Femi Odugbemi Unveils Untapped Cinematic History, Culture, and Potential in Bagagry, Nigeria

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Femi Odugbemi, Founder/CEO of ZURI24 Media Lagos has unveiled the untapped potential of Badagry as a film and tourism destination in his keynote address at the Badagry International Film Festival. The focal point of his presentation, “Uncovering the Potential of TV/Film Tools in Developing Badagry as a Film and Tourism Destination,” underscored the historical richness, cultural significance, and picturesque landscapes that position Badagry as a captivating canvas for filmmakers.

Odugbemi emphasized the unique historical narrative of Badagry, particularly its role in the transatlantic slave trade. This history provides a poignant backdrop for storytelling, offering filmmakers an opportunity to bridge educational gaps and create compelling, educational content. The film becomes a powerful medium to preserve the sacrifices of many lives, ensuring that the stories of the transatlantic slave trade are not lost but vividly captured for generations to come.

The architectural gems of Badagry, including colonial-era buildings and traditional structures, present visually captivating settings for filmmakers. Odugbemi urged the audience to view Badagry not just as a location but as a living character in the global cinematic narrative. The diversity of Badagry’s landscapes, from pristine beaches to historical monuments, provides a versatile range of settings for films, from historical dramas to contemporary narratives.

Badagry’s cultural wealth, reflected in its festivals, traditional ceremonies, and vibrant community life, offers a unique tapestry for filmmakers to explore. Odugbemi stressed the importance of incorporating local talent, including skilled artisans and craftsmen, into film production. This not only enriches storytelling but also contributes to the growth of the local creative economy.

Situated in proximity to Lagos, a major economic and cultural hub, Badagry becomes accessible to local and international film crews. Additionally, its strategic geographic location as a border town presents an opportunity for economic collaboration with neighboring countries, fostering regional integration and cultural exchanges.

While acknowledging the potential, Odugbemi highlighted the need for strategic infrastructure investments. He commended the recent groundbreaking of a film village project in Ejinrin in the Epe/Lekki Axis and advocated for similar infrastructural investment in Badagry. This includes upgrading transportation infrastructure, improving connectivity with major airports and neighboring cities, establishing state-of-the-art film production studios, attracting investors for quality accommodations, and promoting eco-friendly initiatives.

Odugbemi urged everyone to play a crucial role in advocating for the rapid development of Badagry. The Badagry International Film Festival, in particular, was highlighted as a starting block, a platform for the voices of African stories to ring loud and proud.

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