…as Lagos reiterates support for industry
By Benjamin Njoku
Worried by the unending bickering and factionalization trailing the Nigerian movie industry, veteran film maker, Eddie Ugbomah has initiated a move to restore peace and sanity in the troubled industry.
The veteran film maker has set up a 15-man committee that cuts across the three major film markets that make up the Nollywood industry; Yoruba movie sector, Kannywood and the English movie sector.
Speaking at the press parley last Thursday, the veteran film maker who is also the chairman, Board of Trustee of the Association of Movie Practitioners,AMP, frowned at the idea of multiplicity of groups within the industry, stressing that the ugly development has seriously hindered the growth of the industry. He disclosed his plans to form a unified body which would be known as Motion Picture Professionals Council that would represent all the interests within the sector.
‘Nigeria is awash with all manner of names like Kannywood, Yorubawood and I think we should put a stop to this. If we want government to take us seriously in what we do, then we should be seen to be unified and speak with one voice.’ Motion picture covers everything in the industry and we have made extensive contacts concerning the formation of the proposed council,” he said.
“The president has agreed to fight piracy. In what way is he going to fight it? We should tell him because these pirates among us are human beings, not spirits. We should not attack the regulatory bodies like NFVCB and NFC, blaming them for their inability to rid the industry of the menace of piracy. The main aim of setting up this group is to sanitize the industry,” he said.
Meanwhile, reacting to call on the Lagos State Government to support the industry by the President of AMP, Mr. Zik Zulu Okafor, the Executive Secretary of the Lagos State Film and Video Censors Board, Mr. Bamidele Balogun said the previous government under Mr. Babatunde Fashola tried for the industry by assisting some of their members and introducing capacity building initiatives where some practitioners had the privilege of being trained by foreign professionals.
Balogun recalled that Governor Ambode had said during his inaugural speech that the focus of his Administration was entertainment and tourism and this position was sufficient to convince the stakeholders in the industry of his determination to develop the sector.
He disclosed that the State Government was planning to organize a forum where major players in the industry would have the opportunity of rubbing minds with government and resolutions reached at the forum would dictate policy direction of government in that sector.