African Voice



Nollywood Workshops in conjunction with the Screen Writers Guild of Nigeria will host it's first Gist Writers Workshop, a one day event for script writers on May 2 2014. The event will offer an interesting theme, ‘Entertainment, Creativity and Health.’ This one day event will better equip screenwriters to play a more involved role in bettering the lives of Nigerians. This event is part of the Nollywood Workshops' series of Gist events that will be held across the country with other relevant stakeholders in the motion picture industry.

"Gist", is a a program of Nollywood Workshops and Hollywood Health & Society (at University of Southern California's Annenburg Norman Lear Center). Gist is a free resource that harnesses the power of entertainment to bring about health impact in Nigeria. Gist works with great producers, writers, and directors by providing them with important health information that can be used in movies and television shows. Says Nollywood Workshops Co-Director, Bond Emeruwa. “We believe in the power of entertainment to change lives, and accurate information is indispensable to doing this.”

According to Mr Yinka Ogun, Vice President of SGWN, “This workshop is coming at the most appropriate time when Nollywood is moving to the next level and assuming its appropriate place in Nation building. Because of the importance of script writers in the industry; they have to be mindful of the accuracy of information and data when passing across issues bothering on health." Kate Folb, Director, Hollywood, Health & Society stated, “We have no doubt that Nigerian writers will develop creative and compelling ways to tell stories that will entertain and inform their audiences on the issues facing Nigeria today.”

Speakers at the Gist Writers Workshop will include Bond Emeruwa, a film maker and co-director of Nollywood Workshops who will present Gist to the attendants, Dr Bola Kusemiju, Deputy Director Nigeria Urban Reproductive Health Initiative, Kunle Afolayan will speak on ‘What does a director want in a script?', Paul Emema, a seasoned writer and filmmaker will speak on "The Power of the Writer- Writing for Development", Former ITPAN training school Director and Rector of International Film and Broadcast Academy (IFBA) will also be there to speak on "Screen writing as a sole source of Livelihood'. Nollywood Workshops has also concluded arrangements to have Health experts at the event to respond to health enquiries that arise for event attendees.

In addition to providing training for filmmakers, Gist serves as a free on-demand resource center that connects writers, directors and producers with top health experts—all service offered free of charge to entertainment professionals. Services include health and development related site visits, customized location tours, briefings, trainings and workshops, phone, internet and in-person consultations with health experts, social workers and others, as well as tip sheets and updates. With Gist, filmmakers and TV producers get the information they need to make accurate and compelling films and television programs, and audiences learn more about the health issues that plague them.

Nollywood Workshops has formalized a partnership to support Gist with relevant Guilds and Associations in Nigeria's movie industry. In November 2013, in partnership with Hollywood Health & Society, the team hosted a dinner at Terra Kulture to introduce Gist to Nigerian entertainment industry elites. In attendance were 50 of Nigeria’s prolific directors, producers, writers and actors. This dinner was the first in a series of events to engage and intimate entertainment professionals of GIST activities. In March 2013, members of Nollywood Workshops' Gist team gathered in Mumbai, India with representatives of USC's Hollywood, Health and Society, and the The Third Eye, a similar program of The Asian Center for Entertainment Education in India, to celebrate the year anniversary of the launch of the Global Centers for Health and Development.“We are proud to partner with Nollywood Workshops on the Gist program and look forward to supporting filmmakers in Nigeria as we have in Hollywood for years.” commented Chris Dzialo, Program Administrator of the Global Centers for Health & Development.

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