Over its six years of operations, Whistling Woods International (WWI) - a globally recognized Institute for Film, Communication, Animation & Media Arts from India, has sustained international relations with several countries across the world like Spain, Bermuda, Argentina, Australia, UK, Dubai and many more. WWI strongly encourages cross cultural exchange between film professionals across the globe and hence has several academic affiliations with reputed universities across the world to promote the same. WWI also is the youngest Full member of CILECT. WWI had been invited by the Government of Spain in 2009 to set up a campus in Alicante, Spain within the Spanish Film Industry and now Trend Media City Limited (TMC) - a Nigerian development company has invited WWI to set up the first world-class film & media institute in Africa –Whistling Woods International Nigeria (WWIN).
Trend Media City Limited and Whistling Woods International have signed an MOU announcing the partnership in the development of WWIN. The MOU communicates how both TMC and WWI will invest their resources, capital, and knowledge to develop the new WWIN - Whistling Woods International Nigeria - film & media institute for the thriving entertainment hub of Nigeria. In addition, WWI will be supervising the operations of the film institute and the studios for a minimum period of 10-years. In India, WWI has done remarkable work in the field of film and media education and has set new standards for infrastructure, technology and facilities at its Mumbai Campus and aims to do the same at the Nigerian campus.
On the significance of the MOU, Mr. UzoUdemba chairman/CEO of TUG, the owners of Trend TV and TMC observes, “Everyone talks about the raw talents inherent in the Nollywood industry and its impendency as a major source of film and TV entertainment content to Africa and the world, but the WWI Nigeria will become the training ground to train, harness and refine the professionals and technicians who will take the industry to its next level and unlock its enormous economic potential.
We in TUG are indeed honored to become the catalyst for the professionalization of the industry and its transformation from makers of home videos to makers of films and TV entertainment products in the right look & feel, as well as quality for global distribution.
Finally, we believe we have arrived at the point where Africa gets prepared to begin to tell its own stories, which are numerous, through motion pictures. The rest of the world is telling their stories, and it is time for Africa to do same, with quality and professionalism that the world will respect. We consider ourselves blessed to have WWI, a very successful and a globally respected film academy and pioneer as a key adviser and partner in this venture” Mr. Udemba also noted that India, through its film industry, has generated tens of billions in foreign exchange over the last two decades, and this is primarily as a result of the training film & media professionals receive. In setting up its International film & media academy, Trend Media City Limited is seeking to invest directly in Nollywood, making a developmental impact to the local community and the economy. Additionally, the film institute will improve the talent and skill pool through world class training, and providing access to equipment similar to those which drive Hollywood and Indian Film Industry.
Mr. Subhash Ghai, renowned director-writer-producer and founder-chairman of Whistling Woods International says: When I conceptualized Whistling Woods over a decade ago, I did it as an attempt to raise the standard of fresh talent being inducted into the Indian Film industry.
This I believe would lead to an elevation in the quality of motion pictures produced. Since its commencement in 2006, Whistling Woods has given the Indian Film industry hundreds of professionals and the industry has accepted them gladly, recognizing their education and their ability to add value to film projects owing to their creative, technical and business-related education at Whistling Woods. . In late 2010, we were recognized globally as well with The Hollywood Reporter rating Whistling Woods as one of the 10 best film schools in the world. Over the past year or so, we have been aggressively exploring opportunities to expand globally and in the proposed Trend Filmcity by TMC in Nigeria, we found a perfect partner.
The Nigerian film industry already has the volume with hundreds of films being made annually. Hence it is quite clear that tremendous latent talent exists. What we hope to achieve is the same as we did in India – to hone & shape this talent and turn them into quality film & media professionals, which will in-turn raise the quality of the industry, both creatively & technically and ensure that it achieves critical & financial success. The well-educated & well-trained talent introduced into the Nigerian Film Industry by way of this film & media institute will then go on to constitute a majority of the next generation of filmmakers in Nigeria and perhaps the world.
TMCs credentials as one of the premier Media & Entertainment organisations in Nigeria are unquestionable and I believe that by combining our strengths, skills and understanding, we will deliver great quality enhancement to the Nigerian Film & Media Industry” The WWI Nigeria Film Institute is a core component of Trend Media City, conceived as an international tourist destination, business park, film city, research center and ICT development center. TMC seeks to build a city of the future in Africa, within a spectacular "eco- friendly city" and become a model for the rest of the world to follow.
The city will provide the best leisure activities for visitors from all over the world, in addition to a business park and a film city, which will produce the best of motion pictures and TV programs to the highest global standards for distribution all around the world.