Shirley Frimpong Manso's Love or Something Like that as a headline film of Nollywodweek 2015

Shirley Frimpong Manso's Love or Something Like that as a headline film of Nollywodweek 2015
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Sunday 28 June 2020

*Re: FG Prohibits Exclusivity in Broadcast Premium Sport Rights Contents*

- By: Shehu Dikko

 I have followed the divergent views and opinions with regards to the FG directives to the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to vigorously enforce the provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code 2019. Specifically issue of Monopoly of Premium contents in sports rights among others. What concerns us here, really is the Sports Rights Issue and as someone that has had the Privilege to be involved in this market for several years and indeed the engagement with Government since 2017 when the process of the review of the NBC code started, I thus provides the following intervention so as to deepened the conversion and expand our understanding of the issue:

 1. The policy by FGN is apparently being viewed by some as targeted at DSTv and or EPL. It may appear so, but it’s far from the reality and the objectives. The policy is basically a general one concerning monopoly of premium content in the sports industry among others across the Nigeria Broadcasting eco system. Thus it applies to all networks and premium contents. For example, the same way it may apply to DSTV with regards to say EPL and Champions league it will also apply to STARTIMES with regards to Europa Cup and Bundesliga etc. in terms of contents the same way it applies to EPL, UCL, Europa, LALIGA etc it will apply to NPFL, meaning NPFL rights as a prime football content would not be sold as a monopoly within the NIGERIAN broadcast space. Thus at the end of the day this policy will balance up and will be a win win situation for both the broadcasters, the contents owners, and indeed the viewing (sports) public as has been proven across so many jurisdictions that have implemented the same policies successfully.

 2. This policy is already a law in Nigeria since the adoption of the revised NBC code on July 4th 2019. The revision of the code took almost 3 years to conclude with several level of stakeholder consultations across the country by NBC (I was privilege to have been part of some of the consultation) before the final copy was agreed and officially launched in Kano on July 4th 2019.

 3. So really the Government is simply giving directives to NBC to enforce the provisions of new code that was approved in accordance to the law.

 4. The 1st question to ask is that is this sports broadcast regulations enacted and or encourage in other jurisdictions? The answer is resounding yes? The 2nd question is does this kind of regulation help develop the industry and indeed stimulate growth in sports ? The answer is a resounding yes.

 5. The following are some key examples of similar regulations and or other broadcast laws enacted in some jurisdictions and how they operate:

 a) SOUTH AFRICA: Since 2014 the ICASA (the Independent communicators authority of South Africa), similar to our NBC have enacted several broadcast legislation specific to sports to deepened the broadcasts industry and indeed sports including breaking of monopoly in premium sports content including PSL and EPL rights. It’s because of this legislation that ensured the PSL rights, even though exclusively owned by DSTV is also shown by SABC (with 50% of the games also shown live on SABC) with also a provision that the big derbies should be shown across all networks including FTA. Even as at 2019 the ICASA in South Africa introduce additional regulations, similar to what is done in Nigeria now

 From the foregoing it’s clear even in South Africa Similar regulations as being enforced by FGN now do exist.

 b) *UNITED KINGDOM *: In the UK the OFCOM (office of communications), which is similar to our NBC and NCC in one body, has been issuing several regulations to regulate and promote sports broadcasting in UK. The anti-competition office has also been involve in the regard. This is what ensured the unbundling of the EPL domestic rights and enforcement of other regulations/convention in the Uk sports broadcast space such as the Saturday’s 3pm to 5pm blackout of live Football matches across all networks which is simply aimed to ensure attendance in the stadiums across all match venues at all levels of football as a lot of matches are scheduled around this time and also to deepened the economic activities/productivity around all the Fans going to the stadiums and back. Also, some years back, only Sky has the exclusive rights to EPL and other premium Sports in UK but once the EPL rights were in unbundled and other networks such as BT got involved, competition was created and the income for the domestic rights increase by almost 70% from what if uses to be under monopoly. Inspite of the huge success of the competition between Sky and BT to the EPL revenues, the OFCOM office still opened investigation into the EPL rights sales due to complaints from other broadcasters as it still seems to negate the competition Principles. The investigation was only close after the EPL agreed to increase the number of live Matches available to the public in UK and to also implement the “No Single Buyer” principle in its next auction for the EPL rights.

 From the above it’s evident that even in UK the broadcast regulations and the anti-competition authorities are very active in regulating the sale and distribution of the EPL Rights among other prime sports contents to ensure there is no monopoly and the contents is available to the widest public as much as possible. One interesting thing about the EPL is that, even in UK where the games are played not all the matches are live on TV while down here the entire 360 EPL matches are live to us on TV? Also why is it that no live games are shown in the UK on Saturday’s between 3pm to 5pm? Someone is certainly thinking and protecting the industry and indeed the sport in the UK.

 c) GERMANY : In Germany similar Regulations is being implemented with the “No single Buyer” principle vigorously enforced by the broadcast regulators and anti competition office. This has help the success of the Bundesliga and other sports as well as the development of the broadcast industry.

 d) SPAIN: In Spain the “No single buyer” rule is also applied with mediapro and Telefonica among others always competing for rights. In addition to this the Spanish Government passed a landmark royal decree in 2015 to outlaw the selling of LALIGA TV rights individually by clubs but must be sold collectively like EPL and even legislate on how the revenues will be distributed across by the league to the clubs. Prior to this legislation clubs in Spain sell rights individually and obviously only Barcelona and Real Madrid were taking over 60% of the revenues available while morethan 40 clubs scramble for the rest. But this single legislation by Spanish Govt changed everything in LALIGA with revenues moved from an average of €600m to over €2b annually and an equitable revenue distribution model .

