By EKemini Ladejobi
Abuja – International Federation of Film Producers’ Associations (FIAPF), says Nollywood is one of the most prolific in the world in terms of volume of production and the highest number of production annually.
Mr Bertrand Moullier, Senior Advisor, of the association made the remarks as chairman of the round table side event at the 35th session of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).
A statement by the Nigerian Embassy in Switzerland e-mailed to the News Agency of Nigerian (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja said the event which was a collaboration between the FIAPF,and the Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations office in Geneva.
It held from Nov.13 to Nov. 17, with the theme: “Developments in the Copyright field in Nigeria and their Potential Impact on the Growth of the Nigerian Film Industry”.
This was followed by an exclusive projection of the Nigerian film, “The CEO”, directed and produced by Kunle Afolayan.
Moullier said as a result, Nollywood’s creative entrepreneurs and creators now seek a stable system of regulatory and legal incentives in order to take the dynamic sector to the next level as a driving force in local job creation and GDP growth.
He noted that regulators and legislators have the power to either help or hinder creative industries depending on the regulatory decisions they make.
He expressed optimism that Nigeria’s recent decision to ratify four major international copyright treaties could have a very positive impact on the Nollywood business.
Moullier, however, called on stakeholders in the movie industry to rely on the possible professional and policy options available to the industry in the wake of the ratification, and the new draft copyright bill that is being considered by the Federal Executive Council.
Nollywood film producers present availed themselves of the opportunity to solicit for foreign investments in the production, marketing and distribution of Nollywood movies.
In his remarks, Ambassador Audu Kadiri, Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the UN office in Geneva, expressed appreciation to FIAPF and the WIPO, for collaborating with the Permanent Mission of Nigeria in Geneva, in providing the platform to discuss issues relating to Nigeria’s film industry.
He assured participants that the Federal Government was taking necessary steps to reposition the creative industry in Nigeria.
Kadiri also reiterated that government was also taking steps to make the industry more productive and supportive of the economic policies of government, including the relevant legislation for protecting the industry.
The envoy who noted that Africa constituted the largest market for Nigerian movies, remarked that this trend was in line with Africa as the centre piece of Nigeria’s foreign policy.
Kadiri therefore enjoined the Nollywood personalities to see themselves as another variety of Nigeria’s Ambassadors and should continue to project a positive image of the country.
He acknowledged the international professional repute of Afolayan, one of Nollywood’s top movie producers.
NAN reports that the round table panel event basically discussed the recent decision by Nigeria to ratify the WIPO Copyright Treaties as well as the ongoing review of the copyright law being proposed by the Nigeria Copyright Commission.
This was with a view to dissecting how these developments would help create new opportunities for financing the production and distribution of Nigerian films, as well as widening its international reach.
The event was attended by delegates from member states of the WIPO and senior officials of WIPO in charge of Copyright matters.
Speakers at the roundtable were Prof. Bankole Sodipo, a Nigerian IP Expert and an Academic; Mr. Mike Akpan, Director of Regulatory Department of the Nigerian Copyright Commission; Mr. Kunle Afolayan, Film Director and Producer, Golden Effects Pictures Limited, Lagos.
Others are; Mr. Tonye Princewill, Film Producer, Adonis Productions, Port Harcourt; and Mr. Alain Modot, Chief Executive Officer, DIFFA, an international TV sales agent, based in Paris.
Highlight of the event was the formal presentation of Afolayan, also the Director and Producer of the film, “The CEO”, for the exclusive projection of the acclaimed Nigerian film, at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Headquarters in Geneva.