The Ekiti State Ministry of Arts, Culture and Tourism, has sealed deals with a renowned film making firm, Native Media, to begin the business of film making as part of the Governor Kayode Fayemi’s led administration’s efforts to revamp Tourism business in order to boost the economy of the state and attract huge investment.
The state’s Commissioner for Arts, Culture and Tourism, Prof. Rasaki Ojo Bakare, disclosed this to newsmen in Ado-Ekiti at the weekend.
Bakare, a University Don and former Dean, Post Graduate School of the Federal University Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE), said that the state has partnered with Native Media, producer of the famous Telenovela , Tinsel, to produce at least four epic films that would project the tourism potentials and rich cultural heritage of Ekiti to the global community.
In a joint press briefing he co-addressed with Native Media’s founder, Mr. Rogers Ofime, at the state’s prestigious Fountain Hotel in Ado-Ekiti, Prof Bakare said: “The Ekiti State Ministry of Arts, Culture and Tourism has entered into solid a collaboration with one of the most formidable film making firm on the Soil of Africa, Native media so as to further develop our tourism and culture business. Native media has produced many award winning soaps, Television shows and movies, some of which is Tinsel, Oloibiri and others.
” We are in partnership with them to make epic films, whose stories are also located in the Ekiti environment. The films will be also shot in Ekiti. Ekiti is one huge film location as everywhere you go is a potential for location, especially when you travel from Efon, Aramoko, lkogosi , lpole iloro, that is a tourism corridor of the state, where 200 rolls of great films can be made.
The film firm has agreed to partner with us to make some Ekiti films that would make sellable rolls anywhere in the world.
” We are starting with the Ekiti Parapo war stories.We had a meeting with the monarch’s and some members of the Family family. You will recall that that war was sparked off by Fabunmi who dared to resist the opression from the Ajele from Ibadan.
” Some of the natural locations are still there like the Ita Oba where the warriors prepared for the war, the market place where Fabunumi decapitated the Ajele and also the house where Fabunmi lived before and after the war. Native media is coming back to see the locations on the development.
” We have agreed on four film project for a start. The one kicking it off is the Ekiti parapo war story. We want you to know that we are doing it the way it has never been done before. We have to show the rest of the state how we can make huge money by selling our culture through film making,” he said.
The film maker and director, Ofime, also assured of a robust rapport with the state’s Ministry if Arts, Culture and Tourism. He said: “our film firm has been existing for over twelve years and what has distinguished us is the exportable nature, message and other values of our movies. We have turned attention into telling the African stories. Our lastest movie has won awards.
” We do projects that have cultural values , African oriented and exportable, we are excited to work with Ekiti and most importantly a cerebral professor like Prof Bakare, who is versatile and knows in and out.
Ekiti has got great locations and rolling will be quite interesting here.
We have a.lot of our people outside Nigerians and these people will need such films, our children outside Nigerians don’t know about our culture and we get to them through these films. The commissioner has got great ideas for the ministry, we are excited to be here and we are looking forward to some other things like having a Reality Show, building a film village in Ekiti among others,,” he said.
According to Bakare, who is former Artistic Director of Abuja Carnival, other stories on which films will be made in included those of late Military Administrator of Western Nigeria, late Francis Adekunle Fajuyi, relationship between Ekiti and Egungun, and the Ogun Onire epic.