By Benjamin Njoku
Newly elected president of Directors Guild of Nigeria,DGN, Mr Victor Okhai has taken a quick swipe at the deteriorating state of film making in Nigeria, declaring that the days of honeymoon are over in Nollywood.
Okahi made this remarks, while speaking after his election as the new president of the guild last Sunday.
The popular film maker and former presidential aspirant defeated the likes of Mac Collins Chidebe, Yinka Akanbi and Kehinde Soaga to emerge the next president of the guild. In his acceptance speech, Okhai lamented the falling standard of film making in Nigeria, insisting that it’s no longer going to be business as usual in the industry.
He, however, vowed to do everything to sanitize the industry for a better performance during his tenure.
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According to him, “We are going to make sure that the art and craft of film making in Nigeria is elevated and taken to its rightful place. We recognize that for us to compete globally, we must practice with the best practices and that we intend to do.”
“Henceforth, nobody is going to take your film unless it can meet international standard,”he added.
Continuing, he said “ Today is a historic day. I believe that it’s a dawn of a new era. I was a co-founder of this guild. We had a vision in the beginning. I was also the first National Secretary of the guild. We started with a vision of the kind of industry that we had in mind as well as the kind of directors’ guild that we had in mind.”
“So much has happened over the years. We have had some great leaders and they have done their best . But the truth is, the director who is in the hierarchy of the production chain is the first among equal. The state of the director in Nigeria today leaves so much to be desired. We are not only going to bring back the vision that we had in mind originally,we are going to restore the dignity of the director, not just in Nigeria but also, the entire continent.”
“We have had a great team and the challenge ahead of us is great. You may congratulate us but deep down in my head, all I see the work ahead. Expectations are very high and unless we hit the ground running, the euphoria or the honeymoon will over even before it starts. For that reason, I want to assure not only the directors but also, my colleagues in the film industry that we are going to take the industry to a whole new level. The truth is that there’s no true standard. The honeymoon is over for Nollywood; The days when we were a new industry, people from abroad came to learn from us. It’s all over,” Okhai said.
In his farewell address, the immediate past president of the guild, Mr Fred Amata described Victor Okhai as a man who’s capable of steering the ship of the guild. He said it has been a turbulent experience piloting the affairs of the guild in the past four years, noting that no matter how rancorous it’ can become, DGN transitions are always peaceful.