Oyo Govt Promises Enabling Environment For Kunle Afolayan’s Mega Film Village
….As CAP Film and Television Academy, MasterCard Foundation Trains 300,000 Youths in Film Studies
The Oyo State government on Monday said adequate enabling environment would be provided for the mega Film Village established by the popular film producer and actor, Kunle Afolayan at Igbojaye in Itesiwaju local government.
The film village, which is one of its kind in Africa would lend structural capacity to the film industry and provide relaxation and other facilities for tourists when completed.
The State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr. Wasiu Olatubosun stated on Tuesday at his office in Ibadan that every means within the capacity of the State government would be made available for the Film Village to be the best tourist destination in Africa.
Olatubosun said apart from the late Hubert Ogunde and Adeyemi Afolayan, the father of Kunle Afolayan, no theater practitioner has put so much efforts into theater to the extent of establishing a Film Village till the latter did at Igbojaye.
He went further to say that the State was poised to benefit immensely from the project, as many youths would be employed in construction of the village and in the tourism sector of the project.
He maintained that the project was part of other private ventures that have seen opportunities in the landscape, cheap human capital resources, security of lives and properties as well as provision of network of roads round the State and were taking better advantage of the situation.
“You can see that the works of the present administration in the State is yielding good results, we appreciate Mr Kunle Afolayan for this bold step to establish the Mega Film Village in Oyo State and we are conscious of the fact that the project has gulped millions of naira, the present administration under the able leadership of Engr. Seyi Makinde, the governor of Oyo State will continue to direct all efforts towards creating enabling environment for such ventures to spring up and be sustained in the State.
“The creation of Amotekun to complement the regular security forces in Oyo State has seen to eradication of vices and crimes, while people are now bringing their businesses to Oyo State, where nature has blessed them with arable land, desirable natural ambiance and human capital to develop their businesses.”
Mr. Kunle Afolayan who spoke with journalists at Igbojaye during the weekend said the Film Village was envisioned to create tourists attractions in the area of resorts with mountain hiking, recreation and opportunity for film makers to have readymade structures to make good films.
He said his Film Institute has started training 300,000 students on Film Studies in three years, through an agreement he had with MasterCard Foundation.
He added that 40% of the 300,000 students will be from low-income earning homes and the gesture will contribute to the growth of the film industry.
“I think this is going to create a big relief for the generations to come, when we want to shoot films, we always go look for people’s houses, begging them and you do not have control, but with this kind of place, we can have the confidence to commence shooting at our convenient time, we can easily decide on our own about the weather and other factors, but you cannot do that if you are renting the place or if you are tied to a time from the house owner.
“We came here in November for a suitable location for a film, but on getting here, I thought about it and I felt this is just a beautiful place, if you are coming from Ibadan, get to Iseyin, leaving Iseyin and on your way here, you will hardly see mountains, rocks and valleys like you see here, when you come to Okaka till you get to Otu, you won’t find those natural ambiance, but from Igbojaye to Komu-Baba Ode, the places are surrounded with all these natural gifts that people are not taking advantage of.
“There are lot of well known tourists destinations around the world that, as a matter of fact, do not have half of what we have here or because of how they are positioned, how they are structured and a lot of government supports, they get loans and people fly there from all over the world.
“That is what we are trying to create here too, for people from Lagos, people from Abuja and other areas will come down here, you do not have to go to Obudu again if you want natural ambiance, where you are at peace with yourself, that is the bigger picture, it is not just going to be a film studio, it is also going to be a recreation center, a resort with mountain hiking, that is what we are going to sell.”
He however lamented low availability of workforce at the location as according to him, many youths in Itesiwaju local government have relocated to Lagos and other cities, forcing him to go as far as Ibadan to hire work hands.