While Nigerians still lament over the religious bill passed by Gov El’ Rufai of Kaduna state, Motion Picture Council Of Nigeria, MOPICON, has passed a bill which is causing an uproar in Nollywood. Most Nollywood practitioners are protesting against the bill, which they believe will lead to the end of Nollywood in the nearest future, if not adjusted or entirely revoked.
Check out the 9 Laws Contained in this Controversial Bill:
1. Without being a member of MOPICON, of course, you will not be ‘entitled’ to practice in any area of the business of movie making in Nigeria. The list of ‘entitled’ people will be circulated to the following bodies every year.
2. The functions of the council governing the body include; determining who are Motion Picture Practitioners, determining what standards of knowledge and skills are to be attained by persons seeking to become registered as Motion Picture Practitioners and reviewing those standards from time to time.
3. A person not registered as a member with the Council is prohibited from producing and making projects for both the Cinema and Home Video Market plus Television Stations and Networks for gains.
4. A person in breach of the above number 3 is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine of N100,000 or to imprisonment for a term of two years.
5. It shall be the duty of MOPICON to furnish the NFVCB with the list of practitioners to be licensed in accordance with the National Film and Video Censors Board Act.
6. No director is allowed to be on more than one project at a time.
7. No religion or form of worship shall be depicted in a manner that will expose it to ridicule.
8. Marketers are to endeavor to ensure that the Producer gets his copies of the box office return statement and that payments are made when due.
9. No actor shall be on more than one project at a time.
The Motion Picture Practitioners Council of Nigeria was founded over 10 years ago by a group of Nollywood industry practitioners. Recently, Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, announced the inauguration of a Ministerial Committee aimed at fast-tracking the passage into law of the MOPICON Bill. This is obviously the outcome of that inauguration.