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USAID, Google to reward two Nollywood filmmakers with N2m



iReporter News.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Search Engine giant, Google in partnership with HomeVida, on Friday said they will reward two Nollywood film-makers whose productions promote integrity values and positive messaging in government with N1 million each. This was revealed at a press briefing in Abuja to announce the commencement of the nomination and selection processes for the endowment. It was reported that theme of the feature film and documentary productions that are eligible for nominations must centre on “Transparency, Accountability, or Good Governance.”

According to Samuel Umejiaku, the Administrator of HomeVida, the subject matter of the films to be endowed was choosen to identify and reward film-makers whose productions subliminally drive down the spate of hate-speech and corruption in the Nigerian society. “Last year, we partnered with two international organizations that seek to empower the youth to inspire change. These organizations are the USAID Strengthening Advocacy and Civic Engagement (SACE) project and the Shehu Musa Yar’adua Foundation. “This year, Google is worried with the volume of hate speech spread by Nigerians online; while USAID is concerned about corruption in public institutions in Nigeria. So, both organizations settled on the theme based on these considerations. “This endowment is timely and necessary because the use of entertainment in the fight against societal ills that threaten our existence as a people has not been enough. The reason is because we do not recognize and reward those who make efforts to put-out, for public consumption, social-conscious messages that support the survival and development of the community in which we live,’’ he said. Umejiaku said that films that highlight issues, challenges and problems associated to the theme which were produced between 2015-2017 can be nominated online at HomeVida website In her remarks, Mbanan Mku, the Communications Officer of Public and Private Development Centre (PPDC), a civil society organisation, said that the endowment will influence the quality of films produced in Nollywood as filmmakers become incentivize to produce films of high societal value as a means of contributing to nation building. Vanguard reports that representatives from USAID, Google were present at the briefing. Last year “Oloibiri” by Rogers Ofime won the best feature film endowed by USAID; while “Nowhere to Run” sponsored by the Shehu Musa Yaradua Foundation won the prize for best documentary.

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