Department of Theatre and Film Studies

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]PREAMBLE:  The Department of Theatre Arts, Igbinedion University was established in the year 2005. The Department opened with just one student at the undergraduate level. The Department sits at the first floor of the old Admin Block where Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan College of Arts and Social Sciences is.
Theatre Arts in Igbinedion, University, Okada was founded on the philosophy that knowledge and practice of the communicative arts of Drama, Theatre, Film, Performance and Media Production should be disseminated and applied to solve human problems and facilitate sustainable development in the community and society at large. In addition to laying a strong foundation for an enduring Arts and Cultural Promotion in the nation, the Theatre Arts and Film Programmes seek to inculcate in prospective students, the creative imagination needed to formulate ideas and artistically translate such ideas into practicable solutions for the contemporary needs of humanity.

In line with the vision of the founding fathers of Igbinedion, University, Okada, the Theatre Arts Programme guides the student to imbibe the tenets of discipline required for artistic training, so as to graduate into the society as self-reliant creative artists and entrepreneurs committed to the ideals of excellence required for nation building. The cardinal mission of the Department is to produce graduates that are intellectually and professionally equipped to meet the dynamic challenges of the 21st Century World both in their industry and in other sectors of the society.


Both the undergraduate and the Postgraduate programmes of Departments are fully accredited by the NUC.


To flow with the vogue, as Film cum Home Video is gradually eroding the efficacy of live theatre performances on the watching audience; and as the interest of the theatre patrons are swiftly swung towards a more vibrant screen performances, most Universities, where pure Theatre Arts had earlier held sway, have fully identified with this change. Some have opted for the nomenclature Film and Media Studies and the likes as against the hitherto Theatre Arts which held sway. Hence, this Department had, prior to my assumption of office, pushed forth a proposition for nomenclature change to reflect this nascent trend. The Senate, in August, 2019, approved the name Theatre and Film production as the new name for the Department. The proposition for a new programme reflecting the film aspect implies that the Department will be awarding degrees in these two areas – Theatre Arts and Film Production. The Director of Academic Planning and the Ag. Head of Department had, using the NUC Benchmark, discussed the curriculum, and subsequent Application for the take-off of the new programme. It is hoped that, soon, the application would have been filed to the NUC for the possible smooth take-off of the new programme within the Department.


Benin Film Academy, an affiliate of the Department of Theatre Arts, Igbinedion University, Okada, held her convocation/graduation ceremonies on Thursday, the 17th of December, 2020 at Kada Plaza. The event started at about 11 .00 a.m with the graduating students, well adorned in the graduation gowns, ushered into the hall after a brief moment of Red Carpet ceremony. Eminent Guests, with the Vice Chancellor of Igbinedion University, ably represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Prof. Odejimi D. Omotsefe, were ushered onto the High table. Among other dignitaries invited to the high table were: Hon. Orobosa Omo-Ojo (Former Commissioner Transport, Edo State), Chief Owen Chamberlain Obaseki (a Business Man), Hon. Aiyamenkhue Edokpolor (Former Special Adviser to Edo State Governor), Otunba Ayodele Oyebade (a Business Man).

Key personalities who have contributed positively, one way or the other, to advancement of the Moving Pictures industry in Nigeria were given awards. Among them were; Ugezu J. Ugezu (Nollywood Director), Charles Inojie (Nollywood Actor), Queen Nwokoye (Nollywood Actress), Trevor Pillay (Managing Director, Kada Cinema) and Amen Imasuen (Nollywood Director).

In his speech, the Director of the Academy, Ambassador Lancelot Imasuen poured encomium on the Management of Igbinedion University for effective partnership in this venture of moulding creative young minds.

Out of the Twenty-five students enrolled on the programme for this set, nineteen specialized in Acting, five in Cinematography, and one in Directing for the Screen. However, it was only Twenty-one of them that were able to meet the minimum financial requirements for graduation. More so, those who could not pay the full fees were not issued their Certificates at the venue of the event. The highlight of the event was the showing of three short movies produced by the graduating set independently. These were: Travails, Innocent and The Interview.


Though characterized by uncertainties occasioned by the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic, the 2019/2020 Academic Session of this University ran uninterrupted   The Department, like other Departments in the University, successfully taught and conducted the examinations via the OLMS; and presented the session’s results for consideration and approval at the Senate. The Final year students were made to defend their project before a panel, made up of the lecturers of the Department and the External Examiner, Prof. Emmanuel Emesealu, via zoom.


During the session under review, a total of Five (5) post-graduate students have been admitted into the Department. One for PGD, one for the Masters programme, and the other two for the M.Phil/Ph.D and PhD programmes respectively. We are still expecting more based on indicated interests. We had, since, started the course work with them.


While planning for a bigger film production in conjunction with the BFA, the Department assessed the students’ practical examinations for the First Semester of 2020/2021 Session based on filmic outing. The two productions were: an oral interpretation cum a filmic adaptation of Wole Soyinka’s “Abiku” and “Dreams”.


As the affiliation of the Department with the Benin Film Academy waxes stronger, the students, it is hoped will be exposed to new skills as they will be exposed to film editing, techniques in acting and Directing for the Large screen. More so, during the six months Industrial attachment, always taken three months apiece, the students are exposed to trainings with private sectors, media houses as well as government establishments. This gives them a wider horizon into areas different from their academic interest; thereby getting them ready to face the challenges of life outside their comfort zones.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]