Writings of the general word's body

Friday, June 25, 2010

Tunde Kelani sends out an SOS

I was at a press conference on June 2, when filmmaker Tunde Kelani spoke in no uncertain terms about the danger posed to himself and the Nollywood film indusry in general by pirates. One of Nigeria's most respected cinematographers with works that set the bar with every new movie, Kelani was speaking in the run up to the release of his new film, 'Arugba'. 'We are going to be pirated,' said Kelani, who admitted that he'd been cornered by the pirates and the system. He said he had no choice but to release Arugba (launched on June 13) after a two-year delay and with his production company lacking the funds for his next film. Arugba went on the market on June 14 and in less than 10 days afterwards, the pirates flooded the market with not just one pirated version of the new film, but two (see image).

Tunde Kelani has released a statement yesterday on his "despair" - below.

"It is with the greatest and darkest feeling of despair that I have to announce the massive piracy attack of our new film ARUGBA released on homevideo barely a week ago. On our part, we complied with all the guidelines stipulated by all the government agencies and paid all dues but got no protection from the criminal activities of the pirates who are bent on pulling down our industry. As things stand, it is becoming impossible for me to continue my career as a filmmaker in my country Nigeria as it is no longer possible to recoup our investment or get the opportunity to exploit economically our copyright and repay our creditors. Unless the Federal Government of Nigeria rescues us from this economic menace, the growth and development of the nascent film industry in Nigeria will be stifled completely by this miasma of piracy, illegality and outright theft. The popular Nollywood industry is under great threat and may already be experiencing its death throes. While we have decided to write a letter of protest to President Goodluck Jonathan, the Attorney General of the Federation, The Federal Minister of Information and Communication, the Inspector General of Police and all the relevant government agencies, we can only appeal to the general public to ignore the pirated ones and buy our genuine movies."

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