 From the above it’s evident several jurisdictions do enact specific and targeted legislation to protect and promote their domestic broadcast industry and sports. This is because broadcast is the heart of sports.

 e) FRANCE: In France They too have several Broadcasting regulations aimed at promoting the industry and sports as well. Just recently the French Government issued a targetted intervention via regulations to aid football and indeed sports by the empowerment of the public broadcaster to be able to compete with cable TV rights holders. The French council of state agreed to direct the CSA (the French version of NBC ) to relax some regulations via exemptions regarding advertisements so as to allow the public broadcaster to air advertisement after 8pm. This is to enable the public broadcasters to be able to attract more advertising revenues during broadcasts of league 1 games so as to be able to compete with cable tv in the acquisition of sports rights. The French Council of State has also recommended a review of France’s listed events legislation to ensure greater visibility for women’s sport and the Paralympic Games, and measures to protects sports events against the increasing threat posed by piracy.

 f) MOROCCO: In Morroco, they even operate a model, where premium Sports rights including the Morroco National teams games and League is acquired by Government through the public broadcaster whom in turn shows the game and also sub-license some to other broadcasters including cable tv. The public broadcaster recoups its investment via advertising revenues and also the sub-licensing income. Meanwhile the Moroccon Government uses this model to ensure the public broadcaster remains relevant and also guaranteed the well being of their sports as adequate revenue goes to the sports to ensure sustainable development. Until recently Argentina also uses this model.

 7. So in view of the foregoing examples it’s very clear that what the FGN is trying to do is what is obtainable across the world and it’s not targeted at any party but to develop and enhance the broadcast industry in Nigeria , the interest of the public as well the Sports industry and its development.

 8. The question to ask is do Nigeria have the ingredient and necessary foundations to make this legislation a success? From the benchmarks on ground the answer to this is in the affirmative. This includes the fact that, we have the numbers in Nigeria to make economic sense to any mass business run properly, there is huge advertising revenues available in the market (which has shown great appetite for local content) and thus once any networks have access to premium contents they can be able to break even. This will eventually translate to more reach and revenues for the sports. The public will also be the winner as the premium sports content will be more accessible and cheaper. For the Industry it’s means more broadcast houses making profits and competing to deliver good services including more jobs opportunities.

 9. Indeed, the outcome of the unbundling of the Telco industry in Nigeria is a good pointer to what could happened if we get this policy right as it’s obvious access to prime sports content is a key driver to the growth and survival of any broadcast network.

 10. In Conclusion, from all available indices, It’s the manipulation of the exclusivity of premium contents including that of football, that stalled the growth of the entire broadcast industry and pauparized all the other networks as the eye balls, subscription and advertising revenues all goes in one direction and this have a direct effect on our sports both in terms of visibility and income. Thus the urgent need to redress the situation and the steps taking by FGN is in the right direction and it needs to be supported across board.

 SHEHU DIKKO is of the Nigerian professional league.

Wednesday 17 June 2020

Actors Guild Moves To Restructure, Set Up Six Committees 

By Amaechi Elemona

In a move that has been roundly applauded as the first best step towards repositioning and resolving some of the issues that have almost torn the fabrics of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) to shred, the leadership of the AGN last week announced the setting up of five sub-committees including welfare, membership, merger and Inter guild activities and a committee for standard contract. The fifth committee is the committee for the ratification of patrons; a committee that observers say may have been set up to resolve the issues surrounding the recent appointment of Senator Elisha Abbo as Patron of the AGN. Senator Abbo’s appointment which the guild announced in March has received wide spread condemnation from within and outside of the guild. 
AGN President Emeka Rollas
 However, the guild in a statement said its decision to set us the ‘powerful sub-committees’ was in line with the vision and mission of the leadership of the guild to transform the guild through innovative and creative programs that would help reposition the guild and offer succor and new hope to teeming members.  Public Relations Officer of the AGN Monalisa Coker who signed the statement disclosed that the AGN President Ejezie Emeka Rollas has inaugurated five powerful sub-Committees to help propel the restructuring of the Guild for more effective and efficient performance, service delivery and to reckon with the post Covid-19 socio-economic changes. 
The release named the actor Keppy Ekpeyong Bassey as chairman of the committee on standard contract while the committee on membership is to be headed by the actor Bob Manuel Udokwu. Veteran actor and Former President of the AGN Zack Orji is to head the merger and Inter guild activities committee, while award winning actor and former President of the AGN Segun Arinze is to chair the patrons ratification committee.  The task of superintending the welfare committee rests with the actor and politician Desmond Elliot.  Other notable members of the sub- committees include, Joke Silva, Richard Mofe Damijo, Bimbo Manuel, Alex Ekubo, Ada Ameh, kate Henshaw, Hilda Dokubo, Ireti Doyle, Monalisa Chinda, Okey Bakasi, Ego Boyo, Emeka Enyiocha, Femi Branch, Sani Danja, Hajia Salma Ibrahim, Moji Oyetayo and many others.

