The recent engagement with the stakeholders in the motion picture industry by the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC) has been described as fruitful and worthy of emulation by other agencies.
The conference, which held at the Lagos office of the NFC, was the first meeting with the new Managing Director, Dr. Chidia Maduekwe where he showed profound understanding of the challenges facing the film industry.
Allaying the fears of the stakeholders, Maduekwe assured them of not just a listening ear, but of government policies that will make their businesses thrive. “Our film industry today is a net contributor to our national income. Its key performance indicators in the economy clearly show that if properly funded, it can become the single largest contributor to our national income. Indeed, I can confidently say here that we can move from the present two percent to over 10 percent net contribution to our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) within the next five years,” he says.
On the need for self-regulation among practitioners, Maduekwe said: “I will work with you to ensure that Motion Picture Practitioners Council of Nigeria (MOPICON) comes out in a way that, globally, it would be accepted as a regulatory body of repute.”
Identifying some of the challenges of the film industry to include obsolete laws, funding, piracy/copyright protection, lack of film production facilities, poor distribution and exhibition networks among others, Maduekwe harped on the use of Internet and digital marketing as the present and future of movie business.
“To advance the boundaries so far established, we will collaborate and encourage the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and other service providers to have a dedicated bandwidth access for Nigerian movie industry streaming and marketing. Through this strategy, multiple revenue streams to the creativity of our motion picture practitioners will be better enhanced.”
On piracy, he said: “I believe you will give me your candid and professional advice on the best ways of solving this problem, which I believe has been in the drawing board for over 15 years. We would need to deploy a combination of stiffer legislation and technology to drastically reduce the presence of piracy demons in our industry. It makes nonsense of your creativity; it stiffens your creativity… The anti-piracy law by the government shall be on the front burner of the current NFC.”
The highpoint of the conference was assembling a group of panelists among the filmmakers that engaged participants on possible solutions to the problems of the film industry.