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Kelani relocates to Abeokuta…tees off ‘career highlight’

By Shaibu Husseini 19 June 2016   |   2:38 am

ASAJU--19-6-16A visitor to the Oshodi, Lagos office of Mainframe Production may need to book an appointment to see the head of the filmmaking outlet, Tunde Kelani. The ace cinematographer has lately been shuttling between Lagos and Abeokuta within the last two months. No! Not a new movie project. Kelani is yet to fully exploit his most recent award-winning movie, Dazzling Mirage and so TK as the legendary filmmaker is simply called may not be in a hurry to crank cameras for another flick.

The Ogun state born filmmaker is presently occupied with ensuring that doors of the recently opened Mainframe Film and Media Institute (MFMI) in Abeokuta, Ogun State remains open.

The institute, which sits on an expansive land in Abeokuta, opened its doors about a month ago to the first set of students who came from all over the country. “We have taken off with our first set of students,’’ said Kelani during a chat through telephone. “I call this my career highlight,” he added, sounding fulfilled.

“There is so much one has garnered over the years that one has decided to give back. This is why I decided on an institute, a training institute where those who want to seek knowledge in filmmaking and media can learn theoretically and practically but it will be more of practical,’’ he stressed.

Kelani reputed for his numerous seminal works disclosed that the school officially took off on May 16 on a lighter mood “with some committed Nigerian youths and individuals who desire to develop their creative, technical and business skills in filmmaking and the digital media and whilst with us here they will acquire artistic, practical and technical education.’’

Also, Kelani disclosed that the school is open to established industry professionals who need to update their skills from time to time. He also said “we are blessed with a robust team of industry facilitators and advisory board who are industry professionals and academics and they include Joke Muyiwa, Femi Odugbemi, Ropo Ewenla, Steve Sodiya, Muritala Sule and Abiodun Aleja, all of whom have enviable records in the media of film, theatre and television.

“With these people who constitute our faculty, we will be able to help develop highly creative, professionally trained individuals armed with tools to chart a new path for the Nigeria’s film and television industries.’’

At the formal opening of the institute attended by personalities such as Adebayo Salami, Niji Akanni, Ropo Ewenla, Tunji Bamishingbin, Prof. Remi Raji, Yinka Akanbi, Dr. Tunde Adegbola, the ace cinematographer shared his vision of the MFMI thus, “I have always wanted to do this but not without acquiring a level of maturity and experience to serve as the lubricant for effective transfer of experiences gained over a career spanning more than three decades… Mainframe Film and Media Institute therefore is poised to impart artistic and technical education and practice to young ones and established industry professionals who need to update their skills from time to time. And like I have always said, my career highlight is founding Mainframe Film and Media Institute, MFMI.”

Giving an insight into the academic calendar, Kelani revealed that the pioneering students are presently being taken through Film School Basic (FSB) programmes for a period of eight weeks, which would end on July 8. However he stated that the second batch of the FSB programme would kick off in September through November, which gives other intending participants, who could not make the first batch, enough time to prepare.

Some of the pioneer students who spoke to The Guardian expressed satisfaction with the level of training at the institute. A student, Sam Olatunji enthused that with the quality of training he is being exposed to at MFMI, “nothing but the next level of excellence’’ is what he will aim at when he returns to the field. Information on the institute can be sourced at www.mainframeinstitute.com.