Tuesday 5 May 2020

Day Marketers Sneezed And Nollywood refused to catch cold

By Shaibu Husseini (First published in The Guardian on April 24, 2012)

President of FVPMA Norbert Ajeagbu (First from left) and Famous Otamkpowen at an industry event 

the leadership of the Film, Video Producers and Marketers Association (FVPMA) think that because they sneezed last week with their decision to place a ban on further assigning of rights of Nollywood movies to broadcast stations, then Nollywood should catch cold, then they are mistaken. If some of their previous decisions like the ban they placed a few years back on some notable actors in Nollywood got the industry feeling giddy, their recent pronouncement which ironically has the endorsement of some of the leaders of guilds and association in Nollywood including the still evolving umbrella body-Nollywood Guilds and Associations (CONGA) got most practitioners not only wondering about the marketers real intentions but it got most of them wondering how that pronouncement will help an already chaotic  distribution situation. 

At a well attended press briefing held penultimate Wednesday in Lagos, the marketers through their Chairman Norbert Ajaegbu announced that to address the menace associated with indiscriminate broadcast of Nollywood films by numerous cable and terrestrial television stations in Nigeria and in the continent, the FVPMAN and the entire control structure in Nollywood will enforce a ban on further broadcast of films capable of being released through the conventional distribution channels in Nollywood as from May 1.  The marketers chairman emphasized that ‘no such films capable of being released through the conventional distribution channel’ will be assigned to any broadcast station as from May 1, 2012.  Similarly he said that any movie up for broadcast on television and on any of the cable networks in Nigeria will not be distributed through channels controlled by the Nollywood Film, Video Producers and Marketers Association (FVPMAN).  Ajaegbu maintained that the indiscriminate broadcast of Nollywood films has eroded the usual value attributable to films by Nigerians and that have caused the show inherent in the business to be totally lost.  He lamented that some practitioners have ‘lived and died in penury’ while the broadcast stations that acquire the works at very ridiculous amount smile to the bank.  According to him: ‘many practitioners hardly meet up with their basic needs. 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. This cannot be allowed to continue’. The Marketers chairman however explained that the future commencement date of the stoppage order is to allow a window for alignment and perfection of all enforcement procedure as solicited by key stakeholders including the adoption of a standard contract form to ensure total compliance. But he stressed that by ordering the ban, filmmakers were only acting ‘in accordance with the immutable law of nature-an economic liberation and the principle of self defence’. He said further: ‘we are neither prejudiced by this hell of fortune made from us by these stations nor the peanut they pay to producers in the purported acquisition contract. But we believe that time has come for our distribution system to undergo a complete overhaul starting with the broadcast reform. We shall further progress with other essential reforms and expansion of our distribution network and hope in no distant time to regain our lost bliss’. 

 Minutes after the briefing, reactions mostly of those opposed to the decision of the marketers and some of the industry leaders to stop the assigning of broadcast rights came in torrents. Only the veteran filmmaker Chief Eddie Ugbomah supported the move.  In fact for the Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) the decision came seven years late. ‘Its seven years late’ he said. ‘They would have taken this decision a long time ago. It is one of the reasons Nollywood is presently on its knees. I was preaching that it was going to lead to the death of Nollywood and that is exactly what we have today. People no longer buy movies or even stock them at home because they can easily see the films on television and cable stations. I told them this several years ago when they rushed to take their films there either for peanuts or that thing they call barter but they didn’t listen. I told them that they will come back bruised and crying and that is what has exactly played out’ Ugbomah said. Although aware that assigning of rights to broadcast and cable stations constitute one of the revenue streams open to a filmmaker, the Septuagenarian filmmaker lamented that what filmmakers get in return for assigning such rights is nothing compared to what their counterparts in ‘far less developed movie societies’ like Kenya and South Africa are paid. He explained: what some of these stations pay here is ridiculous. Some are offering as a little as 35, 000 thousand naira for an episode and as little as 15,000 naira for documentaries. I shot a documentary recently and they were offering me 500 dollars to air it. That’s nonsense. How much did I rent the camera and how much did I spend in actual production. Even the films that you see on all these wonder, high and magic stations how much do you think they pay for them? Peanuts. We pressed for them to pay us something higher like in the region of 2000 to 5000 thousand dollars when they started but we had hardly return home from the meeting when they started offering our boys 500 to 1000 dollars. Today I hear they pay as a little as 200 dollars per episode while they pay as much as 2500 dollars to filmmakers in East Africa and South Africa. That’s slavery’.  

Reminded that like in all commercial ventures the power of negotiation lie with the seller in this case the content owner, Ugbomah reasoned that the situation was different in Nigeria as the filmmakers are not even given any room for negotiation. ‘It is just that we don’t have a united industry. If we had, we will not be complaining today. If we had, we would have set a benchmark and we would have insisted that no new movie should be shown on that channel except the movie has exploited other distribution channels including cinema release and even when a new movie is to be shown, it should be under an exclusive arrangement and the pay must be good. Not al these pay peanuts and show for two years deal that we have all over the place. In fact recently on a channel, I watched the same thrice on a day. Who will ever go to the market and buy that kind of movie especially now that we even have decoders that can record films while you are at work. No one, except you need the film for research. So I support the move and I think it is coming years late. May be this will force these broadcast stations to begin to invest in producing local content’ he surmised. 

