…Dubai, Tanzania Now Seek Out Nigerian Movie Makers
Kene Mkparu, Managing Director/CEO, Film House Cinemas and Film One Distribution and ProductionDespite the N7.2billion ($200 million) subsisting and available as loan money for Nollywood and entertainment industry at the Bank of Industry, BoI, only 10 percent of it has been accessed by players in the industry, according to Kene Mkparu, Managing Director/CEO, Film House Cinemas and Film One Distribution and Production.
Mkparu consults for BOI on how other movie makers can access the funds after he became a beneficiary of the loan facility. The loan which he used to set up the outfit that produced ‘Wedding Party’ a signature movie that currently enjoys biggest box office hit and has been shown in more than 25 countries across the world.
He reiterated that less than 10 percent of his colleagues in the Nigerian industry have accessed the money. Making the movie makers’ worst affected in term under utilizations of the money because most of them can’t write good business proposals.
“I don’t believe that there is a lack of money for producers to make movies. I just think that if you can show from your business plan that you can make this money back, banks are willing to give you the money. So we were quite happy to take a loan to make movies,” Mkparu told INDEPENDENT.
Mkparu, further explained that there are huge markets available both in Nigeria and outside for Nigerian movies, especially in the areas of collaboration.
The fund was created under the previous administration ex-President Goodluck Jonathan to help grow the entertainment industry, particularly the Nollywood. There has been lots of misrepresentations on the said money and has been source of politics between the ruling Party, APC and its predecessor, PDP.
Movie producers and other players in the industry also allege that the money has not been available to players/stakeholders in the movie industry.
But making clarifications at a consumer forum held in Yankari Games Reserve, Bauchi, put together by National Film and Video Census Board, NFVCB, the movie producer and distributor stated that industry players must stop asking government for free money.
The forum was put together by the board as a way of leveraging on the North East movie market that has been left unexplored.
Explaining how much of a success Wedding Party is, Mkparu explained that his company and partners are currently being wooed by Zanzibar, in Tanzania to shoot ‘Wedding Party 3’ in the country. For Wedding Party 2, said the producer, Dubai Tourism authority partnered with the movie producers on the flick. “This was because the authority knew that Nigerians come to Dubai a lot. They used our movie to further consolidate on their market share and hold in Nigeria,” he said. Mkparu said that Fast and Furious 7, Mission Impossible 5, two American movies, were two other movies offered the deal by Dubai but that Dubai offered a bigger package for ‘Wedding Party 2’.
“The Wedding Party is a signature title. We have Wedding Party 1 and then Wedding Party 2. The idea of the movie is to show that in Nigeria, it is possible to create a movie that can entertain and make money even with the small cinemas we have in Nigeria.
“That is, make money from Cinemas, make money from online, make money from Tvs, make money from DVD and all the value chain of the film. We can make money from all these. It is possible in Nigeria, even with piracy.
“We are here to show that even while fighting piracy we can make money, and that is the idea behind the ‘Wedding Party’ signature movie. The movie is a science of all the parties coming together.
“I am an executive producer of the Wedding Party and we also have producers from each of the companies. The idea is that we look at the script and look at what people want, what the audience and the market want in Cinemas.
Wedding Party 1 cost us over N150 million to make plus its publicity. “Wedding Party 2” cost over N300 million, excluding publicity. Publicity alone cost us about N100 million. But we believe that we can go to the bank and get the money. We believe that we have to spend money to make money,” Mkparu said.