As a section of Nollywood appears to be making a frantic move at cutting to size what has been described as unfavourable broadcast of movies on cable and TV stations, there are indications that such agitation may not yield results.
Reason: The Video Producers and Marketers Association (FVPMAN) and Association of Nollywood Core Producers (ANCOP) are locking horns over the issue of showing Nigerian movies on cable and TV networks.
Over the years, distribution has been a recurring issue in Nollywood. The National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) has come up with Distribution Support Grant. The Director-General of the board Emeka Mba had assured practitioners when he received a delegation of the Yoruba movie section of Nollywood, Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (ANTP), led by Ashaolu, in his office last year.
Mba explained that the grant comes via selection of three films adjudged by the board as “good,” and financing distribution of such films in areas such as payment for renting of cinemas as well as reproduction.
Some stakeholders such as marketers, producers and directors recently met at a gathering organized by FVPMAN and noted that proliferation of films is retarding development of distribution channels. This they argued is also visible in how the entire business of Nigerian films is dwindling.
The FVPMAN therefore declared: “Films capable of being released through the conventional distribution channel will not be on any broadcast station as from May 1, 2012. Movies on cable or TV would not be distributed through channels controlled by the Nollywood Film, Video Producers and Marketers Association (FVPMAN).”
Shortly after the FVPMAN statement, ANCOP issued a counter position. It distanced members from the decision of FVPMAN to stop the broadcast rights to television and cable networks. The statement signed by its President, Alex Enyegho reads: “This is to put it on record that ANCOP is not part of the purported resolution of some marketers and a few other Nollywood practitioners to stop the airing of Nollywood content on cable TV. We totally reject the shaving of our hair in our absence. Piracy is one of our key problems in Nollywood and not the cable stations and some of these marketers shouting foul are the pirates. Count ANCOP out of this shoddy, ill-conceived and unfortunate pronouncement.”
Earlier, chairman of Lagos State Chapter of FVPMAN, Norbert Ajaegbu had noted that many practitioners hardly pay their bills. He lamented that “some shine like stars and wither like ashes while the broadcast stations continue to expand in their operations. We are all living witnesses to the incessant cases of strokes and other ailments owing to the fact that we don’t get back as much as we invest.”
He argued that practitioners are reacting “in accordance with the immutable law of nature - an economic liberation and the principle of self-defence.”
President of the Directors’ Guild of Nigeria, Amenechi, assured that with consistence Nollywood would win the battle. “The time we made losses from the production and distribution of films is over. We must support this effort aimed at reforming our distribution system”.
Also in support of the restriction, president of Coalition of Nollywood Guilds and Associations (CONGA), Bond Emeruwa, decried the position taken by ANCOP.