Shooting in Progress
If Ugbomah supports the decision, two notable filmmakers Mahmood Ali-Balogun
and Yinka Ogundaisi do not subscribe to the position taken by the marketers.  In fact for Ali-Balogun who is in Tribeca to seek marketing opportunities for his jubilee hit Tango with Me, the decision by the marketers amounted to ‘crying over spilt milk’. The one time President of the National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP) noted that the marketers were in the first place responsible for the rot in the broadcast rights assigning regime and so he is amazed that all of a sudden they are the ones calling for a ban.  ‘Why are they all screaming now?’ he asked. ‘Were they not the ones who made the direct to video release look as though it was the norm? Were they not the ones who carried bags filled with DVD’s to these stations and were ready to accept any amount just for the films to be aired? When we were negotiating for a better deal for filmmakers were they not the ones who went behind us and started accepting peanuts? Were they not the ones who made releasing in parts look as if it is a crime not to do so? Check the films that are currently running on these stations unending, are they not by those FVMA members? So why are they crying now when they are responsible for the current state of the industry?’ Ali-Balogun asked on and on. ‘I think those guys (the marketers) should just sit down and carryout a reform within them. They are the ones who negotiate the left when we the industry is heading towards the right.  How did we get to the stage of all these 10 in one DVD’s if not the activities of some of the marketers? They need to first agree to abide to certain industry best practices. Once that is done, then we can listen to them. Outside that I will wait to see how this can be enforceable’ he said. 

Even Ogundaisi doesn’t see how their decision can be enforceable because as he argued members of FVMA control only a segment of the market. He described as very ‘minute’ the market they control.  Besides he doesn’t think that the decision was a product of wide consultation. ‘I don’t think key members of the industry particularly independent producers who are not part of these supposed umbrella bodies are part of the decision. I think it is just an initiative of a group of individuals who most times take advantage of problems in the industry to position themselves. And I ask what is the decision meant to achieve and what will be the level of compliance because there have been several of such pronouncement in the past even among the practitioners in the Yoruba movie industry and the compliance level there was zero. So they can make any pronouncement they like but it is of no effect especially to licensed distributors who have been licensed by law to engage in distribution and marketing of movies’ Ogundaisi submitted. 
 Rather than engage in schemes that are of ‘no use to the industry’, Ogundaisi counseled that the marketers should channel their energies towards ensuring the take off of the National film and video distribution framework promoted by the National Film and Video Censors Board.  Ogundaisi maintained that if well implemented the framework, which was launched nearly three years ago was capable of eliminating all challenges impeding the economic viability of Nollywood films including piracy.  ‘We need to channel our energies towards activating the distribution system which will also be responsible for our operational funding, and effectively neutralize all inclinations to piracy and other illegal activities. That is what we need concentrate our energies on now and not engage in schemes or in making high sounding pronouncements that will not lead us anywhere’ remarked Ogundaisi who in a previous interview listed ‘In-auditable processes, ceaseless proliferation and fragmentation, personalized standards and ethics and the lack of in-built challenges and incentives for the distributors to fully explore the marketing potentials of a movie to maximize returns on investment as the defects and limitations of the present distribution system in Nollywood which is mainly championed by the marketers who want movies on television and cable stations banned.

The leadership of ANCOP who last week issued a short terse statement distancing the body from the decision to stop the assigning of broadcast rights to television and cable stations says their position has not changed.  President of ANCOP Alex Eyengho clarified that their decision to oppose the ban was informed by the fact that members of the association were not consulted on the matter and that it will be wrong for such a decision to be forced on the industry when the industry is not ‘owned by people who constitute only a small segment of the industry’. He said: There was no proper consultation before the decision was arrived at. We ought to have sat down as an industry to agree and take a position that will be binding. We refused to have our hairs shaved behind us. Besides our problem as an industry is not airing of content on television or on cable. That is even an income stream for producers. Our problem is piracy and distribution. Let us face those two monsters instead of trying to cure headache when we have typhoid’. 

Friday 18 October 2019

Yaw, Hilda Dokubo, Pamela Udoka Are Ambassadors of  NUTAF 2019

By Igalaman

Steve Onu aka Yaw
Popular stage and screen actor and On-Air Personality with Wazobia FM Steve Onu, is among the long list of stage and screen celebrities that will serve as Ambassadors when the special edition of the annual Nigerian Universities Theatre Arts Festival (NUTAF) dubbed special NUTAF 2019 opens on Monday October 21 at the National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos. Others on the celebrity ambassador list include popular actress Hilda Dokubo, notable actor and theatre scholar Sam Dede and Theatre Artiste and Clinical Psychologist Pamela Udoka.
In a goodwill message ahead of the formal opening ceremony, Steve Onu who is popular as Yaw admonished participating students to see the festival as an opportunity to ‘network, build blocks of friendships and learn’’. He also said ‘’as a proud NUTASITE and theatre student, NUTAF for me was a huge opportunity to network a8nd to learn because we are normally exposed to viva sessions where our works are criticized and that way we learn. The other thing is the workshop and seminars, which are always so rich in content and with resource persons that are already in practice. So it is always one week of fun, networking, performances and learning and I am excited at this special town and gown edition’

To be held under the theme ‘Theatre, Governance and Globalization’, this special edition, which is scheduled to hold as from October 20 to 26 at the National Theatre, aims at enhancing talent and creativity among theatre arts students across the nation’s universities. Powered by the National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP) in association with the Nigerian Universities Theatre Arts Students Association (NUTASA) and the Society of Nigerian Theatre Artists (SONTA), this special edition which will play host a contingent of Theatre Arts students from 25 universities in Nigeria is supported by the National Theatre, Nigeria Chapter of the International Theatre Institute (ITI-NIGERIA), MTNNG, Zmirage, IATC and Ariiya tickets. This will be the first time that the age long student theatre festival which debuted in 1981 at the University of Ibadan, will be hosted outside its traditional hosting area—the university.  The festival has since inception, held on rotational basis among universities in Nigeria. The last edition of the festival held in June 2018 at the Plateau State University, Bokkos, Plateau State.
President of NANTAP Israel Eboh said that the association agreed to host this special NUTAF which will feature activities such as drama, dances, spoken word, stand up comedy, workshops and costume carnival, because the association aligns itself with the desire of the Professor Emmanuel Dandaura led Board of Trustees of NUTAF to expose the students to a more professional environment of theatrical presentations particularly the technical aspects.  Eboh hinted that the festival will be formally declared opened by the Minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed on Monday October 21 at 11am. The NANTAP President also disclosed that notable filmmaker Obi Emelonye, John Njamah, Hellen Paul, Segun Arinze, and ace production designer and NUTAF festival director Biodun Abe have been confirmed as some of the facilitators of the workshop and master classes that will run on the side of the performances by the participating universities.

