Veteran Nollywood filmmaker, Chief Eddie Ugbomah, is one person whose view on the Nigerian movie industry (Nollywood) is respected by many, while pitching him against others. In this interview at his Agbara EDIFOSA Film Village with Agozino Agozino, the Aboh, Delta State-born thespian specialist ex-rays issues in Nollywood, as well as other sundry issues. Excerpts How do you rate Nollywood? Nollywood is rubbish and it belongs to the gutter. It is simple. If you are not a Yoruba, Yoruba people will not listen to you.
In fact, you will hardly get a part in their movie. If you are not an Igbo, Igbo people will not give you any role to play. The hardest is Hausa. If you are not a Hausa, just forget about trying because you will not get any role. Go to any of their auditioning. You may be asked what your name is. If you don’t say your name is Uche, Obiekwe or Emeka, you will not get a part
Are you saying that this may have affected the growth of movie industry in Nigeria?
Yes, and I will tell you. You find that the industry is saturated by illiterate producers and marketers. They are claiming what they are not. Because of all this rubbish they are doing, when people look at the Nigerian films, they will say please remove it. Because as soon as it starts, you already know how it would end. And, now, because the Igbo are the ones holding the industry, Igbo marketers willcut the story into part one, part two, part three. They will tell you that it’s because ‘I was trying to recoup my investment.’ So you see pure trash. Part one will finish; part two will start from the middle of part one with advert,then part three will start in the middle of part two. That is cheating.
You once described Nigerian movie makers are bunch of videographers, do you still stand by that?
Yes. For God’s sake why are they denying what they are? They are videographers. They are shooting video. They should shut up. Let’s call a spade a spade. They are not film- makers. If we want to be specific, film is the one you shoot in celluloid; video is the one you shoot in video. So, the man who is doing this is a videographer any day. We are cinematographer. So, they should not deny their identity. As I am talking to you, 99 percent of them cannot distinguish what I am saying because many of them have not seen celluloid before.
Critics have complained that Nigeria movies are always characterized by fetish. What is your comment
It all boils down to one single thing, lack of true professionals in the industry today. Everybody is doing what he wants and what they are all looking for is money. But if I should look at it from a different angle, I will say that there is a way they should have presented what they want and it would still make meaning in African culture. But, if you look them you will discover that many of them are confused. I watched one movie that Pete Edochie say they should kill a woman. For more than ten minutes, they were still trying to kill the said woman. Is that possible? Yes. There is a film that I am planning to shoot now. And my aim is to use and tell the world that there is something good in African native doctors. Not all this fake churches everywhere deceiving people.