The three motion picture practitioner recipients of the 2008 National Honours Awards, Dr. Yemi Farounbi (OON) Wale Adenuga (MFR) and Lari Williams (MFR), have commended the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC) for the various efforts in taking the industry to the next level as well as bringing it to international standard.
They have also called on the corporation to expedite action on the take off of the Motion Picture Practitioners Council of Nigeria (MOPICON), which they say is long overdue.
These veterans each made these observations in their speeches at the grand reception in their honour, by the NFC for being outstanding in the Nigerian motion picture.
While Dr. Farounbi (OON) described the award as the best gift he ever had in the year 2008, noting that the NFC the tremendous positive changes recorded within the industry are as a resultant effect of the quality of leadership at the NFC, Adenuga (MFR) described the honours bestowed on them by the government as appropriate and commendable. According to him, “reward for hard work could not have come at any auspicious time than the Yuletide season. And I am full of praise for the NFC. On the state of the Nigerian motion picture industry, I passionately plead with the film corporation, in liaison with the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), to continue to discharge their statutory obligations in overseeing the development of the industry.”
He described the roles being played by the two bodies as well articulated and commendable especially in the area of charting a roadmap for infrastructure and institutional developments by the corporation and the marketing distribution framework by the censors board.
Exuding passion, piracy, Adenuga said, was an issue that had bedeviled the entire industry, which he said is made up of film on one hand and television on the other. Moviemaking in Nigeria, the man popularly called “Pencil” said, has not attained the envisaged economic value return on investments because of the activities of pirates who have become operationally sophisticated because of access to cutting edge technology.
The television content provider also averred that owners of television channels are to blame for the near death of production of TV soaps and series. He claimed that television belts have literally been taken over by foreign soaps, which do not in any way promote Nigeria’s culture, provide job opportunities, or create platforms for the development of creativity in television production.
On his part, Williams (MFR) called for improved film production by moviemakers. He described as frustrating the various fiefdoms existing within the industry and called for much effort to break down all dividing walls, which impede collaborative efforts. Williams equally called for constant and consistent training of professionals. This, he said, will provide the necessary platform for practitioners to be at par with other filmmakers around the world.
Dr. Farounbi equally canvassed for the promotion of filmmaking in local languages, alongside English language. This, he said, would enable for the adequate propagation of the intrinsic cultures that abound in the country.
Commending the recipients, Mr. Afolabi Adesanya, managing director of the NFC, praised the ingenuity within the industry, which has translated into the various works being appreciated globally. History, Adesanya said, was being repeated in the year 2008 as the industry has continued to receive accolades for its positive impact on the nation’s economy and socio-cultural life.
Adesanya spoke extensively on the various efforts being made by the government to have MOPICON, Film Fund, Film Village policies in place and assured that in no distant time, practitioners will benefit tremendously from the policies. The NFC boss called on other practitioners to see the National Honours Awards as an inspiration to improve on their works, and commitment to growing the sector.
Since 2005, 15 motion picture practitioners have received national honours awards, which was instituted in 1963 to honour deserving citizens, and friends of Nigeria who have contributed to the development and progress of the country in any field of human endeavour.