Following his response to the Motion Picture Practitioners Council of Nigeria (MOPPICON) bill, C. J. Fiery' Obasi has shared six points to fix the industry's problems.
The "Ojuju" director who received positive responses from other filmmakers, has shared six ways the problems facing Nollywood can be fixed.
I'm super glad and super humbled by the support and the voices echoing out their stand on the MOPPICON issue. I sense a change in the air. And when I speak of an African cinematic renaissance as I often do every chance I get, this is what I speak of.
I've been asked if I don't support MOPPICON what then do I support? So I've decided to articulate these points, so as to make clear that I've never been anti association. I may be a rebel at heart, but I realize and appreciate the function of organization and structure within a system. I have never contradicted that in any of my statements.
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 DVD market 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!
These are the real issues plaguing us. There are a lot more, but if we are looking for a legislation, or an alternative argument, this is where we start from. Once we get these right, trust me, every other thing will naturally fall into place.
On March 13, 2016, the inauguration of the Ministerial Committee aimed at fast-tracking the passage into law of the Motion Picture Practitioners Council of Nigeria (MOPPICON) Bill in Lagos, was announced.
The announcement was made by Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed at the 2016 Kannywood Awards.
In a statement, the minister revealed that 17-member committee, will have Peace Anyiam-Osigwe (AMAA President) as coordinator, and Mahmoud Alli-Balogun (Tango with Me) as deputy coordinator, review and Bill before its submission to the Ministry of Justice and the National Assembly.
Watch trailer of C. J 'Fiery' Obasi's "Ojuju" below.