Firm boosts screen writing, rewards writers in competition
As part of its commitment to strengthening the Nigerian film industry and raise the bar in terms of quality of movie scripts, Aforevo, a filmmaking company and organisers of the just concluded Nollywood screenwriting contest, has rewarded winners of the competition.
The overall winner, Cosmos Abasi, walked home with N1 million, while the first runner-up, Abundance Effiong, got N500, 000 and the second runner-up, Dolly Nwaduba, was rewarded with N300, 000.
Speaking during the award presentation which held at it corporate office in Ikeja, Lagos, the Managing Director of the company, Lawrence Onuzulike, said screen writers, who were the bedrock of film production, are not usually reckoned with in the society.
He stated that the contest was held to ensure the attention of the public was drawn to the remarkable work of screenwriters in Nigeria. He added that it had become frustrating for most screenwriters in Nigeria who would task their brains to write beautiful scripts and beg for those scripts to be bought or used for free.
“I have been in this industry for over 24 years as an actor, screenwriter and movie producer, and I know the plight of every Nigerian screenwriter. So, the essence of this is to ensure they are reckoned with. It is interesting to note that we have so many creative writers in the country, this contest got over 1, 000 script submissions, out of which we selected 600,” Onuzulike said.
On sustainability of the contest, the Aforevo chief, added that it has come to stay and “we are looking at holding it twice in a year to further encourage screenwriters to continue doing better. This is the maiden edition.”
Expressing his excitement, the overall winner, Abasi, urged movie producers to consider paying screenwriters handsomely as they contribute hugely to the success of movies released in the country.
He stated that it was high time government took screenwriters and individuals with intellectual properties serious, and urged everyone with intellectual property to always ensure their works were registered with the Nigerian Copyright Commission to guide against those works being pirated.
“It was such a great work to have come up with the script that won the N1 million. I can remember there were days I didn’t change my clothes but here I am, I’m excited and I will be doing more,” Abasi said.
On his part, the first runner-up, Effiong said he started writing from his secondary school and was able to write ‘Lucifer Conspiracy,’ the script, which fetched him the reward 14 years ago.
According to him, the script reflects how America has influenced the world system.
“It is exciting to have participated along with thousands of people, it is a big win for me and I appreciate the organisers for this opportunity,” he said.
For Nwaduba, whose script titled, ‘Moremi’ won her the third place; it took her one-week to write the script. She commended Aforevo for the initiative, saying, “this is a good development for the industry, particularly for the screen writers.”
The head of jury for the contest, Segun Arinze, noted that some of the criteria used in the accessing the scripts include writing skill, setting, flair, engagement, characters, originality and more.