Veteran Nigerian actress, Mrs. Idowu Phillips fondly known as Iya Rainbow, on Saturday declared that the only way to prevent the Nigerian film industry from going into extinction is for the government to support actors and actresses with financial aids.
Phillips who said that the advent of social media, internet and modern technology has negatively affected practitioners in the industry, maintained that it is worrisome that most producers and film makers run at a loss after producing home videos, because most of the films have been on the internet even before they are out for sale.
The octogenarian made these assertions while speaking with journalists in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital shortly after the kickoff of her 77 birthday ceremonies expected to take place in October.
At the event were the Chairman, Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) Oyo state chapter, Mr. Ayodeji Abass-Aleshinloye who chaired the occasion, Nollywood actors and actresses among whom are Saheed Balogun, Peju Omobolanle-Ogunmola, Toyin Adegbola, Razak Olayiwola, Yemi Sonde and Mr. Olusegun Davies and Mrs. Juliana Afonrinwo of Gulf Platform which organised the event.
Phillips while thanking the organisers for recognising her, appealed to the federal government to “save film industry from going into extinction because of the adverse effects of internet and the social media.”
She added that the introduction of internet has reduced the patronage for home videos which has made many actors, actresses and producers to be in “debts after producing home videos.”
She said, “I want the government to support us, to give us money that we can be making use as loans. It is the marketers that are borrowing us money and we don’t get our money back again. You will see a situation when someone spent two million for a film and he get six hundred thousand naira in return because the film has been on the internet before it is even out for sale.
“I appeal to government to support us to avoid this profession going into extinction. I don’t want it to go into extinction. We are begging the government, we are urging them to look at our side. The marketers are the ones giving us money in the past, but we don’t get what we spend on the films now, that is why we don’t get support again. Before a film is out, it is already in the internet.
Philips while speaking on the attitude of young actors and actresses, maintained that it is only those who are not wise that are showing up their wealth on the internet.
“It is those who are not wise that are showing their wealth on the internet. How can you be showing that you have fifteen million when you don’t have five million. Those who are still exoisinf their bodies, we are still talking to them at the locations because I don’t like it. I don’t want them to go array. God said that we should covert our body.
“Lack of role models and masters is another issue. In the past, we have masters who train people and many upcoming actors and actresses will be under that person, but now, someone with money will just come without enough training, that is one of those things killing the industry.
Davids and Afonrinwo while speaking, added that the organisers decided to celebrate the octogenarian because of her contributions to the theater industry in Nigeria.
“Today, we are kicking off the 77th birthday of Iya Rainbow. We are gathered here to appreciate her contributions and that is why we are honoring her as she turns 77 on October 16th.”