8 Lagos films set for Toronto Film Festival


The Lagos State Government has disclosed that eight films produced by Lagos-based directors will be showcased at the Toronto Film Festival, scheduled to hold between September 8 and 18 in Toronto, Canada.
Lagos State as a city will be celebrated at the festival and the state government has indicated its readiness to support the festival.
Addressing journalists in Alausa, Lagos, the state’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, said the eight films did not necessarily have to be about Lagos.
“The importance is that the selected films must be by filmmakers who are based in Lagos. We are only interested in the creativity and the talent you are exhibiting as a Lagos-based filmmaker,” he said.
He, however, stressed that the Lagos State Government was fully involved in any collaboration to celebrate the city and market its potentials.
“What this government policy implies is that it will promote any initiative that projects Lagos as the home of filmmaking in Nigeria and before the entire world,” Ayorinde said.
On his part, the Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr. Folorunsho Folarin-Coker, said the ‘good development’ was in line with government’s policy that entertainment could be used to create employment and improve revenue generation in the state.
“This falls clearly in line with Governor Ambode’s mantra of THESE, which stands for Tourism, Hospitality, Entertainment, and Sports for Excellence.”
Speaking on the decision to spotlight the films and Lagos at the festival, the Artistic Director, TIFF, Mr. Cameron Bailey, said many of the films produced in Lagos had not been showcased in Toronto, explaining that the idea was to seize the opportunity of this year’s festival to begin a new dawn for Nigerian films and filmmakers.
“We have had films like Tunde Kelani’s ‘Abeni’ at the festival and ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’, a collaboration between Nigeria and the United Kingdom. But I think this is an opportunity to do more and to go bigger. So, what we are doing this year is a spotlight on the filmmakers who live and work in Lagos. We have been so impressed with the ingenuity and creativity of individual filmmakers who have made the Nigerian film industry one of the largest on the planet,” Bailey said.
Though the Nigerian film business has gone global, Bailey noted that the next step was to fully integrate it into the international film industry. He added that the selection process of the eight films were still ongoing.