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Uduak Isong Unhappy With MOPPICON

Uduak Isong
Posted: Apr 2, 2016 at 3:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)


Film maker Uduak Isong thinks the controversial Motion Picture Practitioners Council of Nigeria (MOPPICON) bill will kill Nollywood. Earlier in the month, there was an inauguration of the Ministerial Committee aimed at fast-tracking the passage into law of the Bill.

The MOPICON bill seeks to determine who motion picture practitioners are; determine what standard of knowledge and skills to be attained by persons seeking to become a member and reviewing those standards from time to time, securing in accordance with the provisions of this Act. It also seeks the establishment, maintenance, and registration of persons entitled to practice as professionals in the motion picture Industry, and the publication, from time to time, of lists of those persons.

In a statement made by Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, a 17-member committee will have Peace Anyiam-Osigwe (AMAA President) and Mahmoud Alli-Balogun (Tango with Me) to review the Bill before its submission to the Ministry of Justice and the National Assembly.

Since the event, many industry watchers have been making their voice heard on the impact the bill will have on the industry. Many seem to be for the bill, though there are grumbles about the constituent of the committee. There are also many, like director, Uduak Isong who does not agree with the bill.

Uduak Isong believes the bill seeks to gag Nollywood, and said that a bill like MOPICON, will prohibit non-members from producing and making projects for both the cinema and home video market and television stations for gains. She urged the government to address other major challenges, like piracy, poor distribution, needed tax rebates, waiver fees from LASAA for better marketing and more support for filmmakers to ensure they thrive in Nigeria.

“Some years ago, I watched ‘Uyai’, an Ibibio film produced by Emem Isong. Ime Bishop played a security man. He was the funniest character I had seen in a while. I knew immediately that the industry would embrace him. We made Okon comes to Lagos with less than N2million, shot it in five days. In less than a year, we’d sold 200 thousand copies. Following its success, we made Okon Goes To School and sold out the first 20,000 copies we printed on the first day of release.

“You’re probably wondering what this has got to do with the proposed MOPICON bill. If there was such a bill in place, chances are that I would not have made that film because I may not have been registered under any body, the existence of such a bill might not even have allowed me to have the dream,” the film maker said.