Members of the Video Rental Owners Association of Nigeria (VROAN) have threatened to boycott the film market if the Yoruba Video and Films Producers/Marketers Association of Nigeria (YOVIFPMAN) fails to implement the agreements both parties reached in June.
Part of the agreement, Nollywood Reel gathered, is that YOVIFPMAN will not release more than 25 films into the market within a period of two weeks, but during its last release, the association churned out 49 movies.
The leadership of VROAN also complained that many times, a film that shouldn’t take more 55 minutes under normal circumstances is divided into two or three parts, thereby giving film pirates the privilege to operate easily.
National leader of VROAN, Kassim Olatunbosun, told Nollywood Reel that the issues on ground are unacceptable to his association, and “we are ready to boycott the market indefinitely in the interest of the industry and its stakeholders.”
“Though the Alhaji Toyin Uthman led YOVIFPMAN has stopped the release of four CD films as agreed, we will still urge them to act promptly on others. We have therefore agreed that henceforth, our members will only patronize the best 20 films released. This is a move we believe will help shape and structure the industry in a better way,” Olatunbosun, who is popularly known as Boe stated, adding that he had officially written the film producers/marketers two times, but to no avail.
Boe reiterated that the steps his association is taking are aimed at sanitizing the movie industry, and as well intensifying the efforts of YOVIFPMAN and other concerned bodies in fighting piracy to a standstill.
Meanwhile, Nigerian entertainers under the auspices of a coalition, Entertainment Protection Initiative (EPI), have called on Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola of Lagos State to join the fight against piracy which they described as a major bane of the entertainment industry.The coalition, which is headed by the Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (ANTP) and YOVIFPMAN, has other entertainment guilds such as MAAN, AGN, NANTAP, FUMAN, PMAN, VROAN and GOMAN as members.
Speaking with Nollywood Reel, the Organising Secretary of ANTP, Lagos Chapter, Prince Lambert Dike, said the fight with pirates will be to a standstill, though the government has refused to take up the challenge to the fullest.
According to him, Yoruba movies constitute 60 per cent of the total films released in Nigeria, adding that the sector, apart from being the largest employer of labour, has also generated enviable revenue for the government.
“If we can be paying the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) up to N40,000 per movie, and the Copyright Commission collects about N6,500 on each film, you will realize that the government makes millions of naira from us every month, so I see no reason why we should not be protected because we release 60 films each month,” Lambert lamented.
Calling on the Lagos State governor to take up the challenge of fighting piracy to a standstill, Public Relations Officer of YOVIFPMAN, Prince Owoade Adekunle noted that “The truth of the matter is that 80 per cent of our movies are being sold in Lagos, so we want to call on the state governor to take up challenge. We want the governor to give a pronouncement or close down Alaba Market where the piracy kingpins operate from. That will serve as a deterrent and make the fight easier for us because without the help of the government, the battle will be difficult.”