Ijeoma Onah, founder of the Nigerian International TV (NITV) Summit, used the fourth edition of the event, held in Lagos this week, to emphasise the need for industry collaboration to move the sector forward.
With the three-day event based on the theme of Digital Consumption, Distribution & Disruption: Implications for Film & TV Content Business in Nigeria & for Sub-Saharan Africa, Onah acknowledged the importance of having conversations about how businesses can reposition themselves; what streaming businesses are doing to the film industry; exploring new possibilities and models within the ecosystem; and how businesses can navigate through these disruptive times.
Looking at the Nigerian film industry, FilmOne Entertainment MD Moses Babatope said NITV had been instrumental to key business relationships. “This seemingly local event has had global impact and we hope it continues to inspire people in the film business.”
He shed more light on some of the misconceptions people have about the film industry in an effort to let people rethink their positions about film across the value chain. These misconceptions include the suggestion that there is a monetary charge for film reviews; that producers, distributors and exhibitors are one and the same. He also said many people still don’t really understand what distributors do.
Clearing up these misconceptions, Babatope stated distributors like FilmOne’s activities range from forging relationships and ensuring cinemas get to release films, to engaging in marketing strategies as well as working with producers. Babatope added that films are selected for distribution based on censorship, cast, genre, release period, advertising and publicity.
On the issue of the existence of a so-called ‘film cabal’ – an inner circle of powerful industry execs – he said: “One thing often overlooked is that the majority of the chart-toppers are collaborators, especially from their first feature projects.”
Babatope added that the industry should ensure Nigeria’s cinemas grow and pay TV platforms thrive.