Showing posts with label UNESCO. Show all posts
Showing posts with label UNESCO. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Untold Truth about Nollywood: Separating the fact from the fiction

Poster of Nollywood Babylon, a 2008 feature documentary film directed by Canadian filmakers Ben Addelman and Samir Mallal.The documentary has been described as an “electric vision of a modern African metropolis and a revealing look at the powerhouse that is Nigerian cinema — Nollywood.”

The Untold Truth about Nollywood: Separating the fact from the fiction

Presently the Nigerian movie industry popularly known as Nollywood is no longer the second largest movie industry in the world as reported by UNESCO in 2009. The UNESCO report was based on statistics of the quantity of home videos produced in Nigeria when Nollywood was at its peak in the late 1990s and early 2000s before rampant piracy and the economic downturn changed the fortunes of Nollywood and left most of the stakeholders in dire straits.

Genevieve Nnaji is the most popular Nollywood star


In fact, we can now count the movies produced in 2010 on our fingertips, because things have fallen apart and people are no longer at ease in Nollywood.
The worst hit have been the English speaking practitioners dominated by Igbos, but the more down-to-earth and better organized Yoruba practitioners have managed to weather the storm, while the other producers of videos in Edo, Hausa, Efik and Ibibio have been doing their best in spite of their own professional inadequacies.
There are those who are the Real McCoy of the Nigerian film industry like the foremost Nigerian filmmaker Dr. Ola Balogun, Tunde Kelani, Femi Lasode, the Adesanya brothers, Mahmood Ali-Balogun, Mildred Owoh,Tade Ogidan, Francis Onwuchie, The Amatas. Femi Odugbemi, Kunle Afolayan who is bearing the mantle of the legacy of his father Adeyemi Afolayan, aka “Ade Love”, Joe Brown, Didi Chika, Joe Brown, Lucky Onyekachi Ejim, Gugu Michaels, Faruk Lasaki, Chike Ibekwe, Mark Kusare, Kenneth Gyang and the new kids on the block Niyi Akinmolayan and Chineze Anyaene whose first features Kajola and Ijé The Journey who are outstanding indicators of the future of the Nigerian film industry. They often prefer to disassociate themselves from the popular videographers of Nollywood. The other Real McCoy can be found in the heart and soul of Nollywood, such as the accomplished Lancelot Imasuen, Teco Benson, the ambitious team of Emem Isong and Desmond Elliot and those in the same league with them who have been producing good movies in videos.


The troubles in Nollywood

“Nollywood habours lots of greedy producers.”
~ Kate Henshaw-Nuttal, Sunday Punch, August 1, 2010.


Notable pioneers of Nollywood such as Ejike Asiegbu, Madu Chikwendu, Paul, Justus Esiri, Olu Jacobs, Prince Jide Kosoko, Pete Edochie, Glory Young, Ngozi Ezeonu, Joke Silva-Jacobs, Rachel Oniga, Kate Henshaw-Nuttal, Zeb Ejiro, Chico Ejiro, Kingsley Ogoro, Lancelot Imasuen, Teco Benson, Emem Isong, Shan George, Genevieve Nnaji, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, Jim Iyke, Ramsey Noah, Riita Dominic and other members in the same League have been busy trying their best to rejuvenate the ingenuity of the heyday of Nollywood. But there are those who have resorted to dirty partisan politics contrary to professional ethics.


Home videos of Nollywood movies are sold on the street and often pirated

Yes, desperate times call for desperate measures, but going bonkers will only worsen the situation. Frustration often pushes people to acts of desperation in the struggle for survival or trying to catch up with the Joneses. The critical state of Nollywood is also bringing out the best and the worst characters of the principal practitioners and other stakeholders as shown by the petty squabbles in the guilds. The squabbles of the opposing camps and factions of those at loggerheads have left the troubled guilds in disarray and opportunists are fishing in the troubled waters.
One of them is fond of contesting for the bragging rights over celluloid filmmakers in Nigeria. He boasts that he has shot 18 celluloid films. But not a single one has ever qualified for screening at the Cannes Film Festival where other African filmmakers have proved their mettle competing and winning highly coveted laurels among the best in the world. Making dozens of substandard movies that are the best examples in mediocrity is nothing to brag about and talking bollocks from Lagos to Abuja. How many of the films have made the list of the best films by Africans? How many of them have won awards at major film festivals in the world? And now he is the chairman of an international film festival? I wonder why Nigerians like celebrating mediocrity. What a comedy of errors.

