Storyland Studios, the three-dimensional storytelling firm, has been selected to work on a major film resort project with sustainability at its core in Western Africa.
The company which has recently celebrated a number of upcoming projects at IAAPA Expo 2021, will design and master plan a new film city and campus for the entertainment industry, creating a first-of-its-kind hub in Lagos, Nigeria.
The project is sponsored by Del-York International Group, in partnership with the Lagos State Government. Currently in advanced stages of development, the project aims to be positioned as an international focal point for the entertainment industry, primarily film, where media will be both produced and recognised for decades to come.
Linus Idahosa, founder and president of Del-York International Group comments “The industry has long desired a home, that special place on the continent that would galvanize our young people to a new hope whilst igniting the fire of their creativity.
“The continent’s burgeoning community of creatives have long been inspired through the magic of film and television, spiriting themselves into worlds they never thought possible, but curtailed by their immediate circumstances.
Storyland Studios founder, chief creative officer and Blooloop 50 influencer Mel McGowan adds “Our team is thrilled to have been chosen for this unique opportunity. We are excited to be part of the further development of Nigeria’s incredibly prolific and rapidly-growing film industry.”
Realising young potential
Entrepreneur Idahosa is also the founder of the Del-York Creative Academy (DCA), through which he hopes to reposition and transform Nigeria’s media landscape to forge stronger connections with global audiences.
DCA is a true advocate for the African film and creative industry, and Idahosa is passionate about creating change. He says “With this agreement in place, we can finally realize that purpose-designed infrastructure that will match the dreams and most expansive imaginations of these young people on the African continent. I believe we have been specially chosen by providence to make this project a reality for our community and continent.
The mixed-use hundred-hectare campus will have the capacity to support between 5,000 to 10,000 daily visitors, with production, post-production, and editing services for filmmakers. Core infrastructure will include accommodation and retail for residents and visitors working in the industry.
Lagos film city is also designed to have wider appeal for global tourists, creating a new hotspot with dining, shopping and lodging facilities. Planned leisure and recreational offerings include an amusement park, water park, and a variety of movie-themed attractions for enthusiasts including the Nollywood Walk of Fame, Nigerian Movie Repository, and the Museum of Movie History.
Putting the Story in movies
Storyland Studios will be a major contributor to the film city and entertainment industry campus. The company will also provide a feasibility study to ensure space requirements and warranted investment matches specifications.
Idahosa says “From the onset, our focus was to partner with a world leader with a track record of successful projects from across the world, and more so with a heart for Africa. Storyland Studios was the perfect fit.
McGowan adds “The Lagos film city concept is a cultural, creative ecosystem that will be a catalyst not only for the country of Nigeria but for Africa. It will be not only a world-class production studio facility but also a visitor attraction. There will be an extensive production facility, in addition to an education component to develop talent from across the continent.”
Growing industry prospects
Nigeria’s film industry, nicknamed “Nollywood”, currently accounts for ₦ 853.9 billion ($7.2 billion), roughly 1.4% of Nigerian GDP. After agriculture, it is Nigeria’s largest job market.
With a projected annual growth rate of 8.6%, over one million people rely on Nollywood for their employment, either directly or adjacent to the field.
Storyland Studios‘ digital storyteller, Ubong Eton, says “Nollywood is one of the world’s largest film industries in terms of production volume. Lagos is home to most of the productions, but there is no proper infrastructure that can cater effectively to the industry.”
A sustainable project
The project is being designed with the core principles of aesthetics and sustainability going hand in hand. The film city will leverage eco-conscious materials, modern features, and use environmentally-friendly elements of the natural world. A carefully curated selection of lush gardens, artificial lakes, and beautiful park areas will add to the aesthetic appeal of the campus.
Idahosa predicts “Africa is the next big destination for the film and creative industry and with the phenomenon that is Nollywood, Lagos is its epicentre. The film city project will provide an enduring ecosystem of value and a home where creatives from across the continent can come together to live, work, and learn in an environment that sustainably supports enterprise.”
Lagos film city has already gone through crucial concept and planning stages and has started the implementation section of the project. The first and second phases are scheduled to be delivered in 2022 and 2023.
Storyland Studios have a number of other projects in the pipeline, including the restoration of a nostalgic mountaintop destination, Ghost Town in the Sky.