Practitioners in the Nigerian film industry have been urged to cash in on the achievements of the National Lottery Commission to develop Nollywood. Making this call at the Nollywood Outstanding Personality Award (NOPA) held at White House Hotels, Lagos on December 6, Chairman of the commission, Peter Igho, said he is moved by anything that has to do with the film industry in Nigeria. “I am inspired because young men and women have put their ambition and their passion to make things work,” he said. He stated that the industry can’t die because what we are dealing with is art in motion. Igho urged the practitioners to show responsibility in what they do and speak with one voice. Funding or lack of it, he said, is one important aspect of the industry. To this, he said, practitioners can attempt to access the funds raised by his commission, deposited with a trust fund to improve the industry. Calling on practitioners to take advantage of the unity presently in the industry, the veteran broadcaster urged them not to give up a wonderful idea. Igho, who chaired the award ceremony, commended the Association of Movie Journalists (AMJ), the body that put the awards together, saying they must have the reasons chosing the awardees and every star, whose name they mentioned is the name of a star who has graced our screens through Nollywood. “I believe they deserve what is being bestowed on them today. For those who have not been chosen today, not everybody can be honoured at the same time so I believe that bit by bit, everybody will get there.” Delivering his goodwill message, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC), Afolabi Adesanya, congratulated AMJ for sustaining the growth and development of the film sector in particular and the creative industry in general. He said it is the mandate of the corporation to create an enabling environment for the sustainable growth and development of the motion picture industry in Nigeria. “It is our hope that the NOPA initiative will be sustained as a platform for celebrating creativity and rewarding excellence in the sector,” he said. Among the recipients of the Nollywood Outstanding Personality of the Year Awards were Stephanie Okereke, Chinedu Ikedieze, Osita Iheme, Emem Isong, Dagogo Diminas, Jonathan Gbemutor, Adim Williams and Kate Henshaw- Nuttal. While those conferred with the Special Recognition Award were former Lagos State governor, Bola Tinubu; former Director General of NTA and one time Communication Minister, Walter Ofonagoro, who got the life time achievement award, Mike Adenuga and Albert Ezenwanne. The Award ceremony, the third in its series, according to the organisers, is spurred by the unbridled passion and unbreakable spirit that currently keeps the industry going.
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