Many of them were taking sides in partisan politics as they supported the gubernatorial quest of Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, the former governor of the apex bank and were disgraced when he lost. And now they have rushed to endorse President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to contest in the presidential election in 2011. Then he has promised to give $200 million to the entertainment industry after listening to the pleas of Mr. Ben Murray-Bruce at the 30th Anniversary of Silverbird Group on November 6, 2010. But a promise remains a promise until fulfilled.

What matters most is providing a proper infrastructure for the film industry, because presently there is none. We don’t even know if the practitioners pay taxes.

Azuh Amatus of the Daily Sun said there is no longer sanity in Nollywood, because all that has been bastardized.

Amatus is right, because the various guilds have no administrative polices comparable to best practices in more organized film industries like in South Africa and Egypt. The Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) simply collects a membership fee from anyone who claims to be an actor even if the person has never acted in any movie. Presently, the AGN is in disarray as two actors are fighting over the titular leadership of the guild. One of them who has a degree in engineering said he is more qualified than the rival who has only a diploma in theatre arts. The AGN is dominated and manipulated by the English speaking actors who are mostly from the Igbo tribe while the non-English speaking actors belong to another professional body. Membership of the professional body of the Yoruba actors is by apprenticeship. An apprentice pays more than N2, 000 (two thousand naira) for registration, but in most cases, the apprentices don’t get paid until after three years. There is no insurance or any gratuity. And they do not pay taxes on their various artistes fees from acting in the numerous movies churned out regularly.

There is nothing like an insurance policy in Nollywood. The practitioners and production companies are not insured. No insurance in case a studio is razed or an actor has an accident.

The Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC) and the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) are functioning, but is it not troubling that a billion naira industry has no insurance and does not pay tax?

~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima,
Tuesday, August 10, 2010.



Monday, August 16, 2010

The Inglorious Basterds of Nollywood

The Inglorious Basterds of Nollywood

Have you seen Quentin Tarantino's highest-grossing film Inglorious Basterds?
You have to know the "Inglorious Basterds", a group of Jewish-American guerilla soldiers led by the ruthless Lt. Aldo Raine during the Nazi occupation of France in World War 2 and the role they played to understand the following analysis of the fifth column posing and posturing as the leaders of Nollywood, but are actually the exploiting and plundering the film industry.

Nollywood is no longer the second largest movie industry in the world as reported by UNESCO. The UNESCO report was based on statistics of the quantity of home videos produced in Nigeria when Nollywood was at its peak in the late 1990s and early 2000s before rampant piracy and the economic downturn changed the fortunes of Nollywood and left most of the stakeholders in dire straits.

The worst hit have been the English speaking practitioners dominated by Igbos, but the more down-to-earth and better organized Yoruba practitioners have managed to weather the storm, while the other producers of videos in Edo, Hausa, Efik and Ibibio have been doing their best in spite of their own professional inadequacies.


There are those who are the Real McCoy of the Nigerian film industry like the foremost Nigerian filmmaker Dr. Ola Balogun, Chief Eddie Ugbomah, Francis Oladele, Brenda Shehu, Sadiq Balewa, Tunde Kelani, Femi Lasode, the Adesanya brothers, Ladi Ladebo, Mahmood Ali-Balogun, Mildred Owoh,Tade Ogidan, Tony Abulu, Francis Onwuchie, the Amatas. Femi Odugbemi, Kunle Afolayan who is bearing the mantle of the legacy of his father Adeyemi Afolayan, aka “Ade Love”, Joe Brown, Didi Chika, Lucky Onyekachi Ejim, Gugu Michaels, Faruk Lasaki, Chike Ibekwe, Mark Kusare, Kenneth Gyang and the new kids on the block, Niyi Akinmolayan and Chineze Anyaene whose first features "Kajola" and "Ijé: The Journey" are outstanding indicators of the future of the Nigerian film industry. The other Real McCoy can be found in the heart and soul of Nollywood, such as the accomplished Amaka Igwe, Fidelis Duker, Lancelot Imasuen, Teco Benson, Kingsley Ogoro, the ambitious team of Emem Isong and Desmond Elliot and those in the same league with them.

2
Separating the sheep from the goats, let us now look at the good, the bad and the ugly in Nollywood.

“Nollywood habours lots of greedy producers.”
~ Kate Henshaw-Nuttal, Sunday Punch, August 1, 2010.

