The State of Plateau as a platform seeks to promote democracy on the local level by bringing the fore issues concerning the State, and facilitating citizens debate on public issues, through participation in government decision making.

Speech By Uren Makut, Prospective Participant In 2020 UNESCO- Nara Residency For Young Afican Filmmakers In Japan...

*Speech by Uren Makut, prospective participant in the 2020 UNESCO-Nara Residency for Young African Female Filmmakers in Japan*

March 5, 2020

Recently I was selected to participate in the UNESCO-Nara Residency for Young African Female Filmmakers in Japan.

Of all that applied, only I from Northern Nigeria and Moyowa Bakare from the Southwest emerged among the successful ten.

The residency aims to create a voice for Africa, leveraging the potentials of women in the cinema industry.

As the Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, puts it, “It is important for the cinema industry to make the voice of Africa heard, to support the emergence of diverse cultural expressions, put forth new ideas and emotions, and make sure that women as creators contribute to a necessary global dialogue for peace, culture and development.”

Mr. Commissioner Sir, this is a unique opportunity for Plateau State to market its matchless tourism potentials to the world.

The film residency brings experts in the film industry from different parts of Africa and beyond, in a unique network for the exchange of ideas, skills and stories from our respective countries.

During the program, participating filmmakers will develop film projects and participate in master classes, filming and debates. Residents will be invited to present their work at the next Nara International Film Festival (18-22 September 2020).

It is on this note that I thought it wise to involve the State; to share ideas on the messages and interests to project while pulling our intellectual & technical resources together at the program to produce documentary films that will in turn serve as reference points for the entire world.

Charity begins at home, and Plateau State is a miniature Nigeria. I believe whatever ideas we can develop at this level will be beneficial to the entire country.

Governor Simon Lalong's passion for youth entrepreneurship as evident in the establishment of the Plateau State Microfinance Development Agency has inspired me greatly to explore my potentials and rise beyond my limitations in this craft.

I therefore count it a rare opportunity to give back to the State by making its interest the centre of my presentation as I go out there.

This partnership is therefore the beginning of great things for the State. The negative image that has been brandished against us will be corrected through this collaboration. I intend to come back and start the training of young filmmakers that will grow and make greater exploits, while speaking positively about the State through their visual creations. This we believe will enlighten and renew the confidence of investors, to come and site businesses in the state for increased revenue generation.

I also want to use the power of the lens, to bring communities together - to inspire peaceful resolution of the deadly farmer-herder conflicts that have bedevilled us for years, through digital story telling.

It is my prayer therefore that the State particularly the Ministry of Information will give me the needed backing to go out there and not just grow a trade, but start a network that would turnaround the fortunes of the State for the overall good of the citizenry.

Thank you and  God bless.

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