How cinemas saved Kannywood in 2017 – Producers

After losing millions of naira to piracy, Hausa movie producers in 2017 devised a new way to ensure they make money from their movies.

At the peak of the piracy earlier in the year, pirates sold films for as low as N10 in major northern cities.

However, in 2017, the producers decided to first take their movies to cinemas, mainly in Kano State, for several months before such movies are released for home viewing.

Falalu Dorayi, a Kannywood film producer, actor and director, told PREMIUM TIMES that producers in 2017 decided to return to cinemas in order to reduce the effect of piracy.

He said many producers would have packed up for the simple reason of not getting returns for their investment.

“We have understood that many marketers of our films are those championing piracy,” Mr. Dorayi said.

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“These guys after collecting your films to sell, end up either using their allies or they produce mass copies of the films and sell at a cheaper price.

“When you return to them to collect your money, they will show you what you gave them; that it is still not sold, while the film would have been in massive circulation in the country.

“Another method pirates use again is, they will download the movie without your consent and put it in their phones. They sell it for N10 for a film. You can imagine someone spending N7 million in producing a film and at the end of it, it becomes a flop because of pirates.

“All these are some of the reasons we returned to the cinemas. Since our return two to three months ago, film makers have been smiling to the bank because they are getting results and pirates have been put out of business. The film maker makes profit while his film is still showing in the cinemas.”

Hassana Dalhat, a Kannywood film promoter and marketer, said, “Now that marketers are involved in piracy, where are producers going to go? All they need is a copy of the first release and they will duplicate as much as they can.

Ms. Dalhat raised the concern of many critics of the cinema, which is that it is not present in many Northern states. States like Kaduna, Adamawa and others have no cinema and so have to wait for several months to be able to see new Hausa movies when they are made available for home viewing.

“This year (2017) was a good year for producers but bad for pirates as they could not get what they want any more. The cinema worked.

“The only problem now is that many fans could not get films when they wanted. It had to be aired at cinemas for months and not all the states have one,” Ms. Dalhat said.

Zaharadeen Sani, an actor/producer, also told PREMIUM TIMES that producers in 2017 got back in fold what they spent because of the cinemas.

“My film ‘Abu Hassan’ is still showing in cinemas. Before, it would have been selling all over the place at ridiculous prices.

“I can say this year was a good one for us in this direction. We will only improve on it.”

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