With entry for participation in the 2010 Babylon International Workshop Initiative on Film organised by the Nigerian Film Corporation, Jos in collaboration with Scenario films (UK), Scripthouse (Germany), Playfilms (France), EU Media International and the British Council, closed, the stage is now set for the first leg of the script workshop scheduled for Berlin, Germany, from February 16- 20, 2010. Sixty (60) entries were received from various film makers from around the world including Nigeria, UK, France, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Egypt, Germany and other parts of Europe.

Venue of the workshop for the enthusiastic participants is the British Council office, Alexanderplatz 1, Berlin, Germany, near venue for the Berlin International Film Festival.

Three (3) entries from Nigeria, namely “Red Light District”, by Didi Cheeka; “Letter to the Prof”, by Chike Ibekwe and “My Brothers Sin”, by Jide Bello, were chosen for the Berlin and Jos/Abuja workshops.

The Nigerian participants expressed keenness in making the country proud as the competition gets underway in the coming weeks. They also commended the objectives of the Babylon International Workshop Initiative on Film which among others, is aimed at mentoring filmmakers from across the continents of the world.

The Berlin workshop will host participants from Nigeria, Burkina Faso, UK, Senegal, France and Germany; and feature plenary sessions and informal film screenings of past productions of participants for the purpose of familiarisation. However, participants will be required to provide a synopsis/treatment for their entries under the general principle of the workshop, which also includes screenplay analysis in groups and individual sessions for each project with consultants of the workshop.

The 2010 detailed programme for the Initiative scheduled for Berlin and Jos/Abuja includes, a five–day interactive development workshop for 14 selected projects (7 European, 7 African), with script consultancy, one-on-one production and marketing analysis, screenings, case studies and network forums. Others are, individual mentoring from Babylon experts during the script re-write and preparation phase scheduled for February and March, 2010 and a five (5) day production lab at the National Film Institute, Jos (27th April-2nd May, 2010), intended to consolidate the script development of each project and provide filmmaking teams the opportunity to watch scenes from their films, or produce promotional short films based on their feature film materials.

The highpoint of the 2010 programme will be the presentation of projects and review of promotional materials at the Nigerian Film Corporation’s ZUMA FILM FESTIVAL taking place in Abuja, the nation’s capital from May 2 – 6, 2010, to be followed by onward mentoring and promoting all Babylon projects.

During the various stages of the workshop, Nigerian and other African filmmakers will have the opportunity to work with European colleagues on script and story development, production techniques and broadened access to international materials placed through Babylon’s network of industry consultants, Funder, International sales agents and Distributors.

Brian Etuk

Head, Public Affairs