Pascal Atuma, Nigerian actor and filmmaker, has asked the Nigerian government to support the film industry financially, noting that its profitability is no less than the oil and gas sector.
He said for the industry to grow, the government must handle the business part, while the film practitioners focus on the creative side.
Atuma said this on Sunrise Daily, a Channels Television programme, on Saturday, noting that ‘Clash’, his blockbuster movie, was partly funded by the Canadian government.
“The money for the project came from Chigozie Pius Abor, my classmate from Government College in Umuahia, and the Canadian government. And the part of the money that came from the Canadian government is not a loan, you can access this grant, so those kind of things need to come into place, so we can grow,” he said.
“This is big business, this is not small children’s business. The government, and many people in Nigeria keep looking at oil, this is another oil that is in town.
“Nollywoood is doing good but the government can make it easier for them so they don’t have to worry about funding, and can worry about creativity. The creative worry about creating the show, and the government take that show and do business with the country.”
The Canada-based screenwriter also said Nigeria is rich in talents and creative resources, stressing that Hollywood is aware of this, and its practitioners are gradually finding a way to exploit the “rich culture”.
“We are very rich in culture. Hollywood don’t have no more story left to tell, that is why you see them using private technicians to create something fancy so that you can go to the cinema,” he said.
“Look at people like Burnaboy, Davido, Ali Baba, and Wizkid, you can see the talents here in Nigeria. We are richer than them in culture, we have more history than them, and that is why they want to come in. There is no free gift, the western world are coming here to capitalise on our talents. it is like a mutual relationship.”
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