive visibility for the Nigerian culture and youth has always been at the core of our existence. We have leveraged our thorough understanding of arts, culture, and languages over the years to impact the next generation in the best way possible. We are extremely excited to partner with the Mastercard Foundation to further empower up to 65,000 Nigerian youth spread across the country.”

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“The Academy will provide training on key technical production skills for theatre and the Creative industry. Each course will include an entrepreneurial module for students to learn about the industry’s business side. Some of the courses offered include Animation, Scriptwriting, Lighting Management, and Sound Management. We believe this will create employment opportunities for young creatives and make them self-reliant while facilitating national integration among students.”

The entry requirement for all students is a minimum of senior secondary school qualifications. All courses will include an introductory section, and as such, students do not need any prior knowledge to either register for the course or comprehend the course material.

The Mastercard Foundation’s Country Head for Nigeria, Chidinma Lawanson, commented, “This partnership will enable us to reach more young people, especially young women in the Creative sector. Together with our partner, we will provide access to training, skills, and mentorship platforms which will further create access to entrepreneurial and employment opportunities for young creatives in Nigeria.”

The partnership is aligned with the Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works strategy in Nigeria, which seeks to enable 10 million young Nigerian women and men, to access dignified work and the right skills to contribute to Africa’s global competitiveness.

terra kulture-mastercard

L-R: Program Lead, MSME Finance, Mastercard Foundation, Chioma Nwagboso; Country Head – Nigeria, Mastercard Foundation, Chidinma Lawanson; Founder, Terra Kulture and BAP Productions, Bolanle Austen-Peters and Program Lead, Agriculture, Mastercard Foundation; Lois Sankey during the signing of a 5-year training partnership program agreement between Terra Kulture and the Mastercard Foundation to equip 65,000 young people  with relevant skills across key sub-sectors in theatre and business.

Terra Kulture-Mastercard

L-R: Lead, Safeguarding, Mastercard Foundation, Oluranti Adetoye; Program Lead, MSME Finance, Mastercard Foundation, Chioma Nwagboso; Country Head – Nigeria, Mastercard Foundation, Chidinma Lawanson; Founder, Terra Kulture and BAP Productions, Bolanle Austen-Peters; Program Lead, Agriculture, Mastercard Foundation; Lois Sankey and the General Manager, Terra Kulture, Joseph Umoibom during the signing of a 5-year training partnership program agreement between Terra Kulture and the Mastercard Foundation to equip 65,000 young people with relevant skills across key sub-sectors in theatre and business.

Terra Kulture-mastercard

L-R: Program Lead, MSME Finance, Mastercard Foundation, Chioma Nwagboso; Country Head – Nigeria, Mastercard Foundation, Chidinma Lawanson; Founder, Terra Kulture and BAP Productions, Bolanle Austen-Peters; Program Lead, Agriculture, Mastercard Foundation; Lois Sankey and the General Manager, Terra Kulture, Joseph Umoibom during the signing of a 5-year training partnership program agreement between Terra Kulture and the Mastercard Foundation to equip 65,000 young people with relevant skills across key sub-sectors in theatre and business.

Terra Kulture Arts and Studios Limited (formerly Terra Kulture Limited – The Nigerian Cultural Centre) is an educational and recreational organization set up in 2003 to promote the richness and diversity of Nigerian languages, arts and culture. Terra Kulture has organized over 200 art exhibitions, over 150 plays, 65 book readings and over 10,000 individual adults and children, as well as school trips, have attended our language classes.

Its production arm, BAP Productions has produced award winning musicals and plays including Saro the Musical, Wakaa the Musical, Queen Moremi the Musical, The Oluronbi Musical, Man Enough, Fela and the Kalakuta Death and the King’s Horseman and Trials of bro Jero and also movies such as The Bling Lagosians, 93days, Man of God and soon to be released Collision Course.

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