Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Nollyfund: Viva Cinema opens in Kwara

Still basking in the euphoria of a bustling business in Ibadan, Viva Cinema Company Limited has again, opened a new film house in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital. Sponsored by Bank of Industry (BoI), the company’s latest cinema house was opened to movie goers amidst a huge ceremony, last Friday. The gesture by BoI is part of its ‘Nollyfund’ initiative, whereby an initial of N1.0billion has been earmarked, with a single obligor limit of N50million for individual loans. 

Bol’s Divisional Head for Large Enterprises, Joseph Babatunde with Veteran actor, Olumide Bakare at the unveiling of Viva Cinema, Ilorin.
The Bank, which has been at the forefront of providing facilities for film production and distribution chain, is also helping filmmakers to produce international quality films which are screened through various platforms of movie distribution available both in Nigeria and abroad.
The opening of Viva Cinema which is located within the popular Shoprite Mall, Ilorin, attracted a huge crowd that thronged the Cinema Hall l, to relish the opening films and the physical presence of their adorned stars.
Some of the Nollywood stars at the event are Olumide Bakare, Bukunmi Oluwasina and Muyiwa Oladapo.
Speaking with reporters, representative of the sponsoring company and Bol’s Divisional Head for Large Enterprises, Joseph Babatunde, said the Bank has invested millions of Naira into the industry. He recalled that VIVA Cinema was also established in Ibadan, Oyo state recently.
“We have spent quite some money to support the company,” he said.
According to Babatunde, “the entertainment industry holds a lot in terms of provision of employment. You will recall, the 2013 rebased Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the creative industry contributed about 1.6 percent (six million Dollars). That means the industry holds a lot of potentials. Scores of youths who come out of the university with a lot of talents can exercise themselves through the promotion of the creative industry.
“For us in the Bank of Industry, we have made adequate arrangement to support the creative industry. For instance, we support this in Ilorin. There are youths who are working there; you remember in those days the cinema culture was a great privilege.
“What we are trying to do is to bring back the same cultural values and by bringing them back we believe that a lot of youths will be employed.”
The banker noted that the movie industry has a lot of challenges bedeviling it in Nigeria.
“It is not only funding that is the key issue with the creative industry in Nigeria - a major issue is that of distribution. Without effective distribution, there is no way you can make your money back. This cinema platform is a major outlet for the purpose of distributing movies. Apart from the fact that we have standard studios; a lot of filmmakers go to South Africa, Canada and United States of America to shoot their films, which is not good enough for the industry.
“So we still need a lot of investment in standard studios so that our film producers can shoot their films locally, coupled with the cinema centers coming. For us in the Bank of Industry, we have financed about four cinema outlets and before the end of this year we will add another 25 or thereabout across the nation,” he said.
It will be recalled that BoI recently gave opportunity to filmmakers who desire sponsorship for their scripts, having accredited some reputable distributors to support the initiative. They include, G-Media, FilmOne Distribution Company, Silverbird Distribution Company and Genesis Deluxe Distribution Company.
Others include studio operators such as Fans Connect Online Nigeria Limited, aka Afrinolly, Kingsley Ogoro Productions Limited and 4Screams International Nigeria Limited.
The Bank of Industry had also in recent past, financed creative industry projects such as ‘Half of A Yellow Sun’, ‘Flower Girl’, Digitization of Silverbird Cinemas, The Filmhouse, Viva Cinemas, Ozone Cinemas and G-media among others.
According to the veteran actor, Olumide Bakare, the film producers in the country have been able to improve the standard and content of Nigerian movies technically, noting that, “the development can help the Nigerian movies as we are creating jobs; bringing new artistes. We want the old ones to go and rest, but I am still very relevant.”

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