Nigeria is fast welcoming the technological era as it has been informed that about 3,000 Nigerian film makers will receive cartoon technology training from a Canadian company.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who disclosed this at the opening of the French, Japanese and Nigerian animated films festival on Wednesday, October 2, in Abuja, said the Canadian firm, Toon Boom, based in Montreal, will teach the Nigerian youths in cartoon technology.
“The firm will provide an industry grade certification and tools so that those Nigerians can compete for global work. The firm works for Disney, Nickeledeon. It is Nigerians who will do the actual training. It’s a ‘train the trainer and certification programme,’ similar to what happened in India”, the minister said.
According to Mohammed, 5,000 youths were the initial target but the training will first commence with 3,000 Nigerians.
“The ministry is collaborating with the French government on capacity building for Nigerian film makers also in the area of animation and children films.
He noted that as prolific as Nollywood was, the industry is lacking in the area of animated and children film, adding that the country had the potential and huge market for animation and children films if they were well developed.
Mr. Denys Gauer, who is the Ambassador of France to Nigeria also spoke at the event and he pointed that cartoon films was still rare in Nigeria in spite of being the second largest film industry in the world.
“There is a dearth of animation and children movies although Nigeria is well known for its talent, imagination and creativity. More animated studios are opening in Abuja and Lagos, but this sub-sector is still facing some challenges,” Gauer said.
“For this reason, we have decided with our Japanese partners to dedicate one of the four evening to the animated industry in Nigeria.
“It will include some Nigerian short film screenings and a panel discussion in partnership with some Nigerian animation studios.
The France Ambassador assured that “the Instutit Francais will organise a program on animation, that will include workshops with facilitator from Europe Animation School such as Les Gobelins in Paris; but also meetings with experts in international co-production, large audience screening and more to strengthen the sector.”
The second edition of the animated film festival was scheduled from Nov. 2nd to 5th in Abuja.