BY ESE DIBEBI
Award-winning Nollywood director, CJ Obasi has written about what he thinks are the SIX issues that need to be addressed in order to move the filmmaking industry in Nigeria move forward.
He believes that the lack of proper distribution framework is one of the biggest problems hindering the rapid growth of Nollywood.
Below are his thoughts:
1. Lack of distribution – build enough cinemas in every state, ensure content buyers and cinema chains pay fair amounts to producers. Clamp down on the local DVD market (as it stands today) once and for all. Enough lollygagging about it.
2. Piracy – empower the NCC to work at its full potential. The constitution already backs them up. Again, clamp down on the DVD market and just stop talking about it.
3. Lack of funding – We have the NFC as a body overseeing film associations and guilds. They should administer funds to filmmakers, as is the case in other developed nations.
4. Lack of studios – we need studios…sound, VFX, color, for every stage of post production, at world class level. And this goes beyond BOI, because only a ‘special class’ of producers get to benefit from these BOI funded studios, as it is structured today.
Also, we need to have these studios giving special rebates to Nigerian producers.
That’s why the South African film industry is growing in leaps and bounds. And that’s how they’re attracting big international studios to their country, because those studios know they’ll get as much quality for their work, as they would get in Hollywood. We haven’t started taking the industry seriously here, that’s why we come up with lame ideas like MOPPICON, sorry to say.
5. Allow the NFC, NFVCB, and NCC to do their jobs. The jobs they have already been empowered constitutionally to do. We don’t need MOPPICON to do their jobs for them.
6. Bill – the only bill worth ‘billing’ is the bill that allows more Nigerian content (I still hate that word) versus international content. This simply means, more Nigerian dramas than Telemundo on our TV screens and More Nollywood than Hollywood on our cinema screens. Also more Nigerian corporations should hire Nigerian crew to do the big production jobs, rather than foreign crews. We have the skilled hands and the talented amongst us wasting away! We can make it happen! We only need the chance to prove it! This a drastic decision that needs to be made. That’s how you change the game. All the big movie industries of the world encourage their own cinema or their own TV on their screens than any others. Except Nigeria!