Lagos – A Nollywood actress, Ms Kate Henshaw, on Sunday appealed to the Federal Government to assist in redefining the focus of the movie- industry so as to move it to international standards.
Henshaw said on the side-lines of a parley between the Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, and members of the Nollywood.
It was held at the News Agency of Nigeria Media Centre in Iganmu, Lagos.
Nollywood is Nigeria’s booming film industry and it is the world’s third largest producer of feature films.
Henshaw explained that any form of assistance from the Federal Government would help to improve the laws guiding the industry in the country.
It would also help to provide tax relief for actors and producers and help Nollywood in its fight against piracy in the industry, she said.
She said that ,“Fighting piracy is like an albatross around our neck.
“In this country, many of our citizens are too negligent in obeying and implementing our laws.
“There must be harsher consequences for those who violate the laws of the land.
“ There should be stiffer penalties for offenders and piracy defaulters, if possible, death penalty for offenders.
“When they are caught, there should be no option of fine or bail for them; they should be kept in either the police or prison custody until when they
are arraigned and the court passes its sentence on the culprits.
“That will serve as a deterrent to others who wish to go into pirating the works of other actors because they are eating from where they did not sow.’’
Henshaw also called for the establishment of more cinema halls in the country to promote the products of film-makers.
“ We need more cinema halls and more screens.
“This is necessary; so that by the time the film-maker had finished his movie and takes it round the country; he is already making money before he looks at putting it on the digital video discs (DVDs).
“That is what happens in developed country.
“ Films and visuals are very strong; they speak to people.
“I am very proud to be an integral part of the entertainment industry because we have come from a place of no support to creating our own; we have contributed immensely to the growth of this nation.
“I hope the Minister will listen to us, listen to our cries and groans, because we need more profits from the sweat we put into our films and home videos,’’ Henshaw said.