Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has said that the ION International Film Festival held in the state was part of government’s effort to diversify the state economy by taping potentials of the tourism and film industries instead of being dominated by the oil industry.

Governor Amaechi who was speaking at the award night and closing ceremony of the ION Film Festival said the event has turned out to be an image laundering activity which shows that Rivers State was not as unsafe as the international media was portraying it.

The governor said the festival provided a platform for local actors and actresses to interact with the internally recognised ones to foster partnerships.

He observed that the film festival was a huge success, noting that the move was intended to encourage tourism and expressed the hope that the state would take part in the next edition of the event scheduled for Tokyo, Japan.

The governor explained that the film industry is a money spinning venture that could grow on its own under a conducive atmosphere provided by government through existence of basic infrastructure such as power, good roads, security, among others.

Governor Amechi, thanked the foreign journalists, actors and actresses that participated in the festival for coming to Port Harcourt and sharing the moments with the good people of the state and urged them to tell the world about the positive things happening in the area.