Mr Mykel Parish, the Founder, Nollywood Travel Film Festival (NTFF), on Monday called on African countries to brand their films for export to generate additional revenues for development.
He made the call at the ongoing Black Star International Film Festival in Ghana, where he represented Nigeria as a panelist.
Parish, in his presentation entitled: “Film as a Tool for National Development: the Missed Opportunities’’, said that there were many ways that film could be used to accelerate development in Nigeria and Africa.
He said that film could also serve as a tool for national development, especially if it was backed by national support to brand the country.
“Films are an important tool for education, information and communication. The images showed on the screens impact the minds of the population and drive culture.
“Also, film is a cultural diplomacy tool all over the world which Nigeria and Africa at large can harness,” Parish said.
The NTFF founder said that s well as opening continental dialogue.
According to him, films are a major reason for tourists’ influx into countries like the United States because viewers of American films look forward to visiting locations shown in movies.
Parish, who heads Nigeria’s foremost travel festival, disclosed that filmmakers had to understand the role they play in driving the narrative and impacting culture.
“We need to know what policy interventions are necessary for Africa to seriously partake in this international dialogue.
“Film helps brand a country and increases tourism inflows through film tourism as co-productions are a great way to attract Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs), as well as open up opportunities for the hospitality sector.
“Let us not forget its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country. Currently, film contributes more than seven billion naira to Nigeria’s GDP per annum but more can be done.
“Opening up the film market will lead to an increase in job creation because the film industry is one of the largest employers of labour in the world,” Parish said.
NAN reports that the ongoing Black Star International Film Festival (BSIFF), which is Ghana’s foremost film festival, encourages conversations that bridge the gap between African cinema and the world.
The event will feature screenings of 32 films from 19 countries across eight categories, including panel discussions, workshops and a music concert.
The event which began on Aug. 11 would end on Aug. 18.