THE TEXT OF A SPEECH DELIVERED BY SANI MU’AZU, NATIONAL PRESIDENT, MOPPAN AT THE DOP WORKSHOP ON MONDAY 9TH FEBRUARY, 2009 AT ALLIANCE FRANCAISE KANO
Gentlemen of the Press,
It gives me a great pleasure and a sense of accomplishment to welcome you to another training program on Cinematography and Lighting technique for Directors of photography (DOP’s), this time around in Kano Nigeria. This workshop is timely and unique because it comes at an auspicious moment, a redefining moment when stakeholders in the Hausa Film Industry were forced to search their souls just as Governments at various levels are coming to terms with the relevance of the industry to socio-cultural development. It is also a time when talks about professionalizing the practice of film both as an art and science is on the front burner of discourse at both national and local levels.
This workshop is the sixth in a consistent professional collaboration between MOPPAN and the French Embassy which started in 2004 when a premier workshop tagged “Acting for the camera” was organized here in Kano. Other training programs in this series are; Producers/ Directors Workshop - Kano-2004, Sound for film with Fredrick Noy – Jos – 2005, Digital Film Editing – at NTA Television College Jos- 2005 and last year, a Sound Mixing Workshop at Lenscope Media Studios in Jos.
Under this collaboration between MOPPAN and the French Embassy, more than one hundred Hausa Filmmakers benefited with high level training provided by experts mainly from France like Mr Fredrick Noy, Mr Vincent Hazard and now Mr Forrest as well as several local resource persons. We are therefore very grateful on this, as we pledge a total commitment to continue to work with the French Embassy and other development partners to develop the film industry.
KANO CENSORS BOARD AND MOPPAN
This is also a solid platform upon which to announce to you all a renewed commitment between MOPPAN and Kano Censors Board borne out of a common understanding and concern for the state of the Film industry here in Kano for the last two years or so. This concern had resulted in a myriad of litigations and unnecessary legal battles that are derailing us from fundamental issues affecting the growth of Film. We had dissipated so much energy and resources disagreeing on the basic definition of a method best suited to sanitize our industry. Intra wrangling negates purpose and redirect energies to the wrong direction. Instead of working to complement each other, friends on a common journey turned to foes. Understanding is replaced with mutual suspicion and total disregard to constituted authority. This must not be allowed to continue.
Luckily, we had always agreed that the industry is in dire need of intervention and sanity in the following areas; Professional conduct, training and retraining, utility of standard facilities, a focused and purposeful film culture, positive cultural exposition and proper positioning of film as a change tool for societal growth and moral rearmament. For this high level intervention to be effective and efficient, both the Kano Censors Board and MOPPAN have clear roles to play. While the Board is created by the law and armed with enforcement apparatus, MOPPAN sets the codes of practice for different guilds and associations and benchmarks for conformity to these codes. MOPPAN is also tailored to carry the crusade beyond Kano to other parts of the country. Collaboration between these two bodies is therefore necessary to ensure purposeful growth and development of the film industry.
It is in realization of this hard fact and in abeyance to our responsibilities to our different stakeholders that we allowed reason to prevail. Last week at the Federal High Court in Kano, MOPPAN lawyers announced our good intentions to discontinue all cases pending in different court rooms against the Kano Censors Board and give room to start working in harmony, together as we should, for the benefit of all.
THE FUTURE FOR KANNYWOOD
Collaboration between these two agencies, Kano Censors Board – a governmental organization and Motion picture practitioners Association of Nigeria MOPPAN, a nongovernmental organization can be the opening of new vistas and a beginning of being relevant in our common bid to use film production to make our society better. We believe also the collaboration will redefine Hausa films from a collection of bad remakes of Indian films to a cultural base for setting the agenda for an Islamic Hausa society. Hausa films when properly done will make a veritable display showcase through which Hausa culture will be better seen and appreciated the world over. We have argued in the past that Film or Motion picture is a very powerful medium, but whatever is not understood cannot be controlled and whatever cannot be controlled will be more of a source of danger than a source of power. We are therefore hopeful that the Board and MOPPAN will work out a new code of practice for the Hausa film industry that will reaffirm a mutually agreed belief that entertainment for the sake of entertainment is a luxury that a Muslim society cannot afford. As an industry, and in agreement with the larger society, our collaboration will try to determine strategic and tactical social goals that we want to use our stories to achieve. This is a redefining moment for the Hausa film industry.
Finally, we wish to draw a reference with the French Embassy in Nigeria and its consistency in working with MOPPAN for this several years, to show that our collaboration with the Board will succeed too for a long time to come. After all, we serve the same society, aim for the same ideals and will worry the same if our values are threatened.
We thank you for being here.