The Nigerian film industry has gone beyond finding myriad ways just to entrench its importance and visibility in the global motion picture entertainment arena.
Not long ago, there was Scotland Film Festival at which Nigerians were hosted by the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB). It was a conference devoted to the Nigerian motion picture industry in Edinburgh, where the industry's importance was showcased to the foreign interests. NFVCB is the national regulatory authority for the Nigerian motion picture industry.
The foreign organisers were excited to receive Nigerians and were more excited that Tunde Kelani's film, Maami, sponsored by the NFVCB, was being screened to the audience. Kelani, Nigerian film maker, showcased Maami, his latest film, at the Africa in Motion Scotland Film Festival in Edinburgh and Glasgow on October 30 and 31.
At the event, Kelani delivered an incisive and interactive paper on the use of indigenous language in his movies, tracing it to his studies in the film school in the United Kingdom (UK).
He said he was influenced by his fellow students from Russia, Japan and other countries, who already were doing films in their languages and subtitling them. He, therefore, experimented on it and was then convinced to also do his films in the Yoruba language.
The second factor that influenced his choice of the genre was the fact that the people who sent him to learn the act of film making could not understand why he had to make his film in English before subtitling it to them in Yoruba. So, as a mark of respect and the need to uphold the culture of his people, he decided to make his films in his native Yoruba language.
Kelani disclosed that even in Nigeria, and with the available record from the NFVCB, the number of indigenous films has increased, especially with the Hausa, Yoruba and Edo films. That for him is a major development and growth. He commended the NFVCB for honouring him, and noted that the event was the first time that he was really being well honoured by Nigeria and outside the country.
Professor Onookome Okome, of the School of English and Film Studies, University of Alberta, Canada, delivered a paper on "The perception of Nollywood in Europe", commended the NFVCB for attending the festival, and appreciated Ms Patricia Bala, Ag. Director-General (DG) of the Board. According to him, a lot of European students are now doing postgraduate studies in Nollywood, and the Board must, as a matter of urgency, create a platform to assist the students since the Board is a repository of information about Nollywood.