A Nollywood film producer, Chima Okereke, on Sunday urged the three tiers of government to encourage establishment of cinemas to promote cinema culture and grow the economy.
Okereke, the Managing Director, Fresh Talent Productions (FTP), spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
The film producers said that the huge capital involved in establishing cinemas was discouraging private investors.
“All the tiers of government should get involved by giving incentives or being in partnership with those willing to invest in cinemas.
“Apart from entertainment, cinema gives a boost to the economy of any state where it is sited.
“It is a public art, and can make money which will help both practitioners and governments.
“It will serve for internal revenue generation,’’ he said.
Okereke claimed that cinema was the least developed mass media in Nigeria, and urged that it should no longer be neglected.
“The majority of Nigerian films are not showcased in the few cinemas we have in the country.
“We need to showcase our culture; it plays a vital role in the mental development of an individual in any society.
“If we are not using stage to project what we want; we should use cinemas so that members of the Nigerian society will develop the basic physical, intellectual, social and emotional capabilities,’’ he said.
The producer said that Nigeria needed cultural promotion, adding that cinema could be used to do that.
“Nigerian cinema halls are polluted with films of martial arts, thrillers, Indian melodrama and American action adventures. Nigerians have been overfed with all these.
“Nigerian cultures are being devalued everyday, and we fold our hands and look.’’
He claimed that constant presence of Western aesthetics had adverse effects on local filmmakers and the younger generation.
“It is almost impossible for Nigerian filmmakers and film audiences in the present situation to grow above the models established by their invaders,” he told NAN.
NAN reports that the Federal Government promulgated the Nigerian Enterprise Promotion Decree in 1972 to limit the involvement of foreign interests in foreign films and reserve some exclusively for Nigerians.
This decree gave exclusive monopoly for the distribution and exhibition of feature films to Nigerians.
However, the business is still dominated by foreigners.