Sunday 22 April 2018

MOVIEDOM EXTRA..........By Igalaman 

Toyin Abraham’s ‘The Ghost and the Tout’ is ready

Toyin Abraham
Notable Nollywood actress and producer, Toyin Abraham is set to hit the cinemas with her latest movie titled ‘The Ghost and the Tout’. The actress has secured a May 11, 2018 release date for the star studded movie, which is coming after the wide acceptance of her blockbuster movie, Alakada Reloaded, which ranked as one of the highest selling indigenous movies to be screened in cinemas nationwide in 2017. Directed by Charles Uwagbai, Produced by Toyin Abraham and Co-Executive produced by Samuel Olatunji, ‘The Ghost and the Tout’ follows the story of a young and vibrant lady, Isila (Abraham), who grew up in the core of a ghetto.  An unforeseen event sends her world into a series of drama involving a murder case and a mystery from a forbidden spiritual event.

Left with no choice, Isila journeys on a mission to unravel the truth to get her life back on track and in turn free a ghost from the restlessness of his soul.
Toyin Abraham
The movie also features talented actors like Chiwetalu Agu, Dele Odule, Femi Adebayo, Rachel Okonkwo, Sambasa Nzeribe, Chioma Akpotha, Omowunmi Dada, Chigurl, Ronke Oshodi-Oke and more. It also stars talented Instagram sensations like Josh2funny, Cute Abiola, Bobrisky, Lasisi Elenu, Oshisko Twins, Iya Ibadan and more. Speaking on the movie, Toyin Abraham said "everything about this movie excites me, the creation of this movie came from a place of gratitude and appreciation to God and my fans, this movie is not just an extremely hilarious and entertaining movie; it cuts across all spheres of our lives and realities. It deals with the several emotions that can be felt by any human, and how we let these emotions define us.’ On her expectations, the actress responded saying; “You never really know what to expect when it comes to cinema audiences however, ‘The Ghost and the Tout’, is no doubt one the movies that will leave you reeling with laughter. With awesome cast and great productions, I can say we will be serving it hot come May 11th.’

From audio-visual professionals, more attention for archiving and preservation

Calls for more attention by government of all levels for audiovisual archiving and preservation, including adequate funding, has been canvassed by audiovisual professionals in Nigeria. Rising from a one-day National Conference on Audiovisual Archiving in Nigeria, held recently at the Nicon Luxury Hotel in Abuja, participants discussed extensively issues militating against the establishment, funding and promotion of Audiovisual Archiving in Nigeria and resolved that, indeed all hands should be on deck, along with appropriate legislations and funding, for the operations of Audiovisual Archiving in Nigeria to thrive, in line with global practices. The Conference, organized by the National Film Video and Sound Archive, (NFVSA), established by the Nigerian Film Corporation, was intended to among others, create awareness on the need to preserve Nigeria’s audiovisual heritage, build the capacity of audiovisual archivists, conservationists and curators. Formation of Professional Associations for Archiving and Preservation formed part of the objectives of the one-day conference with the theme: ‘’ Audiovisual Archiving in Nigeria – the Challenges and Prospects’’. A Communiqué capturing the issues germane to Audiovisual Archiving and Preservation was issued at the end of the Conference. The professionals resolved among other resolutions that: government should as a matter of urgency give speedy approval to the National Policy on Preservation and Conservation; that government should make the National Film Video and Sound Archive a legal depository for all audio-visual materials produced in Nigeria, about Nigeria and on Nigeria; that the National Film Video and Sound Archive should be a National Center for the preservation of all audio-visual materials in Nigeria; that Audio Visual Archives and Libraries in Nigeria should have written Operational manual (Policy) to guide its programmes and activities and that all establishments that employ Audio-Visual Archivists in Nigeria should as a matter of urgency ensure that the archivists receive specialized training both within and outside Nigeria to equip them with the required knowledge and skills in film preservation, restoration, documentation and use. Also the professionals urged government to improve funding of Audio Visual Archiving in Nigeria and that Government and the private sector should invest in audio-visual infrastructure in Nigeria. Similarly they called on government at all levels to establish Audio Visual Archives to ensure effective national coverage. The Audio Visual professionals canvassed the need for audio visual Archivists in Nigeria to form a National Network of Audio-Visual Archivists to enhance interrelationships and resource sharing. They also stressed the need for a national Survey of Audio Visual holdings to be carried out by the Audio Visual Archivists to establish the materials available nationwide and their state.  The survey they say, should cover not only public film archives but also privately owned film archives. Similarly they urged Audio Visual Archivists to at regular intervals organize enlightenment and advocacy programmes aimed at sensitizing policy makers and the general public on the importance of Audio-Visual Archiving. The communiqué, according to the Head, National Film Video and Sound Archive (NFVSA) Mrs. Chinwe Oliwe, sums up the renewed commitment of audiovisual professionals in Nigeria to address all issues inhibiting the effective policy takeoff of audiovisual archiving, assuring that Nigeria’s audiovisual heritage  (music, film, etc) will not be lost.

