By Ayeotan Shola
According to the USA Assistant Secretary of State on Economic and Business Affairs, Ambassador Charles Rivkin, the biggest country in the world is set to officially partner with the Nigerian film industry, Nollywood.
The highly ranked official dropped this hint when he and his team met with a high-powered six-man delegation of Nollywood on Wednesday, September 9, 2015 at the George Hotel, Ikoyi, Lagos.
Long talks were held over the challenges and economic prospects of Nollywood and how the USA government can begin to officially partner the third largest film-making nation in the world.
Ambassador Rivkin, who was in Nigeria for a 3-day State visit, had earlier met with the Presidency, Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), Trademark, Patents and Designs Registry (TPDR), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
According to Rivkin, who was a former US Ambassador to France, his visit is to find a common ground between Nigeria and the USA in various sectors, including Nollywood, pointing out that the US was very much concerned about the issue of piracy and Intellectual Property protection in the sector.
“My visit today is one of a long line of engagements with U.S. in coming years and there will be other opportunities to collaborate on mutual interests.
“We will look at the issue of co-production treaties between our countries, getting your country to ratify and domesticate relevant World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) treaties for the protection of Intellectual Properties especially online; getting big US production studios to invest in Nollywood particularly in the areas of cinemas and other forms of distribution in conjunction with bodies like Netflix among other symbiotic relationship”, Rivkin stated.
The Nollywood delegation at the meet included:
Alex Eyengho – President, Association of Nollywood Producers, ANCOP
Zik Zulu Okafor – President, Association of Movie Producers, AMP
Adeyinka Oduniyi – Vice President, Independent Television Producers Association, ITPAN
Gab Okoye, alias Igwe Gabosky – President, Motion Picture Distributors of Nigeria, MOPIDON
Andy Amenechi – President, Directors Guild of Nigeria, DGN
Nobert Ajaegbu – Leader, Film and Video Producers and Marketers Association of Nigeria, FVPMAN
Ejike Asiegbu, who was to represent the Actors’ Guild of Nigeria (AGN), missed his flight from Abuja to Lagos.