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Austin Ogbuefi Offers Practical Ways Gov’t can Elevate Nollywood
Austin Ogbuefi wears many professional hats. He is a Clinical Laboratory Scientist, a Real Estate Investor and a Movie Producer. Coming off his latest movie premiere “Different World”, in America, the graduate of Louisiana State University has delivered key points the government can do to encourage the producers and by extension enable the growth of a job providing sector.
Ogbuefi who had his secondary school education in Enugu, highlighted what should be done to create boom for the movie sector.
“Here in America, movie producers get tax incentives. If you shoot a movie here in some of the cities or states, they give you tax incentives from the money you spent to make the movies because they know that when you make these movies, you are providing employment, job for the people, for the actors”.
The award winning producer who belongs to a 20-man active Nollywood Producer’s Guild Association in USA also added that, “America is always thinking of how they can compensate producers like us. They encourage producers to come to their cities to make films because movies create jobs and help the youths busy creatively and productively”.
He said therefore that the Nigerian government can borrow a leaf from what US is doing, noting that aside tax incentives, loans of lower interest rates can also go a long way in making the needed boom.
Austin who shot “Different World” in Nigeria and United States of America also shared some of his experience. He noted that he was charged for using the airport. And suggested such film locations should come free.
He also wished that every movie practitioner is treated equally while the walls of monopoly and favouritism be brought down. This, he stressed would enable foreign and local filmmakers to focus on creating international movies like “Different World”, which is billed to show in Europe, Asia, India and America and Africa.
“Different World” is the story of an African prince (Kenneth Okolie) coming to America to celebrate his birthday. Before leaving Africa (Nigeria), he was already betrothed to a lady as it is the custom of the land. While he was in America, he ran into a lovely New Orleans lady and they started a love affair parallel to his Nigerian sweetheart (Lillian Esoro).