Wipo Premiere's Nollywood Film For IP Day Celebration

02 May 2014

Global attention was beamed on Nigeria's Nollywood Industry as the film "Half of a Yellow Sun" was premiered in Geneva, Switzerland on Monday, 28th April, 2014 in commemoration of this year's Intellectual Property Day by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The event which took place at Geneva's Cinemas du Grutli, was part of the side events organized by WIPO within the 27th Session of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights held at the Headquarters of WIPO, from April 28 to May 2, 2014.

Delegates from more than 120 member countries of the WIPO, were the major audience at the Premiere which also had in attendance, important dignitaries including, the Deputy Director General of WIPO, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, the Assistant Director General of WIPO in Charge of Copyright, Ambassador Trevor Clark, the Nigerian Ambassador to Switzerland, Ambassador......, the Director General Nigerian Copyright Commission, Mr. Afam Ezekude, as well as the Executive Producers of the Film, Mrs. Yewande Sadiku; Mr. Muhktar Bakare, and Mrs. Sandra Obiago.

In his opening remarks at the event, the Deputy Director General of WIPO, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, representing the DG of WIPO, informed the audience that WIPO chose to celebrate this Year's IP day with the theme because of the increasing importance of film as a genre of creativity, and the need to focus attention on protection of films and film makers. He specifically commended the strides made by the Nigerian Film Industry which has risen from a home entertainment driven small business, to become the second largest film industry globally. He commended the Producers of the film for taking the initiative to bring into visual reality, the remarkable novel "Half of a Yellow Sun" by one of Nigeria/Africa's great novelists, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

It would be recalled that WIPO in Year 2000, declared 26th April of every year as the World Intellectual Property Day. Member-states of WIPO have traditionally commemorated the Day to draw attention to the phenomenal contributions of intellectual property to fast-tracking the pace of development of the knowledge-driven economies of our modern world. For Nigeria as a country, this year's celebration is very significant as the theme deals with movies. The selection of a Nigerian film by WIPO to underscore the theme of the celebration "Movies: A Global Passion" is a clear testimonial of the strength of Nigeria's creative potentials as demonstrated in progress made by Nollywood in the last three decades.

The Director General of the Nigerian Copyright Commission, Mr. Afam Ezekude, had earlier in his goodwill message on the IP Day Celebrations in Nigeria paid glowing tribute to Nigerian movie industry, noting that their efforts to recreate the cultural environment and the vibrant lifestyles of our people, has helped in no small measure to preserve Nigeria's unique cultural identity and value systems. The Director General, further emphasized the need to ensure that the gains of the cultural revolution witnessed in the film industry be sustained by maintaining an effective regime of protection of creativity and rewards for the creative inputs of participants in the movie industry.

Nigerian Movie Industry is largely acknowledged as the second largest in the world, following the Indian movie industry, Bollywood.

For: Director General

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