Kannywood’s Zaharaddeen Sani has urged Nigerians and the government to come to the rescue of the Kannywood entertainment industry.
Zaharadden spoke with PREMIUM TIMES Mohammed Lere in Abuja on Friday.
During the interview, the actor said the industry is gradually collapsing due to piracy.
PT: Why are there no films in the market again?
Zaharadden: Let me tell you as it is now, if we are not careful the Kannywood Industry is gradually collapsing because one cannot sell his films any more on CDs. Piracy has really come to stay and it’s killing us producers and actors. Let me tell you, the movie industry is gradually collapsing.
PT: Collapsing, how?
Zaharadden: Okay let me tell you. No marketer sells Kannywood movies because they will not make profits. The moment these films get to the marketer, if one film goes out, piracy will take over. Before a marketer sells 10 copies, more than a 1000 are already out there and sold at either N50 or N100. And again, the same films will be uploaded by only God knows, on the YouTube. There, people will be watching for free.
Another annoying thing that is happening now is the way these films are sold on mobile avenues. You will just go to the market and meet those people selling music and they will send it to you via Bluetooth for N20 and above. This ‘thing ‘has eaten deep into the industry’s fortune.
PT: What is the way forward now?
Zaharadden: Yes, we have adopted the Cinema method. That is showing the films in cinemas. The only cinema that is functioning is the Ado Bayero Mall Cinema. And logically how much will you get from the cinema after paying all the arrangements? And again, how many of our people will go to such a cinema that they have to pay between N1000 and above to watch one film. It is not also too good for producers.
PT: What do you think will work?
Zaharadden: Fine, I think the best thing to do now is to get wealthy Nigerians to invest in the industry. They should help build small ‘single-face’ movie show-houses where people will be able to watch our films for as low as N100 and or N200.
Many of the regular traders, Okada riders, Keke Napep riders will go there and watch. That is the only way for now, if not, I cannot predict the future of the industry in the next few years.
PT: What is the present state of things with producers and actors?
Zaharadden: We are still producing the films but not as we used to be. Imagine investing millions of naira in a film, that you cannot make N200, 000 out of it. That is a big loss. We tried and it is not working. You cannot pay actors, you cannot get what you want, like we used to before. People are careful, producers are watching their budgets.
PT: What are you doing specifically about it?
Zaharadden: Many of us have resorted to producing content for Satellite Television. You negotiate with them and once your film meets the criterial, here I mean standard, they will buy and air it. And you know people have to just pay for their subscriptions on the TV and get it going for a month.
PT: How much do they buy the films?
Zaharadden: Depending on the film, what they pay might be good for you or not. But it is better than incuring losses.
PT: What about your movie ‘Abu Hassan’? How is it doing presently?
Zaharadden: Just like I said, releasing it is like letting out your sweat out there for free and some people will just be enjoying for free. So I am also looking at the Satellite Television option for now.