The Lagos filmLAB is a project funded by the British Council and the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), in collaboration with delivery partners, Biola Alabi Media and Creative England. The project is designed to address issues affecting the film industry in Nigeria, such as challenges around financing, infrastructure, and capacity building, to improve the quality of output and revenue.
Open to all aspiring filmmakers in Lagos state, Lagos filmLAB aims to discover and support emerging talents towards the development and production of market-ready, low-budget, high-quality feature films.
This project will discover and support 12 teams of emerging film talent in August/September 2019, through an intensive residential programme facilitated by experienced film executives and professional writers. Filmmaking teams will be guided through the development and production phases of filmmaking with dedicated support. They will also enjoy access to networking and mentoring opportunities with established industry professionals.
Participants will be educated on topics such as script development, production, sales, marketing and distribution, and financing. The initiative is designed to improve the creative and commercial skills of each filmmaking team member, thereby positively impacting the overall film making industry in Lagos State.
Alongside the 12 teams of aspiring filmmakers who will be selected for the Lagos filmlLAB programme through an interview and shortlisting process, other aspiring and professional filmmakers will also enjoy opportunities to improve their skills with a series of seminars and open sessions with industry experts from the UK and Nigeria. These efforts are aimed at the development of the local capacity to use similar models to strengthen film making approaches and enhance the commercial viability of film projects.
The seminar topics have been carefully selected and developed to proffer solutions to the challenges identified in the ‘2017 PWC Spotlight’ on ‘The Nigerian Film Industry’ which highlighted financing, infrastructure, capacity, copyright infringements and piracy, weak distribution and marketing channels, and taxation as some of the key existing challenges limiting the growth of the Nigerian Film Industry (Nollywood).
The Lagos filmLAB is jointly funded by the British Council and Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) in collaboration with delivery partners – Biola Alabi Media and Creative England. The delivery partners will provide relevant expertise to the pilot programme. They will also support a cohort of emerging filmmakers to develop new feature films and give them distribution and marketing planning insights to enhance their prospects.
Ojoma Ochai, Director, Programmes British Council in her statement said
“In line with our new Creative Economy development strategy, we are shifting our focus to more robust, longer-term interventions that support potential and emerging entrepreneurs and sector professionals not just with skills but also with access to networks, finance and markets that can really make a difference to the quality of their outputs and their livelihoods. Lagos filmLAB builds on the Nigeria Creative Enterprise Programme (NICE), a business incubation programme for creative entrepreneurs which we launched in Lagos in early 2019 and which we will roll out in Imo, Kano and Abuja in the next 12 months. Through Lagos filmLAB and NICE, we are keen to work with UK and local partners to leverage their existing capacities and to stimulate more UK / Nigeria collaboration as well as more sustainable, institutionally led development in the Nigerian Creative Economy.”
Also commenting Teju Abisoye, Acting Executive Secretary, the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), said,
“As a partner for the maiden edition of this Creative Sector initiative, we are convinced that this collaboration further defines our commitment to job creation through relevant and appropriate skills that support the Creative Sector in Lagos State and in particular film production. The LSETF Employability Support Project will be working with the Partners to ensure that the Curriculum is updated and relevant for all the current training that can directly benefit from this intervention. Finally, we expect that a new tribe of world-class filmmakers would emerge to further contribute to the depth of quality and growth of the Creative Industry in Lagos State.”
Leading filmmaker, CEO of Biola Alabi Media and Local delivery partner of Lagos filmLab, Biola Alabi, enthused over the partnership, heralding it as a first of its kind that would introduce a new cadre of filmmakers in Nollywood and propel the overall terrain of Nigerian filmmaking towards explosive growth.
Paul Ashton, Head of Film from Creative England said.
“Our approach to film development endeavours to foster and facilitate the highest quality work from exciting, distinctive storytellers which has the potential to break out and reach an audience. The ‘lab’ format offers an intense and intensive experience, where quality and ambition are the beginning and endpoints, and where filmmaking teams develop the skills and relationships that will sustain their career.”
Registration will commence;
Date: Thursday, August 22nd – Wednesday, September 18th, 2019
Participants are expected to register for the project here.
The Lagos filmLAB is an evolution of the original development-to-production initiative, iFeatures; which was run by Creative England and funded by the British Film Institute (BFI), BBC Films and ScreenSkills.