By Julie Sylvia, Onitsha
The Association of Movies Practitioners AMPRAC celebrated their 20th years anniversary at All Saints Cathedral, Sharon Hall Onitsha on Thursday 16,Nov, 2023.
Speaking at the event, the National President of the Association Mr Ifeanyi Azodo said that at least 70 per cent of actors in the movie industry are of Igbo extraction and this is the cause of the marginalization of the industry by the Federal Government and some State governments because of the hatred they have on the Igbo.
He lamented that consequently, no assistance has been rendered to the movie Industry since formation which prompted the actors to see their products selling overseas.
He went further to hint that about 8,000 people are in the employ of the industry despite being managed by a Non Governmental Organization, NGO, instead of the Government.
“We appeal to the Federal Government to come to our rescue, provide us with shooting space, finance, accommodation and other enabling environments because this is an industry that employs the highest number of labour. 70 per cent of the Movie actors are Igbo and that is why the industry is being marginalized.
“We find our products selling overseas as a result of non assistance by Federal Government and it resulted in us and government losing the foreign exchange we are suppose to get, he lamented.
He recalled that the association was founded by 123 pioneer members from the Southeast geo-political zone to stop the marginalization of filmmakers stating that today it has grown bigger despite all odds.
“AMPRAC emerged as a child of circumstance and was doubted by many but today it is thriving and progressing, all thanks to God and the leadership,” he stated.
He paid glowing tribute to those dead and alive who fought to ensure the progress of the association stating that their sweat was not in vain as the association has come to stay.
The President also brought good news to members that plans have been concluded with a notable insurance firm targeted to ensure the financial future of members at retirement or in case of any unforeseen catastrophe, even as he added that discussions are in top gear with government for space allocation to filmmakers.
Earlier, a veteran journalist who hails from Onitsha, Ozonma Egwu Egbunike, while breaking the kola nut, prayed God to give the leadership the strength and guidance as it pilots the affairs of the association.
Highlight of the occasion was presentation of awards to members and others who have distinguished themselves in various fields of human endeavors.