Saturday, June 19, 2021

The internet can aid Nollywood growth, filmmaker says


Jaafar Jaafar
Jaafar Jaafar is a graduate of Mass Communication from Bayero University, Kano. He was a reporter at Daily Trust, an assistant editor at Premium Times and now the editor-in-chief of Daily Nigerian.
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A movie director and producer, Raphael Uche, says the emergence of the internet has not in any way affected the profitability of films, rather it is helping the industry to grow.

Uche told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Lagos that streaming of films on YouTube and other internet channels had not reduced the profit on the films.

“I must state that the fear that the will reduce the profit on our films is unfounded; the fear is as a result of inadequate information about the use of channels on the internet
“For me, the internet has greatly helped the film industry to grow in leaps and bounds. As a producer, I have had good experiences with my films being on the internet.

“In fact, I prefer it now. There is a movie that I produced and it was put on the internet. It was on the YouTube that some researchers in Maryland University found the film and contacted me.

“Thereafter, they called for a reproduction and it was done. Imagine if the film in question was not on the internet?” he queried.

Uche, a Theatre Art graduate from Lagos State University (LASU), said that the advent of the internet had popularised films made locally.

He, therefore, urged other producers to put their films on the internet.

“It is a question of quality. If a film is good enough, it will make waves on the internet. The only worry should be the content of films produced locally if they are good.

“If my film is not good enough, I would not have had such an opportunity to have the researchers from the U.S. asking for its reproduction.

“Availability of films on the internet is not a barrier to the films profitability, because the more the viewership on the internet the more money made from it.

“Producers should avail themselves the opportunity on the internet rather than shying away from it. There are more opportunities on the internet for our films to be popular,” the movie producer said.

According to him, people still find solace in watching films and it is the only way to ease the tension from the economic downturn.

“It will surprise many that in spite of the recession, viewership of films has yet to drop. We still maintain the same, if not more viewership of our films on the internet.

“Entertainment industry is the only industry that people can run to relax. You will see that many folks even if they are not interested in other things when it comes to film, they jump up.

“If a film has a good content, it will be attractive to the viewers,” Uche said.

He said that there were loads of talents in the Nigerian film industry who are good in the interpretation of roles.

According to him, the profitability of films from Nigeria should hit the ceilings in the nearest future, as films produced in Nigeria now have more appeal to viewers all over the world.

The movie producer told NAN that the industry had been popularised through various awards given to quality films and good actors by some stakeholders.

“What has also helped the entertainment industry is the emergence of various awards to it by some stakeholders. This has given us the impetus to up our game.

“The awards, in recognition of good script writing, directing and acting are major boosts to professionalism. There is no doubt about that.

“Because of these awards, many producers now put in more efforts. Aside that, some awards also have monetary rewards that may even turn things around for the producer.

“For any film to be considered for an award, it must be a standard one and the job must be well executed. Nollywood in the next few years will hit the world like a storm,” Uche predicted.

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