Communiqué Of The Maiden National Theatre And Film Critics Roundtable Of The International Association Of Theatre Critics (IATC-Nigeria), Held On The 21st Of September, 2013, At The Redeemer’s University, Mowe, Ogun State, Nigeria
The maiden edition of the National Theatre and Film Critics Roundtable held on the 21st September 2013 at the Redeemer’s University, Mowe, Ogun State. The event, which was organized by the Nigeria Section of the UNESCO founded International Association of Theatre Critics (IATC), had in attendance, a total of 67 participants, made up of seasoned journalists, theatre scholars, and film professionals. The Vice-Chancellor, Redeemer’s University, Professor Z.A. Adeyewa declared the event open.
Among the dignitaries present were: The Honorary Chairman, Professor Olu Obafemi who is also the Director Research, National Institute of Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru; Professor Saint Gbilekaa, Chief of Staff to Benue State Government; Professor Emmanuel Dandaura, President IATC-Nigeria and the multi award-winning playwright Professor Ahmed Yerima. Among the speakers were Jahman Anikulapo, Anthony Akeaze and Presidents of professional guilds like: Sola Balogun (ACWAN), Greg Odutayo (NANTAP), Steve James (GONG), and Kayode Animashaun (Film Scholars Association of Nigeria). The Nollywood industry was represented by Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen, Sunny McDon, Anthony Anih, Eliel Ototeh and Nobert Ajaegbu.
At the end of the roundtable, the participants resolved that:
1) IATC should initiate the introduction of industry specific training programmes to enrich the existing Theatre and Film curricula and manpower development in Nigeria’s tertiary institutions;
2) proper documentation of theatre and film productions’ should be enhanced in order to facilitate more robust research based scholarship;
3) academic Institutions should be encouraged to embrace the artists-in-residence programme to enrich the interface between the town and gown;
4) professional theatre and Film Guilds should make efforts to build capacity through collaboration with research and training institutions locally and internationally;
5) theatre and film criticism should be given the needed pride of place in the curricula of all tertiary institutions;
6) IATC should provide an interactive platform for the production of greater understanding and collaboration between Nollywood practitioners and scholars;
7) there should be synergy between theatre and film critics and scholars on the one hand, and theatre and film practitioners on the other hand;
8) the IATC should facilitate the production and dissemination of studies on film and theatre in Nigeria;
9) there is an urgent need to strengthen arts desks in newspapers and ensure that they are manned by well-trained staff;
10) there should be a more robust interface between the production component of Nigerian theatre/film and professional criticism to further project the creativity of Nigerian writers and producers;
11) the Act establishing the Nigerian film and Video Censors Boards (NFVCB) should be reviewed in line with global standard as a classification board, consisting of professionally – trained personnel; and
12) IATC-Nigeria should take necessary steps to ensure the successful hosting of the IATC World Congress in 2016 in Abuja. To this end, the full support of the Federal Government and other relevant stakeholder will be required as is the IATC global practice.
The National Congress of the International Association of Theatre Critics also held after the roundtable. During the congress, new executive committee officers were elected and the editorial boards of two professional journals inaugurated to promote theatre and film production and scholarship in Nigeria. These are the Nigerian Performing Arts Review and the Nigerian Film Review.
Among the new officers elected are Professor Emmanuel Dandaura as President, Lancelot Imasuen and Julie Umukoro as Vice-Presidents, Professors Alex Asigbo, Tracie Utoh-Ezeajugh and Emmanuel Emasealu as Secretary-General, Treasurer and Financial Secretary, respectively. Sunny McDon, Ozolua Uhakheme, Taiwo Adeyemi and Steve James were elected Public Relations Officer, Welfare Officer, Assistant Secretary-General and Auditor, respectively.
Professor Olu Obafemi was appointed Chairman of the National Mobilization Committee towards the hosting of the IATC World Congress in Abuja, 2016.
Emmanuel Samu Dandaura, PhD, fsonta Alex C. Asigbo, PhD, hsonta
President, IATC-Nigeria Secretary-General, IATC-Nigeria