Prof. Edward Ossai, of the department of theatre and Film Studies, Plateau State University, Bokkos, has urged governments at all levels to support film and video production.
Ossai, who made the appeal at the opening of a 3-day Jos Community Film Festival (JOSFFEST) tagged: “Voice for the voiceless”, said this was with a view to promoting youth empowerment to curb crime and reduce unemploment.
The Don, who also reiterated the need for youth development in the country, said the Film Festival was a way of taking youths off the streets, and giving them a chance at a better life.
He, however, noted that individuals could not do it alone without the support of government.
“As one who deals with youths on a daily basis, when I saw the number of talented youths in this state without means of livelihood, and who are gradually drifting towards crime, I was moved to create a means of expression and livelihood for them through film production.
“I thought to myself, the industry has about 120 areas where they can specialise, so I said why not create a means through which they can express themselves as specialists in the industry.
“Through this, they can gain expertise, express themselves and primarily earn a living; theatre and film production is one area where all of these can be achieved.
“The truth is no individual can do this by themselves without the support of government, I therefore use this opportunity to call on government at all levels to support such causes so we can take this children off the streets and give them dignity.
“Governance should be about responsibility and responsiveness towards the people,” Ossai said.
The don therefore, urged the youths not to give up on their dreams and resort to crime, no matter how difficult life could get.
“I want to encourage them to bring out those hidden talents so that they can be tapped into. If you don’t come out, nobody will know what you have inside.
“So come out rather than hide behind lack of support or tags of laziness. Believe in yourselves, show your talents through platforms and opportunities being provided today,” Ossas admonished.
Also speaking at the event, His Royal Highness, Adagwom Peter Nyam, Traditional leader of Tudun-Wada Community, on behalf of other benefitting communities, thanked the organisers for the opportunity given to the youths.
Nyam prayed for sustainability of such programmes to help in addressing unemployment, crime and other vices in the communities.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that line up of the event includes film screening, film production, directing, lightening, sound, costumes/makeup, and other talents hunt.