Harry Potter, Chronicles of Narnia, Lord of the Rings, The Hunger Games (featuring Nigerian Born International, Dapo Okeniyi), The Wizard of Oz, Scar face, The godfather, and yes Dracula, have one thing in common. They are film adaptations. Film adaptation has been a very resourceful platform used by the trail blazer in Moviedom, (Hollywood) as far back as 1928/29 having seen the opportunities and possibilities accruing to this concept and thus embraced it. The result has been witnessed in the renowned success at the box office, book stores and has aided in sustaining the reading culture.
The same cannot be said within our ambit, with a microscopic number of film adaptations clearly stencilled on the roll call of films honour plates such as Kongi’s Harvest, Bull Frog in the Sun, The Concubine, The Virgin, Jaguar Nana’s Daughter, Thunderbolt, The Perfect Church, Maami, and Half of a Yellow Sun with projected film adaptations such as Dazzling Mirage, Ake; The years of childhood, and Beast of No Nation.
It is ludicrous to note that the concept is being underutilized in an industry that boasts of being the second largest movie producing body in the world. The apathy for reading books is indeed worrisome and even the President of F.R.N, Dr Ebele Goodluck Jonathan on December 2010, launched the “Bring Back The Books” initiative to revive the reading culture. There have been various reasons given for the undermined use of this concept, with the predicated excuses of Authors unwillingness to collaborate with filmmakers, and funding issues.
Despite the perceived lacuna, therein lies a platform that seeks to remedy the defects. High flying film critic, Augusta Okon’s, Wise Insight, is organizing a one day Film Adaptation Seminar on the 6th of December, 2013 at the Rutanda Hall, National Library complex, 227 Herbert Macaulay Street, Casino, Yaba, Lagos at 11am. Admission is free with the theme : “Film Adaptation: A goldmine and reading drive in Nigeria?”
The Film Adaptation Seminar (FAS) will bring the finest of the Industry’s professionals drawn from the literary and movie spheres (filmmakers/producers, novelists, poets, playwrights), film scholars of repute, critics, youths with a knack for either sphere, stakeholders, reps. of relevant government parastatals, publishers and enthusiasts, under one roof. They will intellectually brain storm about the goldmine concept with the guest speakers, exchange knowledge and ideas via in-depth analysis of the concept with an understanding of the current trends through a discussion forum and network, amongst other things with a view to enhancing collaboration. Young minds will be better enlightened and repositioned to harness their talents either in writing or filmmaking. FAS seeks to encourage filmmakers to tell African stories from the pages of books, articles, news write ups, bios and much more not just to an African audience but also to the International main stream. The key note address will be delivered by Mr Segun Oyekunle, The MD/CEO, Abuja Film Village International Ltd.
According to Augusta Okon, “Film adaptation has proven to be a credible and reliable platform which has recorded outstanding commercial success and aided to sustain the reading drive in the USA and the UK. We believe that where it is effectively unveiled and harnessed in Nigeria via the collaboration between the literary and filmmaking spheres, there will be, with time, a mind blowing achievement ever imagined in the land. We are collaborating with the Association of Nigerian Authors (Lagos Chapter) as well as relevant film bodies on this”.
Dayo Adeniyi (currently producing Prof. Wole Soyinka’s childhood memoir “Ake: The years of childhood”, Tunde Kelani, Odia Ofeimun, professionals and icons from both spheres, film critics, scholars, publishers, CEOs’ of International film festivals held within the country, dignitaries will grace the seminar. Participants will have a deep rooted understanding about the concept of film adaptation, potential challenges to be encountered and proffered solutions, how to access funds, opportunities it offers all parties; authors, filmmakers, producers, publishers, script/screenwriters within and outside the country, steps in getting the adaptation process right, and networking. There will be amongst other things, book readings, poetry performances, refreshments and gifts to be won by lucky winners. It’s going to be a wonderful time.
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