Nigerian Movie Industry Is The Face of Africa – Olufemi Bolorunde
Olufemi Bolorunde is a filmmaker with distinction, he has created a world for himself and has added values to the industry and the lives of many in the cause of exhibiting his passion and love.
In a chat with Wale Adegbuyi, Bolorunde opens up on some of the challenges he has faced in his sojourn in the film making business and his exposure to training in and outside the country.
He also craves the indulgence of the people in government to be more proactive on issues concerning the film industry because of its values in the area of employment and value adding.
Can we meet you?
My name is Olufemi Bolorunde. I am a filmmaker. I started from the stage, then went into television, films and other platforms. I have had the privilege of studying filmmaking in and outside Nigeria. I have also learnt on the job. I have more than 25 years’ experience in the field. I am also a father and a husband.
Having spent over two decades in the filmmaking business in Nigeria, can you take us through some of the challenges and how you were able to survive them?
The challenges are enormous. I have the privilege of being part of the emergence of Nollywood. Acceptance was first a great challenge. We also had training issue as well. That’s why some of us had to go outside the country to acquire that knowledge. We had to tell our colleagues that filmmaking was a serious business. Some of us spent years in the universities studying theatre. Presently, it’s time to transfer knowledge to the next generation.
“At home, when you are sent to fetch water, you use part of the money to ride bicycle.”
Now I take interns with me to locations for them to learn. Things are better now. It’s a privilege on my part to see the industry become this massive.
Can you say the film industry in Nigeria is doing well, or we are just coming up?
The industry is evolving. The Nigerian film industry can only get better. It’s an industry that employs people from almost all other fields such as carpenters, doctors, marketers, journalists and others. Nigerians in the Diaspora are embracing the industry. It can get better with more support from the government. The industry is not doing badly. We are not where we were 10 years ago. We are making progress. We are more professional, our equipment are better, we have been able to attract foreigners into the industry as well. The Nigerian movie industry is the face of Africa across the world. The industry has also given employments to the young and old and has taken so many off the unemployment market.
“The industry is evolving. The Nigerian film industry can only get better. It’s an industry that employs people from almost all other fields such as carpenters, doctors, marketers, journalists and others.”
Can you mention few of the projects you have handled and some of the films you have probably featured in?
I have moved from stage performance of great plays like “Spirit of Lagos”, “Things Fall Apart”, “King Emene”, “Hell is next Door,” to working on notable television contents such as “Guilder Ultimate Search”, “Project Fame”, “Deal or no Deal (West Africa), “Tinsel”, “Warrior Games”, “Amazons”, several films, radio and drama projects, etc. Presently, my outfit, Bara Productions is collaborating with the Sickle Cell Foundation to produce a drama series that will educate and enlighten Nigerians and Africans about Anaemia disorder.
How do you think our industry can be affected positively by the government?
I have produced and directed contents like “Easy Access”, “Faith To Kill”, “Omolabake” (the house help), and “Middlemen”. Well, the industry started with little or no help from the government. It is an industry that was self-built but, the government can’t ignore it because of its massiveness.
Few years ago, the industry circulated within itself more than N5 billion naira, with that, it’s very difficult for any government to ignore such an industry. However, like normal Nigerian challenges, the intervention of tje government has come with so much bureaucracy and little understanding of the workings of the industry.
The government should make do with more of training and re-training of practitioners. They should give opportunity to the people in the industry to access equipment for our trade. The bail out through the Bank of Industry should be friendlier. The interest rates is still high as far as I am concerned. We must should remove the Nigerian factor mindset and be fair to all. Practitioners too need to learn that it’s business and not acting.
In times past, our script were designed to educate people on morals and good lifestyle, but in recent times, value system is being rubbished through our content. As a professional, what do you think we need to do to revert to statuo quo?
The change is a societal malady. It’s not peculiar to the movie industry. Take a look at the content of our music industry. Take a look at politics, our past politicians were not as selfish as the present ones. So it’s a societal issue. Despite the challenges, we still have good contents. Nollywood is vast now. Training and professionalism will help make our contents better. We must also tell our stories in our own way. No one tells your story better than yourself.
“The government must show more support to the industry by prosecuting those arrested promptly. We need full implementation of various outcomes of meetings and workshops on the industry.”
What would you like to be remembered for in the industry?
Olufemi Bolorunde was a professional throughout. He impacted the generations after him by his works.
What do you think could be done to reduce piracy in the industry?
Piracy is a universal problem. Piracy can only be minimized, but it cannot be totally eliminated. Gladly, Information Technology has been helpful in recent times.
The government must show more support to the industry by prosecuting those arrested promptly. We need full implementation of various outcomes of meetings and workshops on the industry.
Would you say that DSTV and other online TV added value to the industry? Have they improved the quality and life style of the stakeholders in the industry?
Definitely, they have helped in a big way. They have helped open up the industry to the international market. They have given so many of us platforms to showcase our talents and creativities.
As the remuneration been up to standard?
Of course not. But it can only get better.
“The change is a societal malady. It’s not peculiar to the movie industry. Take a look at the content of our music industry. Take a look at politics, our past politicians were not as selfish as the present ones. So it’s a societal issue. Despite the challenges, we still have good contents.”
I will like you to leave a parting words for our readers, while you tell us about your childhood and some of the pranks you played
I will encourage fans and loved ones to visit Movietainment Magazine page always to read about authentic stories from this platform.
On pranks, so many while growing up like every other children. I remember, while in secondary school I used to take other people’s pens few weeks to the exams, then, on the exams days, I will sell or give them out for favour or cash. Then, other students would have no choice, but succumb to my demands because they are in desperate need to write exams.
At home, when you are sent to fetch water, you use part of the money to ride bicycle (I hope my children are not reading this o).
On a final not sir, what is your opinion about; www.movietainmentmagazine.com?
Innovative, inspiring and enlightening I would say.