Those who condemned Kano film village project are hypocrites –Fidelis Duker

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The Nollywood industry was taken aback when it
was reported earlier in the week that the Federal
Government had cancelled the N3.7bn film village
it had planned to build in Kano State.

It was reported that the clerics in the state had
kicked against the project, saying it would promote
immorality.
However, reacting to the move, popular filmmaker,
Fidelis Duker, said it was unfortunate that such a
laudable project had to be stopped because of
such views.
“I was shocked when I heard the project had been
cancelled. You need to look at the positive aspect
of this film village. It would attract tourism; it
would improve economy and create a viable
industry for the region, not only to Kano

“I think it is only a sign of hypocrisy by those who
are complaining. In those regions, you still have
hotels where some of them sneak into. In the last
20 years, films have been made in Kano. Are those
films immoral? They even copy the Indian style of
films. It is strange.”
Duker said such a move would be a setback for
the film industry in that region
“There are several other states that should be
interested in it if Kano doesn’t want it. There are
states that are not averse to it. For me, they are
the losers. They are the ones who lost out and not
any of us. They would have used this opportunity
to put the state in a global limelight.”
In his own reaction, the President of the Actors
Guild of Nigeria, Emeka Ike, said those who called
for the cancellation of the project are “ignorant”.
“I think it is ignorance on the part of anybody who
kicks against the establishment of a film village in
the North. These people forget that if the film
village is established in Kano, it could help
propagate Islam. Through movie making, drama,
musicals, they could actually preach to the world
the doctrine of Islam.
“Already, there is a movie industry in the north –
Kannywood – and they are doing well; they
produce movies already and you cannot kick them
out. Establishing a film village for them would help
boost their economy. It is to their advantage. But
the ignorant people are those against the
establishment of the film village. The government
should also remember that a lot of youths can be
employed. Religion will not put food on your table;
you cannot take religion as a vocation except you
are an Islamic cleric.
“I feel it is weird that anyone would kick against
development because Kano would be more
developed if the film village is established.
However, if the north does not want a film village,
they should come to the south and establish it. We
would gladly receive it and appreciate such
development,” he said.
For actress Kate Henshaw, the project should be
situated elsewhere if the people of Kano State are
not comfortable with it in their state.
“If the people are against building a film village in
their area, then they should take it elsewhere. It is
not a difficult situation at all. The people obviously
do not want it; would you force it on them? If it is
something that will cause problem for them, I think
they have the right to refuse it. That is my own
understanding. I do not think it is a big problem. If
you are trying to situate an edifice somewhere and
the people kick against it, move it, relocate it to a
place where it would be appreciated.
“A film village is supposed to benefit the whole
country and not a particular area. If it is supposed
to help a particular area but they do not want it,
you cannot force it on those who do not want it,”
she said.

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