Popular producer and CEO of Royal Film Academy, Emem Isong-Misodi has thrown her weight behind the federal government’s proposed ban on foreign production of some Nigerian films.
She, however, called on the government to do the needful in addressing the problems facing the movie industry that force film makers to take their productions abroad.
Isong-Misodi stated this in an exclusive chat with newsmen.
According to her, “the proposed ban is not directed at any particular incident or stakeholder in the entertainment industry but as a means of showing respect to the Nigerian-based cast and crew members who earn their living by rendering services that support movie productions.”
She said: “It makes some sense to ban production of certain movies abroad. I hope it is true. I can figure out the relevance of that move.
“Every country should respect its own local industry. We must look for ways to help Nigerians who put in a lot of hard work whether as cast or crew members. Their hope is to be able to earn a living from the sacrifices and efforts they put into supporting the production of the movies the Nigerian audience consume.
“That is why it is important that we work hard and co-operate with the government to ensure that the local entertainment industry is vibrant and prosperous.
“We should also be proud to say to the world that we generate so and so revenue from our local creative industry annually.
“My argument is simple, when you go to shoot a film abroad, you use the work force of that country to develop the capacity of that country and you improve the economy of that country.
“The government needs to step into the industry to ensure local production of Nigerian movies, which will create jobs for young talents in the country”.
“However, there are many other pressing issues affecting the entertainment industry that government needs to look into alongside the proposed ban of production of Nigerian movies abroad.
“We have not fixed the issues of piracy and erratic power supply. Take for instance, to power certain equipment a film maker needs for his or her production; one needs steady power supply.
“In the absence of stable power, one is forced to resort to power generating set. These generators are often times very noisy that they affect the quality of one’s production.
“Until today, Nigeria does not have the kind of studios that can completely eliminate certain noise that interfere with productions and distort the quality of what Nigerian film makers churn out to the rest of the world.
“In this case, what do you expect from a film maker?”
“If a foreign location would help me, as a filmmaker, to convey better the message I have for my audience, I would be tempted to use such a location.
“The entertainment industry has contributed a lot to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of this nation and has also contributed in changing the Nigeria’s negative image overseas. So, there should be balance in what the government proposes to do
“In as much as the proposed ban has its merits, the federal government needs to fix some of the problems that force film makers to dump the country and head abroad for their productions.”