Towards the Achievement of Potential Benefits of Nollywood: The Challenges of Funding, Distribution and Piracy
Teddy HANMAKYUGH, PhD
Director, Special Duties
Nigerian Film Corporation, Jos
Plateau State, Nigeria
Nigeria is a nation endowed with tangible and intangible heritage comprising a kaleidoscope of rich cultures, which serve as a fertile ground that define the Nollywood brand. These cultural products form the raw materials, which Nigerian filmmakers exploit to drive the nation’s motion picture industry making it the second largest movie industry in the world next to Bollywood, the Indian film industry. Despite its popularity, the Nigerian film industry is faced with challenges of funding, distribution and piracy, which if surmounted could easily pave the way for the industry’s development and growth in accordance with global best practices in the creative industry. This paper’s thrust is the need for a paradigm shift from the status quo by highlighting the problems in film financing and the lack of production incentives to facilitate filmmaking as against the use of personal bank savings and friends to raise funds for the production of films. Similarly, the absence of a regulatory body to enforce standards and professionalism in the industry has left the responsibility of film distribution and marketing in the hands of charlatans, whose empires are located in selected parts of Nigeria. Film exhibition is another challenge to filmmakers who produce on video and transfer straight onto the DVD format for direct sales in open markets. This poor distribution network has made piracy to thrive to the detriment of film producers. The paper examines the modus operandi of some prosperous film cultures like Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, United Sates of America and India as models for the Nigerian film industry. It concludes that Nollywood should have a regulated body in line with the world’s professional practice, there should be cinema theatres, the menace of piracy should be tackled, and a film fund, supported by government and the private sector, should be set up and effectively managed.