Notable role models and outstanding key players in Nollywood such as Enebeli Elebuwa, Okey Ogunjiofor, Ejike Asiegbu, Madu Chikwendu, Justus Esiri, Olu Jacobs, Joke Jacobs, Prince Jide Kosoko, Pete Edochie, Glory Young, Ngozi Ezeonu, Joke Silva-Jacobs, Rachel Oniga, Saint Obi, Hilda Dokubo, Kate Henshaw-Nuttal, Chika Onu, Zeb Ejiro, Chico Ejiro, Kingsley Ogoro, Lancelot Imasuen, Teco Benson, Emem Isong, Shan George, Genevieve Nnaji, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, Francis Duru, Charles Okafor, Jim Iyke, Ramsey Noah, Riita Dominic and others in the same League have been busy trying their best to rejuvenate the ingenuity of the heyday of Nollywood. But there are those who have resorted to dirty partisan politics contrary to professional ethics. They are running a get-rich-quick racket in Nollywood.


Yes, desperate times call for desperate measures, but going bonkers will only worsen the situation. Frustration often pushes people to acts of desperation in the struggle for survival or trying to catch up with the Joneses. The critical state of Nollywood is also bringing out the best and the worst characters of the principal practitioners and other stakeholders as shown by the petty squabbles in the guilds. The squabbles of the opposing camps and factions of those at loggerheads have left the troubled guilds in disarray and opportunists are fishing in the troubled waters.

You have to see Quentin Tarantino's highest-grossing film so far Inglorious Basterds to understand the following dramatization of the analysis of the crisis in Nollywood.

Those who attended the so called unveiling of the logo of the illegal AMP-Eko International Film Festival on July 29, 2010, reported the roll call of the those posing and posturing as the movers and shakers of Nollywood as almost everyone turned out in the best outfit from the wardrobe with roguish smiles on the red carpet. But among them were pirates, failed filmmakers, incompetent administrators and their sycophants making up the panoramic rogues’ gallery.
Many of them were taking sides in partisan politics as they supported the gubernatorial quest of Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, the former governor of the apex bank and were disgraced when he lost. And now they have rushed to endorse President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to contest in the presidential election in 2011.

These inglorious desperados of Nollywood who have run out of ideas for new movies are either ganging up to hijack a film festival as part of their retirement plan, heal the wounds of their bruised egos or to settle scores.
They have used all sorts of foul play in conceit and deceit to mislead many ignorant green horns, disillusioned practitioners and stakeholders like lying to Chief Eddie Ugbomah to chair an international film festival they have attempted to hijack since last year when they lost in the power tussle over how to share the booty from the 6th ION International Film Festival held in Port Harcourt, Rivers state.

I wonder what lies they would have told Chief Eddie Ugbomah who already has dismissed them in Nollywood is nothing wood posted on NigeriaFilms.com, Nollywood At Large on Tue, 15 May 2007. And I do not think supporting trademark piracy is part of his agenda as he has defined in Repositioning Nigerian Film Industry, My Agenda posted in Nollywood Affairs on Wed, 18 Feb 2009, of NigeriaFilms.com. I trust that the veteran filmmaker is too intelligent to be fooled by these corrupt desperados.

Azuh Amatus of the Daily Sun said there is no longer sanity in Nollywood, because all that has been bastardized.
We have to expose the inglorious bastards who have bastardized Nollywood and secure the future of the Nigerian film industry.


~ By Orikinla Osinachi



Saturday, May 16, 2009

Re: Nigeria Surpasses Hollywood As World's Second Largest Film Producer – UN

5 May 2009 – The Nigerian film industry has overtaken Hollywood and closed the gap on India, the global leader in the number of movies produced each year, according to a new United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) report released today.

According to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) survey, Bollywood – as the Mumbai-based film industry is known – produced 1,091 feature-length films in 2006. In comparison, Nigeria’s moviemakers, commonly known as Nollywood, came out with 872 productions – all in video format – while the United States produced 485 major films
.

~ UN News Centre

The fact that Nigeria is the largest producer of home video movies in the world is not the issue, but to tackle the problem of the poor quality of the productions.

If Nigerians want to celebrate a UNESCO Report on being the second largest producer of feature-length movies in the world, they can do so, but they must not celebrate the mediocrity of their Nollywood, lest they continue to be the laughing stock of the Hollywood and Bollywood.

It is ridiculous for Nigeria to boast of making over 1,000 movies annually, but not a single one has even qualified for screening at the Cannes Film Festival and most of them cannot make the box office in America!
How many Nollywood movies have been shown in cinemas?
What we should be proud of, is quality and not quantity.

You must improve and perfect your craft and art, no matter the format of the media.
Quality has no substitute.