The Honourable Minister of State, Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) Dr. Mariya Mahmoud Bunkure has extolled the existing partnership between the Federal Capital and the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC), for the hosting of the annual Zuma Film Festival (ZUFF)– Nigeria’s foremost national film festival. She described the partnership as apt, having the potential to exponentially transform Nigeria’s film industry and by extension the tourism sector into vibrant economic tools for tackling youth employment, wealth creation and sectoral development and growth. The Honourable Minister made these assertions when she granted audience to the Joint FCTA/NFC Central Planning Committee for Zuma Film Festival on Thursday, November 16th 2023 in Abuja.
Dr. Bunkure maintained that one of the policy thrusts of the present federal government administration is to ensure that all government programmes and projects are used to engender the Renewed Hope Agenda. She therefore stressed the need to harness all resources towards the hosting of an eventful film festival, that will optimally surpass past editions. The 2023 edition of Zuma Film Festival (ZUFF), themed “Cultural Convergence” is scheduled to take place December 1st – 8th, at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.
Partnership that works has become a global phenomenon that drives success, and therefore both parties are obliged to ensure that the existing FCTA/NFC partnership is driven to the fullest for the attainment of maximum success and impact. ZUFF, she said, has the capacity to promote family, neighborhood and community peace and tranquility, especially among the youth population, and therefore, Zuma Film Festival will not, but become better, stronger and sustainably impactful, going forward.
Earlier, Dr. Chidia Maduekwe, NFC’s Managing Director/Chief Executive and Chairman – Zuma Film Festival Committee in his remarks informed the Honourable Minister of the several efforts and engagements that led to the consummation of the 10 (Ten) year joint hosting memorandum of understanding with the FCTA and the official designation of Abuja as the official host city. He maintained that the NFC as the lead agency in the management of the nation’s film assets has remained tenaciously resolute in going into strategic partnerships that are capable of making the achievement of national objectives seamless and realizable.
The FCTA, he said has demonstrated enormous capacity towards achieving the objectives of the film festival, which the NFC hopes will be sustained, especially against the background for the creation of the Federal Ministry of Art, Culture and Creative Economy, which among others is to stimulate the sector and position it for national development and growth. The collaborative partnerships by other federal government agencies like the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR), the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), he said were predicated on the FCTA/NFC ZUFF partnership. Furthermore, ZUFF he said was also intended to encourage processes for quality standardization of Nigerian movies towards winning international laurels, being the second largest producer of films.
Dr. Maduekwe averred that Nigeria has the capacity to attract substantial volume of offshore film projects if appropriate tax reliefs, rebates and incentives are emplaced, which again are some of the key national policy issues the FCTA/NFC through Zuma Film Festival platform seek to address with the 2023 edition. The Federal Inland Revenue Service on the platform of the NFC Annual Film Lecture is expected to substantially escalate national discussions on tax rebates as a new window for revenue generation for the government.
Also, speaking FCTA’s Permanent Secretary Mr. Adesola Olusade, highlighted the essence of the FCTA/NFC joint hosting of Zuma Film Festival, which among others is to ensure that youths within the Federal Capital Territory are given the opportunity to express their digital and creative prowess with the objective of being self-employed. He said, Zuma film festival has demonstrated its strength and achieved its purpose, with the potential ability to become more impactful, given the operational joint partnership of Ten (10) years. He commended the NFC and all committee members for demonstrating extra ordinary commitment towards the onerous task of delivering a successful film festival. To sustain the narrative of FCTA being a destination of choice, Abuja and its environs must be safe at all times; and to achieve this, the youth population must be catered for through creative platforms such as Zuma Film Festival, he said.
The 2023 Zuma Film Festival is the 13th in the film festival series, and will be attended by professional and emerging talent film delegates from across the country, the diaspora; diplomats, foreign Embassies in Nigeria, Film Commissions and Delegates from other African and European countries, including South Africa which has already activated the Nigeria- South Africa Audio-Visual Cooperation Agreement which was signed by former President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) and his South African counterpart Matamela Ramaphosa under the Bi-National Commission in 2021.
(Issued by Joint FCTA/NFC ZUMA FILM FESTIVAL MEDIA/PUBLICITY)
Director, Public Affairs