MOVIETAINMENT magazine set to stage Achievement award

As part of its objectives of adding value to the industry, the publishers of Movietainment are set to stage the maiden edition of the Movietainment Achievement & Corporate Awards dubbed MACA 2012. MACA will hold on Saturday August 11, 2012 at the Lagos Airport Hotels, Ikeja. The award according to the organisers will cover three major areas--the corporate industry that has added one or two values to the growth of the industry,, individuals as well as the industry gurus. MACA according to the organizers is not just about presentation of awards, but an avenue to interact, and network. And in the light of the interactive session of the award, two key personalities Senator Olorunninmbe Mamora and Barrister Tunji Bamisigbin to do justice to some topics which deal with the challenges facing the industry. Both Mamora and Bamishigbin will examine “The Role of Entertainment in Political Development of Nigeria” and “Piracy and the Film Industry; The Way Forward.” The Movietainment Magazine Ventures (tmm) was registered on 15th December 2005. The first edition was launched 1st July 2006, and it started full operations in March 2007 and since then, it has become an established brand amongst other specialized magazine. The Magazine has also established itself as a brand and has carved a niche for itself in the Nigerian has Entertainment Industry with its 60% focus on the movie sector. 
The magazine has established a strong bond and relationship with some Governmental Agencies both in the Culture and Tourism Ministry and the Ministry of Information and Communication. Such agencies includes Centre for Blacks & African Arts & Civilization (CBAAC), Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC), Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), National Theatre/National Troupe of Nigeria (NT/NTN) and the guilds and associations in the entertainment sector which includes Association of Movie Producers (AMP), Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Directors Guild of Nigeria (DGN), Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (ANTP), National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP), and

Winners for Durban Film Festival announced

The 33rd edition of the Durban International Film Festival, with principal funding from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, has announced its award-winners, for the 33rd edition, which closed on Saturday July 28 in Durban, South Africa. Winner of the Best Feature Film award, Love (Amour) was applauded by the International Jury as “unmissable”, and the film’s director Michael Haneke, as a “contemporary master with an astute understanding of his cinematic world”. The Best Feature Film award carries a cash prize of R50 000.The international Jury which comprised Zimbabwean filmmaker and novelist Tsitsi Dangarembga, hot South African director Oliver Hermanus, producer and television presenter Kgomotso Matsunyane, and Canadian producer, director Peter Wintonick also awarded the Best First Feature Film prize ( R20 000) to Australian Julia Leigh for Sleeping Beauty (Australia). Receiving a cash prize of R30 000, the Best South African Feature Film was awarded to Adventures in Zambezia (South Africa), directed by Wayne Thornley. Of the large number of South African films screened this year, the jury’s unanimous voice lauded this film as one with “strong writing and direction, and beautiful animation infused with the spirit of the continent…” and one that “tells an African story from an African perspective while having clear global appeal”. The Amnesty International Durban Human Rights Award, with a prize of € 2,500, went to Malika Zouhali-Worral and Katherine Fairfax Wright’s film Call Me Kuchu which focuses on attacks on gay people in Uganda. The other awards include
Best Director: Benh Zeitlin for Beasts Of The Southern Wild (USA); Best Actress: Deanie Ip in A Simple Life (Tao Jie) (Hong Kong SAR China)
Best Actor: Joseph Wairimu in Nairobi Half Life (Kenya, Germany); Best Cinematography: Gökhan Tiryaki for Once Upon A Time In Anatolia (Bir Zamanlar Anadolu’da) (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Turkey); Best Screenplay: Ercan Kesal, Ercan Ceylan and Nuri Bilge Ceylan for Once Upon A Time In Anatolia (Bir Zamanlar Anadolu’da) (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Turkey); Special Jury Mention Feature Film: Goodbye (Be Omid E Didar) (Iran), directed by Mohammad Rasoulof; Best Documentary: 5 Broken Cameras (Palestinian Territories, France, Israel, The Netherlands), directed by Guy Davidi; Best South African Documentary: The African Cypher (South Africa), directed by Bryan Little; Documentary Special Jury Mention: Calvet (Costa Rica, France, Nicaragua, United Kingdom, United States), directed by Dominic Allan and Best Short Film: The Bird Spider (La Migala) (Spain), directed by Jaime Dezcallar The 33rd Durban International Film Festival is organised by the Centre For Creative Arts (University of KwaZulu-Natal) with support by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (principal funder), National Film and Video Foundation, KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development and Tourism, HIVOS, City of Durban, German Embassy in South Africa, Goethe Institut of South Africa, French Season in South Africa, and a range of other valued partners. 

