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A BOOST FOR CONTENT AS HOLLYWOOD AND BOLLYWOOD CONVERGE IN LAGOS

Source: nigeriafilms.com

The internationalization of Nollywood contents will once again take the centrestage in an international programme this month end in Lagos, as Hollywood and Bollywood converge in Nigeria to look at an industry that has put the country on the world map.

Unlike most programmes that have had to bundle workshop and exhibition together to form a double dose, this programme is strictly for capacity building and a common platform for three of the most prolific movie markets in the world to meet, and seek for a great way forward for the Nigerian industry. The programme holds on April 27-28, 2007.

Mr. Ben Ohanu, boss of Mariben Services who is putting the conference together told Vanguard that he has looked at the industry very closely and has come to the conclusion that the Nigerian film industry still has a lot to benefit from the global community.

Two resource persons that will be speaking at the programme are Mr. Ramesh Meer, CEO, FX Factory Bombay, India and Mr. Ron Lavery, CEO, Westham Films, California.
Tagged Bollywood/Hollywood and Nollywood Technical Workshop, the forum will attempt to look at the ways other industries have had to solve some teething problems presently bedeviling Nollywood.

Ohanu who schooled in India told us that when the Indian film industry was taking off, a major problem the operators faced was how to take their programmes to the rest of the world. He recalled that the marketing problem was so acute that the people had to sit collectively to find a common answer. Today, Bollywood has become a global phenomenon and about the most prolific film industry in the world.

He noted that the reason Meer is coming from India is to share the Indian experience with the hope that stakeholders of the sector will find something good to learn from the exchange of ideas.

A major problem confronting the content industry around the world is piracy, the brazen theft of intellectual work by those who did not labour for it. The conference organizer explained that because of the dangerous but sensitive nature of piracy, stakeholders from the US, Indian and Nigeria will try to find solutions to it.

Besides, the gathering will also look at policies from the three countries and attempt to find ways of benefiting from each other.

The forum is the first from the Mariben stable but perhaps because of its importance it has drawn support from the relevant agencies including the Ministry of Information and Communications which is leading the way. It is jointly organized by the Nigerian Film Corporation, and supported by the Nigerian Film and Video Censors Board, and he Nigerian Copyright Commission.

A surprise appearance is being made by NIPOST which Ohanu told us could actually deploy its network and facilities across the country to become a major distributor of Nollywood products. NIPOST will attempt to put a hand on this at the conference.

The conference organizers thus appealed to the country's industry operators to take advantage of the programme in order to boost and hone their already fertile knowledge of the industry.