BY ADEDIWURA OKELEYE
The review of the MOPICON bill by a committee inaugurated by the Minister for Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has been trailed by a lot of controversy.
A lot of notable people in the movie industry have spoken up against it.
However in an interview with theunion.ng‘s Uzor Maxim Uzoatu, Dr Jude Akudinobi, a film scholar and Nollywood enthusiast answered questions about how he felt about the bill.
Speaking about the contentions about the bill and what he thought about them, he said,
“Those are indicative of current afflictions, even tribulations that do not augur well for the industry. If MOPICON comes into existence, it must focus on harmonizing the diversity of voices, visions, even idiosyncratic dispositions, not boxing in or boxing out certain creative impulses or prerogatives…”
“There are elements in that bill which would subject the nation to ridicule and may, ultimately, sound a death-knell for the industry. A few salient ones include prospects of jail terms, fines, power to regulate and control professional practice in the industry, exhortations to “correct thinking” and “tell a story honestly,” whatever the latter means, prohibitions against film practice in Nigeria, based on age, nationality, learning, ostensible skills, non-membership, three-tier membership order,” added.
Nollywood frontrunners have raised concerns about ‘seniority’ conflicts in the industry that will be further swelled by the MOPICON bill and Dr Jude addressed the issue.
He said, “That is regrettable because a cursory glance across Africa reveals audacious pushing of creative boundaries and more worldly reference points, from a younger generation of writers, musicians, artists, fashion designers, entrepreneurs, and, crucially, here, film-makers. In this are shifts in interests, experiences, sensibilities, and audiences. Living in Bondage, a seminal Nollywood film, would, next year, be a quarter century old. So, whether seen as renegades or upstarts, Nollywood’s younger generation must be reckoned with, considerably.”