Fintel Brings Famous Celebrity Salon To Nigeria

Fintel Universal Services Limited of Nigeria in partnership with (JK-INC, Ireland) having secured the Franchise of the famous Celebrity reality TV show titled, Celebrity Salon from Straywave is bringing the show to Nigeria and the whole of Africa in 2012. The Celebrity Salon is a 12 part reality TV series that will challenge 6-8 top Nigerian celebrities cut across various industries (Nollywood, music, comedy, fashion and modeling, sports and broadcasting) to enter a "beauty boot camp" to learn many of the skills needed to become a top beauty therapist. The show will see celebrities on the road touring the best salons across the country where they will be mentored and trained in a new skill in every episode as they compete to impress their mentor and beauty guru and a series of expert judges.  Skills varying from facial treatment, nail and hair treatment, skin, massage techniques and photo shoot will be the main focus. The show comes with a top foreign celebrity presenter, foreign and local directors, producers and crew to support the Nigerian cast and crew to produce a world class Celebrity Salon Nigeria. The Celebrity Salon Nigeria will be aired in major TV stations across the country, cable TV channels and previewed in the foreign media for the global audience. The celebrities would be paid appearance fees aside from prizes to be won based on their performances in various tasks given by the brands that would be represented. The celebrities will travel, live and learn together over an intensive 2-4 week period. The Celebrity Salon Nigeria for this first season would be pre recorded and not a live show and it is billed to be aired between the third and last quarter of 2012. The choice of celebrities will be based on the strength of the fan base of the celebrities in comparison to their contemporaries, the type of corporate brand they are able to attract and secure for the show, their availability for the total duration of the production among other requirements. It is expected that at the end of the show, the celebrities would have acquired unique beauty skills, increased their fan base, go away with a lot of gifts and remuneration, command global respect and recognition, secured brand deals with major multinationals, etc. FUSL is a company duly incorporated in Nigeria and carries on business as movie producers, distributors and marketers of home video and movies and also helps independent producers secure distribution rights across Africa

It’s ‘Invitation to Thunder’ for Superstory’s series

Ace Nigerian production house, Wale Adenuga Productions presents a Superstory classic titled: Invitation To Thunder. ‘Invitation to thunder’ is the popular Superstory title that portrayed the life of a wealthy businesswoman Susan, whose spirit was crushed when she suspected that her younger lover Henry was having an affair with one of the top attendants in her supermarket. She devised a plan to get rid of Sonia but something went horribly wrong. Written by Lamson Yesuf, Invitation to thunder reflects the extremities of jealousy, envy and vengeance. According to Wale Adenuga Jnr, “Invitation to thunder is being transmitted due to popular demand by fans. Superstory remains a mirror to reflect and correct the ills of the society” Invitation to Thunder, features stars such as Chinyere Winifred, Jibola Oredola, Perez Egbi and others. Wale Adenuga Productions Ltd has several award-wining programmes including Papa Ajasco and Company,  Thislife and Nnena & Friends.

Premiered: Last Flight to Abuja

All roads led to Genesis deluxe Cinema at the Palms in Lekki on Friday for the all glam premiere of Obi Emelonye’s latest feature Last Flight to Abuja. The movie got many people talking, tweeting and texting prior to this premiere that attracted a large crowd of mostly top industry players and captains of industry.  Based on what the promoters said was a true life story, the richly cast movie features Amnesty International Ambassador, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, Jim Iyke, Hakeem Kae Kazeem, Jide Kosoko, Celine Loader, Uru Eke, Anthony Monjaro, Uche Odoputa, Charles Granville, Franca Brown and others. The project is majorly sponsored by one of the nation’s leading banks, Diamond Bank. Known for supporting business owners, industrialists, SMEs, the bank took the notch higher by throwing its weight behind highly acclaimed movie, Last Flight to Abuja. The bank has over the years established credibility as one bank which delights in making dreamer’s dream come true and lovers of art. One of the stars of the movie, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde spoke on the movie shortly after the premiere:  ‘’I think it’s a life changing movie, I tell the people around me that this movie is going to do nothing but encourage people to take risks, I think it was bold of the filmmaker but it’s also a very risky thing to do, I think we need to get to that point in Nollywood, where we leave our comfort zone and veer into the bigger things, bigger projects and talk about the things that affect our lives.  9/11 has had several movies done about the incident, we shouldn’t have taboo subjects, the more we can talk about these things in a respectable manner, the better for us, which is the only time we can move ahead and the jinx can be broken’’. When asked if the movie was her most challenging so far, the amiable actress opined ‘’ truthfully no, but it’s one of the most challenging movies, it was challenging because of the topic but I would put it on the same level with a movie called, The Prostitute because as at that time, the movie was like a taboo subject and the way it was being handled was very conscious, another movie of such underlining factor was Mortal Inheritance’’. The PR Agency handling the publicity, Bigsam Media said ‘’ those that have seen the movie have predicted that it would to sell more than Mirror Boy and we can say with all sense of modesty that it will double the box office figure. Obi did a good job! ’’. Other sponsors of the movie are; Afromedia, Zinox, TD technology distribution, Mact Securities, Soundcity, Nigezie, Ozone Cinemas, Silverbird Cinemas, Nigeria Info FM, Cool FM, Blue Pictures (distributor of the movie), Africa Magic, Wazobia FM and Bigsam Media.

Hitchcooks’s Vertigo is BFI’S greatest film of all times

The BFI’s Sight & Sound magazine today announced that the winner of its hugely anticipated and world-renowned Greatest Films of All Time poll is Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, ending the 50-year reign of Orson Welles’ mighty Citizen Kane, winner of the once-a-decade poll since 1962 and now in second place. 846 film experts participated in the poll, placing Yasujiro Ozu’s Tokyo Story 3rd and Jean Renoir’s La Règle du jeu 4th. Two new films to make the Top Ten are both silent – Dziga Vertov’s Man With a Movie Camera at no.8, the first documentary to make the Top Ten since 1952, and Carl Theodor Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc in 9th place. The most recent film in the Top Ten is Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) in 6th place. The poll is Sight & Sound’s seventh and most ambitious to date; the full results are published in the September issue, on sale from August 4th which also celebrates the magazine’s 80th birthday and a new re-launch, with a new look and new digital edition and archive. Visit for the results in full.

