Entertainment & SocietyAGN Introduces Bylaws For Nigerian Film Industry

AGN Introduces Bylaws For Nigerian Film Industry

July 10, (THEWILL) – The Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) has introduced new bylaws for the Nigerian film industry.

At the occasion, the Guild also presented what it described as the final report on the 10 April boat mishap that claimed the lives of Jnr Pope and four other crew members of Adanma Luke’s Other Side of Life movie.

The unfortunate deaths, not only shocked Nollywood, but also raised concerns over safety issues on movie sets, prompting calls for thorough scrutiny and higher standards in the industry.

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Following the incident, the AGN barred actors from shooting movies in riverine areas and participating in boat rides.

Presenting the bylaws to the media, AGN president, Emeka Rollas, noted that the tragedy necessitated the need for stringent rules and guidelines in Nollywood and the formation of a committee to investigate the accident.

Additionally, he emphasised the importance of the new regulations, including guidelines on welfare, finance, standard safety guidelines, set protocols, and standards in movie production.

“This will show members that we are taking the guild seriously. We came up with this presentation because the guild cannot move forward without structures that match international standards and practices put in place.

“For two months, these people were brainstorming. The core of their discussions was to improve actors safety, workspace conditions, and industry standards”, he said.

Rollas stressed the importance of adhering to the new laws, saying, “What this also means is that after these laws have been passed, if people intentionally flout the guild’s laws, we will take it very seriously because time was spent developing this structure.”

Emeka Ike, a veteran actor, led the bylaws committee, with Jude Orhorha serving as the secretary.

Other notable members include Bimbo Manuel, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, Joke Silva, Francis Duru, Patience Ozokwor, Hilda Dokubo, Abubakar Yakubu, Gideon Okeke, Anthony Ogbetere, and Femi Branch.

In delivering his speech, the committee chair emphasised the importance of the new bylaws.

Ike said, “A nation without bylaws is not in existence. An association or a group without bylaws is not profitable. The Nigerian film industry has lived in this state. This is one of the reasons things are not adequately regulated, why there is not much residual income, and why people in the industry are not gaining from the benefits they should be receiving.

“People go to make contracts without having a background, and in this, it is the wisdom of Mr President that we should sit as a committee to find ways to address these issues that have existed in the entertainment industry related to acting.”

Ike, a former AGN President, described the bylaws as landmark.

He said: “It’s going to send shockwaves through the industry. I also hear the Association of Movie Producers (AMP) is already working on their bylaws. This would encourage Hausa, Yoruba, and Igbo filmmakers to adopt similar standards, leading to a better industry where everyone benefits. These bylaws contain everything that pertains to acting. The president will release these bylaws to the press and actors.”

Ike pointed out that rather than solely addressing the circumstances surrounding the Jnr Pope’s death through the committee, the president (Rollas) decided to implement the bylaws to establish protocols for handling such incidents in the future.

After his speech, the committee chairman officially presented the entire document ‘Draft of the AGN Bylaws’ to the president.

Rollas mentioned that following the boat mishap, he promptly established a committee to investigate the immediate causes of the accident.

After the committee investigating the boat accident, chaired by Kevin Uvo, presented its final report, he addressed the misinformation on social media regarding the Asaba incident.

The chairman stressed the need for accurate reporting in such situations.

“We lost five people, including actor Junior Pope, which is regrettable; social media worsened the situation with unverified information,” Uvo said.

Rollas also revealed that the bylaws are still undergoing an adoption process involving state chapter representatives. He assured the media that the bylaws would be available online for public access once they were finalised.

“Once representatives of all state chapters and members adopt it, we will begin mass production. We are trying to have online copies available for download on our website so even non-members can access them and understand the system’s criteria,” Rollas explained.

The president also noted that the bylaws are expected to be released before the end of 2024.

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