The recent abduction of two Nollywood thespians has created fear among actors in the country and prevented some of them from going to certain locations to film.
In an interview with THE WHISTLER, the President of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Emeka Rollas, revealed how the abduction of Cynthia Okereke and Clemson Cornel is affecting the movie industry.
Okereke and Cornel were abducted on July 29 at Ozalla in Nkanu West Local Government Area of Enugu State and remained in captivity for about five days.
Their abductors had demanded $100,000 in ransom but the guild was only able to raise N1.2 million to secure their release.
It was not the first time that Nigerian actors would be kidnapped for ransom.
In 2009, veteran actor Pete Edochie was kidnapped and released after paying a ransom. Nkem Owoh was also abducted in 2009 and released after paying a ₦1.4 million ransom.
Rollas told this website that these abductions were beginning to affect the business of filmmaking as actors no longer feel safe going to locations to shoot movies.
“It is affecting the industry as much as it is affecting the whole country. The issue of insecurity is not just about the entertainment industry, it’s about the country generally.
“The effect it has on the entertainment industry is that the output of films which may reduce because actors would be scared of shooting movies and completing their projects at set time. People filming outside a metropolis will be scared to film because of insecurity.
“Generally, the effect it has on the industry is not good, and the actors are scared now to film in certain places because it looks like they are becoming targets.”
On what the insecurity is costing the industry, he said, “As I mentioned earlier, people are of course scared to go complete projects. In fact, when this thing happened in Enugu, there were some projects ongoing (and) some of them had to be postponed.
“Of course, you know when you postpone a project, it will automatically affect the budget of that production, so producers are going to lose money, mere fact that people are being kidnapped.”
Rollas said the guild had issued an advisory to actors against filming in locations that are remote.
“We have already issued an advisory that actors must avoid going outside the metropolis to film and even if you are going to film in the metropolis, it is also very important that you insist that your producer will at least provide you adequate security within the area of operation because if there’s a security presence where actors are filming it will make them not feel too relaxed to go after them,” he said.
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