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FG, Nollywood Push To Professionalise Industry, Make It Money-Spinning

Posted: Mar 25, 2016 at 3:00 am   /   by   /   comments (1)

Chukwudi Nweje, Lagos

The fortunes of Nigeria’s movie industry, Nollywood, are set to change as the Federal Government, in collaboration with movie producers and directors, is set to sponsor a bill on Motion Picture Practitioners Council of Nigeria (MOPPICON) that would engender professionalism in the industry and yield revenue for the country.

Nollywood was valued at about $5 billion in 2014, making it the world’s second largest film industry in the world, behind only India’s Bollywood. Nollywood released over 2,000 films in 2013, a record that beat even Hollywood in terms of films produced.

Nevertheless, the industry has been plagued by not just the rivalry among the different bodies and associations within it, but also by non-professional practitioners joining the ranks because of who they know (‘man-know-man’) phenomenon.

However, all this is set to change as the Federal Government in collaboration with movie producers and directors are set to up the ante in Nollywood, as they make final push towards the passing of the Motion Picture Practitioners Council of Nigeria (MOPPICON) Bill.

When the bill is passed, it will see that the ‘man-know-man’ phenomenon will be eliminated from Nollywood with the setting up of a body solely for professional actors and actresses as well as stakeholders akin to the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) and Nigerians Bar Association (NBA).

In this regard, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, has announced that a ministerial committee aimed at fast-tracking the passage into law of the MOPPICON Bill will be inaugurated on Friday, April 8, 2016 at the Conference Room of the National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos.

The minister had announced during the 2016 Kannywood Awards in Abuja on March 13 this year that the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Motion Picture Practitioners Council of Nigeria (MOPPICON) would be established.

Speaking through Segun Adeyemi, his special assistant on Thursday, the minister noted that the committee will be charged with the responsibility of reviewing and harmonising the MOPPICON Bill before it is submitted to the Ministry of Justice and then the National Assembly.

The 17-member committee has Ms Peace Anyiam-Osigwe as coordinator. Anyiam-Osigwe is the Chief Executive of the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) the premier and globally renowned reward platform for the African and African Diaspora film industry.

Mr. Mahmoud Alli-Balogun, a Nigerian filmmaker, cultural worker and the Managing Director of Brickwall Communications Limited, who helped draft the MOPPICON Bill, will serve as deputy coordinator, while Tony Anih of the Film Makers Collective will serve as the secretary to the committee.

The committee will also include the representatives of the various guilds and associations, including the Association of Movie Producers, Director Guild of Nigeria, Motion Picture Practitioners Association of Nigeria (MOPPAN) as well as the Producers and Marketers Association of Nigeria (FVPMAN).

Other associations to be represented on the committee are Association of Nigeria Theatre Arts Practitioners (ANTP), Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC), National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Screen Writers Guild of Nigeria, Actors Guild of Nigeria, Movie Ambassadors of Nigeria, Niger Delta Film Forum and Female Producers of Nigeria.

When established, MOPPICON will regulate, administer and control the motion picture practice in Nigeria.