Dependable RMD and Ego Boyo set to Tango on 'Mr. X Family'

* To Premiere on May 6 on African Magic

By Shaibu Husseini (First published in The Guardian on April 21st)

If you are a social media and television hobbyist and you have not come across a promo material on a
RMD on the set of Mr. X Family'
new television series titled ‘Mr. X Family’, then you may need to check your browser or update your cable subscription. To say that the buzz title on social media and on television is the ‘Mr. X Family’ television series is to be stating the obvious.
Not that there is anything new about birthing a television series. But there is something that makes this series arguably the most anticipated. First, it features two of Nigeria’s dependable actors Richard Mofe Damijo (RMD) and Ego Boyo and secondly, RMD as the actor’s actor is simply called and Ego Boyo who were both constant visitors to home as long as that award winning series by Amaka Igwe ‘Checkmate’ lasted, are reuniting for some measured acting performance nearly 22 years after they featured in the award winning movie ‘Violated’.
Also, this time, RMD is not just on call as an actor, but he signs the series as Producer. It will be his first major television series production and the actor, lawyer, publisher, Public Relations practitioner and former Commissioner for Culture and Tourism in Delta State is excited at the prospect of the series which premieres on May 6 on African Magic.  Sharing the news of their reunion on screen on social media, RMD wrote: ‘’ I hope that getting back together again on TV will tickle fans of Ann and Segun and the fans of Tega and Peggy, who have been craving to have them grace their TV screens again. Ego and I are pretty excited about this and we hope the excitement catches on’’.
RMD and Ego Boyo on set of Mr. X Family.
Promoted as a drama but with a tinge of comedy, RMD would not give out the meat of the narrative that make-up the series. The tall and well-built actor says he wants viewers to guess what roles they will be playing on ‘Mr. X Family’. Recall that on Checkmate, the character that RMD played ‘Segun Kadiri’ was always at loggerhead with ‘Ann Haastup’, which was the role Ego Boyo played. And in ‘Violated’, RMD was cast as Tega while Ego Boyo played Peggy. He had said: ‘we are curious to see how many people or if anyone can correctly guess what we are back together as….Mr. and Mrs.? Secret Lovers? Siblings? Colleagues? Somebody? Anybody? Let the guessing game begin’’.
Even though RMD would not say if he would return in this series as Segun Kadiri, an enemy-turned-lover of Ann Haastrup in ‘Checkmate’ or as Tega, a wealthy man who falls in love and marries Ego Boyo's character, Peggy in the movie ‘Violated’, fans say they cannot wait to see RMD and Ego feature as the iconic pair again.
Although early set pictures released revealed RMD in a family pose, sources close to the crew hinted that the story revolves round RMD and Ego Boyo.  RMD explains his relationship with Ego Boyo thus: ‘’My journey with Ego Boyo started nearly 30 years ago, our first encounter being on the production of Checkmate when my dear friend Amaka Igwe pulled me in as the villain Segun Kadiri on the highly coveted television soap. One of the most remarkable things about Ego is that despite the fact that she is born with a silver spoon into the family of the highly respected late Justice Nnamani, she was super disciplined (she still is), very humble and extremely committed’’
RMD and Ego Boyo as they tango on set

RMD taking notes from Director of Mr. X Family Ben Chiadaka
He also explained talked about how their status on screen rose. He said: ‘’our status as Nigerian TV sweethearts rose with the movie Violated, as Tega and Peggy became the toast of Violated fans. Since then Ego has gone ahead to becoming wife, mother, accomplished business woman and the .President of international Women’s Society. Over 25 years later, Tega and Peggy are back together again on my new TV show. I can only hope that getting back together again will tickle fans of Ann Haastrup and Segun Kadiri and the fans of Tega and peggy who have been craving to have them grace their television screens again.  Ego and I are pretty excited about this and hope the excitement catches on’’
An iconoclastic actor, RMD is clearly one of Nigeria’ top celebrities. A top rated actor with vast credits, the Warri, Delta State native has had a remarkable career as an actor and has indeed enjoyed super roles on stage and the movie turf. Acting for the actor’s actor who has proved to be a world-class material, came naturally. As a young boy growing up in Warri, Eyimofe was the acclaimed king of boys. His family’s little home in Warri, was usually a beehive of performances and laughter. It was the meeting point of those in RMD’s age bracket whom he had some form of control over. As a tot, RMD was particularly a “terribly” shy person, so his best escape was to always be in front of the people - his mates, acting or telling jokes that kept them delighted.
RMD after he received the AMAA 2016 Life Time Achievement Award 
Born in Warri, Delta State to a mother (who had a tremendous influence on his life) and who until her death was a trader and a father who until his demise in 1990 worked for the Nigerian Ports Authority Warri, the actors actor schooled briefly at the Roman Catholic Mission School, Warri and the famous Midwest College. At the wake of the indigenization policy, young Richard was sent to the Anglican Secondary School, Okpara waterside and then to St. Patrick’s College Asaba. Upon completion of his secondary school education, RMD proceeded to the University of Benin. He graduated four years later having bagged a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre Arts majoring in Dramatic Theatre and Criticism. A lawyer who has been called to the Nigerian Bar, the former publisher of Mr. Magazine and star of many stage and screen productions including the popular Michael Power series, RMD is married to the broadcaster turned communication consultant Jumobi Mofe Damijo nee Adegbesan and their marriage is blessed with children.
RMD and Wife Jumobi