How piracy stopped me from releasing movie I shot in 2014 — Tunde Kelani

Celebrated Nigerian cinematographer and chairman of the National Film and Video Censors Board, Tunde Kelani, has said he has been unable to release a movie he shot in 2014 due to the fear of piracy.

Mr. Kelani disclosed this at the mid-year edition of Yoruba Lakotun, a quarterly cultural renaissance show that was held at Ethnic Heritage Centre, Ikoyi Lagos on June 3.

According to the organisers, the event was dedicated to Kelani in commemoration of his 70th birthday.

They added in a statement that it was also organised to celebrate one of Kelani’s collaborators, late Akinwumi Isola.

During the conversation with Olutayo Irantiola, host of the show, Mr Kelani, who is also the owner of Mainframe Productions, mentioned that he has been a victim of piracy that has pervaded Nigeria’s creative industry.

He noted, “There was one of the movies of Mainframe Productions that had up to five pirated versions, barrowed across major cities in Nigeria. In fact, some of the versions did not give appropriate credit to Mainframe Productions. It is our collective responsibility to fight piracy because it has eaten deep into the creative industry.

“Many people have gone bankrupt as a result of this menace. We have a movie made in 2014 but we have not been able to release till date due to the fear of piracy. Nigerians need to desist from purchasing pirated copies of creative works, but instead, they should purchase original works from credible outlets and this will be a great boost for the creative industry. There are some movies that are shipped into the country without the necessary authorization and all of these needs to be reviewed so that the nation does not keep harbouring unapproved visual contents.”

Mr Kelani equally noted that Nigerians should be proud of their culture as the beauty of the world is in her diversity.

He said his upbringing as a child in Abeokuta, Ogun State, empowered him to have a different world view through the camera lens, which is currently being celebrated across the globe. “Our culture is beautiful and this is what we can sell to the world. It is ours, we should take pride in that, and our ingenuity would make the world celebrate us. Our devotion to research and untiring desire for excellence are have set Mainframe Productions apart from the crowd.”

Mr Kelani also said that the fight against piracy is a collaborative by the Nigerian Government and her citizenry.

The serene atmosphere, at the Herbert Ogunde Garden of the centre, was adorned with traditionally appealing pieces of arts, which demonstrated the originality of the true Yoruba culture.

Other headlining activities at the event included Yoruba spoken Poetry by Yusuf Balogun, Gemini World Yoruba Entertainment News taken by Adeyeri Olayinka and the art of naming children by Gbemisoye Ayano, a chief, among other segments. The guests were also treated to delicious Yoruba cultural snacks.

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