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Dec 14, 2017


Catholic professionals in the film industry have been admonished to use their talents for the promotion of the evangelization mission of the Church, using the film industry as a platform for the promotion of Christian morals and values.

This advice was given by the Catholic Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Most Rev. Calistus Onaga in his goodwill message at the first Film Festival of the Catholic Church in the country; organized by Signis Nigeria and held at the Holy Ghost Cathedral Church Conference Hall, Enugu, Enugu State, recently. The theme for the festival wasVideo Film for A culture of Peace and Justice.

Describing the film industry as a veritable tool for evangelization, Bishop Onaga stated that Catholic artists should permeate the industry with films that will promote good Christian morals and values; and assured that the Church hierarchy will do everything within its powers to encourage Catholics in the industry to attain enviable heights in the profession.

In the message, delivered by Rev. Fr. Benjamin Achi, the Director of Communications, Enugu Diocese, Bishop Calistus Onaga described the film industry as an effective communication organ for reaching-out with the Good News of Christ in the world. He however noted that a lot still need to be done to enable the Church film industry achieve the desired objective of instilling Christian morals and values in the industry and the society in general. This is the challenge Catholic artists have to surmount, by being more actively involved in the industry.

In his Keynote Lecture, Professor Femi Shaka of the University of Port Harcourt described the film industry as an Areopagus of ideas where the Church and the faithful can come together  to plan and strategize for impacting positively on the film industry and using the industry for evangelization purposes. He however noted that more needs to be done by the Church for the industry to take its place of pride in promoting justice and peace in the society.

 Professor Shaka’s presentation was delivered by Rev. Fr. Innocent Uwa of the University of Port Harcourt, who was the chairman of the three-man panel of judges who vetted the 14 Feature, Music Video and Documentary film productions submitted by different Catholic artists and film makers.

 African Credo from the stable of Catholic Television (CTV) of Abuja won five of the prizes in the film and video music production categories while Confessional Seal produced and directed by John Maxwell won the Award for best Features Film category; with Mr. Valentine Agwulonu who stared in the film winning the best Catholic male actor.   Caritas Nigeria: Building a Community of Love, a documentary produced by Steve Ofurum of the Directorate of Social Communications, Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN), won the Documentary Films Award category.

The festival was attended by dignitaries from all walks of life, including the doyen of the Catholic film industry in Nigeria, Chief Pete Edochie who was given an award for professional excellence along with Professor Femi Shaka of the University of Port Harcourt. Other award recipients were: and Chief Joel Ugwuoke, the Managing Director  of Golden Vallery Hotel; Rev. Fr. Innocent Uwah of the University of Port Harcourt; Chief Mrs. Chinwe Owoh, Chairman, Actors Guild of Nigeria, Enugu State Chapter and Chief Okolo, Ozue Omea of Ntegberese.

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