By Dorothy Anosike
The Inkblot Women In Film (IWIF) continues to tackle challenges experienced by women in the film industry at the May edition of the IWIF lunch held in Lagos.
Initiated by the Co-founder of Inkblot Productions Zulumoke Oyibo, the IWIF was created to advocate for women’s inclusiveness and impartial access in the Nigerian Film Industry.
With the objective of tackling social, ethical and professional issues surrounding women in Nollywood, IWIF aims at creating a working environment that is safe and free.
One of the issues discussed at the lunch was intellectual property rights and how Nigerian creatives are not well protected and do not get the necessary credit for their work. It was noted that writing is one of the undervalued departments in Nollywood, as writers do not get credited in the publicity of movies and are usually not even mentioned.
“We need to get to a level of professionalism where people are valued and can be easily credited for the work that they do. This is not only for bragging rights, but also to create a work portfolio for themselves and their careers” said film producer, Abimbola Craig.
A major challenge that was brought to the fore was the inadequate data and lack of structure in the industry.
According to award winning actress Kehinde Bankole, “The very first solution to the major challenges being first in the industry is access to information. There should be a ready place where people can get information and be educated about the goings-on of the industry and the various resources available to filmmakers and actors. There should also be information of how people can get training to boost their craft and advance their careers”
Still in the vein of access to information, IWIF convener Zulumoke Oyibo added that it is hard for investors to invest in the industry because there is no structure. “Oftentimes, investors do not have data and cannot see the numbers to tell if a film project will be a viable investment or not. This makes it tough for filmmakers to access funding”.
Actor, producer and show host Eku Edewor believes that a lack of transparency is a big culprit here, “unlike Hollywood for example where the film’s budget is published and how much the movie makes is also published for all to see. So people can tell if the movie is successful or a flop. Talents’ fees are also known for the most part and this way, creatives are paid well for their work.” she shared.
It was reiterated that a good way for Nollywood to mitigate this is to welcome a standard/union level fee structure as is practiced in some other film industries in other parts of the world. The belief is that when there is no secrecy about the fees that people are paid in the industry, people will not be short changed as everyone has an idea how much ought to be paid and how much a production makes or doesn’t make. A structure that caters to what everyone should be entitled to based on expertise and experience, regardless of gender, considering that women have often been paid less than their male counterparts.
The 4th edition of the IWIF lunch held in Lagos had in attendance Kehinde Bankole (Actor); Eku Edewor (Actor/Producer/Host); Abimbola Craig (Producer); Matilda Ogunleye (Producer) Jennifer Anti (Production designer); Patience Lawal (Post Producer); Bukki Olabiyi (Lawyer) Omawumi Ogbe (Managing Partner, GLG Communications) and Zulumoke Oyibo (Convener, IWIF & co-founder, Inkblot Productions).