EntertainmentMAY 19 EDITION

THE NIGERIAN FILM INDUSTRY AND CHALLENGES OF PIRACY

By: Ifeanyi Osita, Mariam Sanni & Stella Ariwodo

Like a little acorn, the Nigerian Film Industry has grown exponentially. In the space of just twenty years, the sheer frit, determination, creativity and innovation which has swept across has led to massive improvement and profit in all sectors of the Nollywood value chain.

Today Nigerian actors and actresses are globally recognized and given roles in major productions. The quantity of script writing filming directing, post­production and even make-up has pulled up to international standards. The industry has witnessed several collaborative efforts with stake-holder outside Nigeria. The platforms provided by modern cinema houses, YouTube and Netflix has meant that films of Nigerian origin are now viewed the globe. When you add the exploits of Nigerian-born actors who reside abroad such as Chiwetalu Ejiofor as well as John Gboyega, you can understand why many movie followers believe that it is simply a case of when and not when Hollywood will overtake both Bollywood and Hollywood. Despite the massive contribution Nollywood is making in terms of job- creation and the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the rosy story has come with its unique challenges.

The activities of quacks and pirates has promoted several devious methods of short-changing the system to the benefits of those who trade on intellectual property theft and uncensored production and duplication of both local and foreign films alike. Nefarious acts of these criminals and instill morals in the society, the Federal Government deemed it necessary to establish an agency that will licence, censor and regulate the film industry.

The National Film and Video Censors Board, (NFVCB) the official regulatory agency for the film and video industry was established under Act 85 of 1993, with the mandate to provide an enabling environment for the development and growth of the film industry in Nigeria. The NFVCB It is also charged with making policies on behalf of government for the film industry as well as serve as advisory body to government. The board is also empowered to classify all films imported and local. In line with its mandate, the Board also registers film outlets and cinemas in the country.

As the sole agency saddled with the responsibility of regulating the film industry, the Board had initiated programmes and reforms aimed at repositioning the industry locally and internationally for effective growth and development. The board believes strongly that the image of the country remains paramount To the Board, “Nigeria should define her identity, character, image and influence in the movies”. To align with Rebranding Nigeria Initiative. In a quest to creating goodwill and influence for Nigeria globally.

The Nigerian film industry the “Nollywood“ has become a global brand and identity for Nigeria and this is due largely to the efforts and vision of the NFVCB led by visionary Executive Director of the Board Alhaji Adedayo Thomas. Thomas who since assumption in office has brought about many reforms and initiatives. For the Executive Director, providing a framework for reference and a point of inspiration for those who contribute significantly to innovation and creativity in developing content is essential for the development of the industry.

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