Nollywood actress Joke Silva has made a strong case for improved access to funding for filmmakers in Nigeria. During a recent interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, Joke Silva shed light on the current challenges faced by those creating movies in the country.
She emphasised the difficulty of securing financial resources, urging the Nigerian government to implement measures that would streamline the process and make it easier for filmmakers to bring their projects to life.
This call to action highlights the ongoing struggle for financial support within the Nigerian film industry, a sector with great potential for growth and contribution to the national economy.
“Over the years, filmmakers have found it difficult to access funds to produce films, a development government needs to wade into to encourage filmmakers,” she said.
While acknowledging that the Bank of Industry (BOI) offers some support, Silva stressed the need for more sources of funding for filmmakers. She believes additional avenues are crucial to truly addressing the financial challenges faced by the industry.
“Accessibility to fund to produce films should not be made too difficult for us, the hurdles are too cumbersome. Effective ways should also be created through which the funds can be returned; so that the source does not get exhausted.
“Government should also not always consider having a high interest rate, what should be the focus is that the money is returned. I advise filmmakers to also realise the need to return such funds so that others can access it.
“There should also be a place for grants for the creative industry that will give a soft landing to filmmakers, this is needed because it is important that businesses get expanded in the creative space,” she said.
She pointed out another key area for government support: improving the distribution system for cinemas and theatrical exhibitions. This, she believes, would further strengthen the creative sector as a whole.
“There are various things that will help distribution of stage plays, to take cinemas round the country will warrant seamless road travels. Can the federal government assist with buses and security to take works round the country?
“Government should be able to help the creatives to produce and run their work for longer duration, because it is when works are run for long that the producer generates much revenue,” she said.
With the tough economic times, Joke Silva encouraged fellow filmmakers to join forces and collaborate. Working together, she believes, will help them navigate the challenges and achieve success.
“While government and the economic team are doing all they can to ensure our economy does not go under, in the creative space, we have to look at strategies that will make us function.
“This is in collaboration, what two practitioners would ordinarily have done to put resources together, four practitioners can do that.