President 2018 Key Note Speech

UK Nollywood Vision – How Fulfilled Are We?

The time has come to reflect, reassess and re-launch the UK Nollywood Vision. So far there are still unanswered questions on the films quality, access to global market, commercial viability, story relevance, sources of finance and return on investments etc. Our current status quo is under on-going scrutiny, the Question is, what are we going to do after today?  Infact, What do Legendary Filmmakers do that we cannot do?  This is not the time for finger pointing; we must Wake Up, Think Smart, Think Fast, Think Big, and Take Control.

Today, the stakeholders and fans of Nollywood films have come together to celebrate the maiden UK Nollywood Film Festival 2018, It is an opportunity to showcase some of the works coming out of the industry, to also appreciate and highlight the resilience shown by Nollywood Filmmakers and other stakeholders in making Nollywood what it has become so far. Even though the current frame work, artistic work, groundwork, foot work and hard work put in by the Writers, Producers, Directors, Actors and the entire team in the production line cannot be underestimated, there is still a lot of work to be done.

The UK Nollywood Producers Guild will play it’s part in bringing Nollywood Producers together, creating, enabling and maintaining the platforms where improving standards will continue to be the cornerstone, where resources will be shared, where the code of practice will serve as a reference point and guiding principle to underpin the members attitudes, mind-sets and professionalism amongst other things. “And so, my fellow Producers, ask not what UK Nollywood Producers Guild can do for you; ask what you can do for UK Nollywood Producers Guild”. We must continue to work together, support, encourage and sublimate ourselves to achieve the greater good for Nollywood.

One day, some Nollywood films will make it to the Oscars, Golden Globe, BAFTA, and the likes of these. Nollywood Films will become scalable and investable from the eyes of the international career and seasoned film investors.  We will have access to Tax Rebates for investing in Nollywood films, and attract more Government support in championing Co-production Treaties to pave the way for serious international investments and Co-production opportunities in Nollywood films. “We’re fighting for our right to tell our own story to the world, just like Hollywood, Bollywood etc and should we win the day, the 11th and 12th of October 2018 will never be forgotten. It will be the day we collectively stamped our commitment to fulfilling the UK Nollywood vision

This is the day to collectively affirm that ‘We will never be written off! We will not work in vain! We will eat the fruit of our labour! We are going to survive the turbulent times and fly through the hurricane.’

Today we celebrate our first ever UK Nollywood Film Festival!. As a community, we need to remember where we come from, how we started and look forward to where we are going. We must stop tearing each other down and start respecting and encouraging one another. We must take charge of our own destiny and stand up to be counted.  It will take discipline, courage and enthusiasm to pull it off and even though it may seem farfetched, rough and rugged, it is by no means inevitable. The time starts now.

Written by Dr Malcolm A Benson LPC, LLB, BA (Hons) Cert ED,

President UK Nollywood Producers Guild, CEO Benalex Media Production. Director, Producer, Actor

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