In a bid to improve the distribution network of Nigerian films and tackle piracy, the Federal Government has launched a N2billion Innovative Distribution Fund (IDF).
According to the Coordinating Minister For the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, in a statement made available to our correspondent in Abuja, the fund is aimed at improving the distribution of audio-visual content, cut down on piracy, and to better protect intellectual property in the industry.
The IDF are also targeted at the businesses that operate or plan to operate in the film distribution space.
“Project ACT Nollywood, the presidential intervention programme established to improve technical and professional capacity in the value chain of the Nigerian movie industry continues to make measurable progress in achieving its core mandate.
“Now it is set to tackle the central challenge working against the optimum development of the sector – a poor distribution system and rampant piracy. The ultimate objective is to make pirated copies of Nollywood movies unattractive to consumers by ensuring that genuine products are easily available at a multiplicity of accessible points. This is to ensure that those who put their efforts into film production are properly rewarded
“The core plan is a market driven approach which will boost the number and quality of distribution options through strategic co-financing of new channels and supporting the expansion of available ones. These could include technology-based solutions such as digital streaming, enablers of effective distribution, movie exhibition infrastructure and physical distribution.
The distribution fund is the third of the three funds which make up Project ACT. The other two have made reached significant implementation levels. The Capacity Building Fund valued at N300 million enabled industry practitioners to update their technical skills through foreign and existing private Nigeria-owned institutes that offer training courses, programmes and technical certification in the movie industry.
The statement further said that 212 institutions and Individuals have so far benefited from the capacity building Programme.
“Under the Capacity Building Fund, 205 individual Nollywood practitioners within the movie industry have undertaken several training courses at home and abroad (particularly in the US, the UK, and India).
“Also under the Capacity Building Fund, 7 private film-training institutions in Lagos, Kano, and Port Harcourt have received grants to develop their capacities to offer training programmes. While some have received funds, others will get their grants after meeting the set criteria, including accreditation by the National Board of Technical Education,” she said.
Okonjo-Iweala, who also doubles as the Minister of Finance noted that 92 film projects were supported under the Film Production Fund.
The CME said that under the Film Production Fund (FPF), commercially viable film projects will be co-financed with grants of up to N10 million even though a handful of film projects were considered for higher grants.
In making these grants available, the Minister said, “the initiative is supporting the further development of the Nollywood film industry and filmmaking talent. Production categories that are being supported include feature films, documentaries, animation, short films, TV formats.
English language and indigenous language movies which successfully passed through the qualification procedures received support. But to qualify, the movie projects had to have national and international appeal. So far 92 film projects in various categories have received support under the Film Production Fund.”