Department of Film and TV Studies Coming

In line with the Entrepreneurial aspiration of the current Administration, plans are afoot to reposition the University as a one-stop training centre for all professionals in the movie industry. To this end, a new Department of Film and Television Studies, as well as a Centre for Postgraduate Studies in the discipline would soon come on stream. 

Professor Femi Shaka of the Department of Theatre Arts, who disclosed this in an interview with UNIPORT Weekly last Thursday, said that the proposed Department would commence academic activities in the 2012/2013 academic session, adding that products of the Department and the Centre would gain hands-on skills to practise in the industry. “We would also go into film production”, he said. 
Department of Film and TV Studies Coming
He disclosed that negotiation has reached an advanced stage with some business outfits in Port Harcourt to commence work on the building. According to him, the building which would be a multiplex is estimated to cost ₦700m and is expected to house the planned Department, as well as about four movie theatres that  would show films simultaneously, adding that when operational, students and other residents of the University Community would no longer need to go to Town to watch movies.    
Professor Shaka explained that the sponsors of the multiplex would build, operate the facility for a period of 15 years to recoup their investment after which they would sign a Memorandum of Understanding which would results in joint business management of the Department. 
He disclosed that he has made a proposal to MacArthur Foundation of Chicago, USA for sponsorship of a Postgraduate Centre for Film and Television Studies, stating that the Centre which would be industry-driven would function more or less like the Institute of Petroleum Studies, by involving professionals drawn from industry and abroad using modular lecture system. 
The Professor of Film Studies said: “The teaching method will be different what obtains in the conventional university system in the Country. Lecturers would be drawn from Hollywood, Bollywood and, of course, our own Nollywood”, adding that two universities in the UK, including, Queen’s University, Belfast, Northern Ireland , have indicated interest in partnering  UNIPORT in establishing the emergent Department.        
Professor Shaka who has trained 15 Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy students in Film Studies, said: “We have ready staff as there will be a synergy between the Department of Film and Television Studies, Theatre Arts and Music; we have recruited new staff with the requisite experience and qualifications, in readiness for the Centre”, adding that many of the stars in Nollywood passed through the University and are willing to join us as soon as we commence.
According to him, as a way of ensuring quality, the programmes would be run with strict adherence to the standards of set by the Guild of Actors, Guild of Directors, as well as Guild of Script Writers, .
On the standard of the movie and Film industry, Professor Shaka said that to have the right value espoused by the film industry, we must have on ground a Department charged with training of people in that particular industry, such that they are not ignorant of the needs and standards of the industry” stressing that “we will have the right values when our professional have been given the proper training and orientation”.
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