Govt. Pledges Support for Nollywood At ZUMA filmfest
Funding which has continued to bedevil the growth of the nation’s motion picture industry can be tackled appropriately, if practitioners and other stakeholders will embrace the need to adopt the Bollywood experience, the acronym for Indian’s film industry.
This observation was made by the Technical Adviser to the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM), Mr Hope Yongo while speaking at the colloquium organised as part of the activities that were lined up for the just concluded ZUMA Film Festival, held in Abuja
The festival, organised by the NigerianFilm Corporation(NFC) kicked off last Sunday and ended on Wednesday night with an award ceremony.
*L-R, NFC D-G, Mr. Afolabi, Minister for Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, and Kastina State governor, Alhaji ibrahim Shema
Speaking on the topic, “Developing a truly Nigeria Film Funding Paradigm: and National Film Fund:The Bollywood Experience” Mr Yongo said NEXIM has been understudying the Bollywood style of funding for the film industry and has come to the understanding that Nigeria can learn a lot from the country’s film sector.
According to his analyses, the institutional structure, specialised film policies, immense organised private sector involvement and legal instrumentalities are some of the visionary measures that Bollywood has put in place to overcome the challenges of funding, which Nollywood can benefit from .
Drawing inferences from both countries, Mr Yongo said Nigeria and India are two developing countries which have huge population that can drive the entertainment industry to the next level.
For him, the immense potentials of the industry can be lost if urgent steps are not taken to address the challenges posed by the insufficient funding of Nollywood.
The NEXIM bank boss however pointed out that funding goes beyond just the provision of funds but the putting in place of policy framework and institutions that will help drive the policy.
Speaking in the same vein, the Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku reiterated Federal Government’s commitment to strengthening the film industry through financial and legislative supports. This, he said will help the practitioners to compete favourably with other global players in the motion picture industry.
The Minister, who emphasised on the essence of maintaining peace in the industry as it also relates to the current security challenges facing the country, cited example of the 200 million Dollar intervention fund released by the Jonathan-led administration as of part the government’s effort to supporting to the growth of the industry.
According to him “All of us has to play a big role in ensuring peace and security in Nigeria, the film industry must respond to the challenges that we are faced with today”
While commending the practitioners for using their films to boost the image of the country, the Minister disclosed that the federal government is putting plans in place to set up a film fund to enable small scale artistes and producers access funding.
According to him, the proposal to set up the new funding mechanism is currently receiving the attention of the Federal Executive Council.
“The conditions for a specific film fund would be easier than taking money directly from commercial banks which is a bit more expensive and the conditions often not easy for small scale producers in this sector.
“President Jonathan has put everything possible on ground to develop and expand possibilities of our film industry to the rest of the world.
“Presently, he has put on ground about 200 million Dollars to support the film industry. We have been trying to get our film makers and artistes to access this fund.
“We have forwarded to the Federal Executive Council five different policy proposals to develop this industry and further support it.
“One of the policy measures we have taken which we are awaiting the FECs deliberation and approval is the establishment of a film fund which will make it easier for our artistes, producers and other entrepreneurs in this industry.