By Ushang Ewa
There are countless stories about the culture and tradition of Cross River State that if developed as content in movies will leave the world in awe as no such stories have ever been heard says Cross River born movie producer Regina Idu Udalor.
Born Regina Ohiama Idu, a native of Alifokpa, Yache in Yala local government area, the Norway based entertainer made this known to CrossRiverWatch in an exclusive interview in Calabar recently where she barred her mind on issues surrounding the entertainment industry in Cross River State and the country at large as well as her current project.
“Nollywood has a great potential, we still have lots of stories that the world is yet to hear. Stories about our cultural heritage and tradition as well as personalities where you have the likes of Mary Slessor. These are great stories that can be told with different angles” she says.
Regina who majored in Producing and Directing from the National Film Institute in Jos, Plateau state said the movie industry in Cross River lacked certain things to make it thrive despite the enormous potential.
She lamented the fact that most equipments and manpower required for movie production was still been sought for from outside the state and called for a policy direction to favor indigenous entertainers in order for them to empower the younger generation thereby creating a favorable atmosphere for continuity as is been done around major locations like Lagos and the South East.
On marketing and sales, Ohiama maintained that “Let us be so proud of what we have. When there is such patriotism, the industry will thrive. Look at India where I bagged my Masters degree, they produce their movies and sell them locally and the people are ready and willing to buy. Imagine our population and if a movie sells to just half of the population”.
On her new project, Regina says she has been working on the script for some time with the story centered on exposing the truth regarding the perception the Western world has about Africans as prostitutes.
She stressed that there was need to correct the mentality and there is no better way to sell the idea than a movie. “Movies have a way of influencing the mindset of people and I intend using movies to influence people in a positive way. You may ask why, but when you use pictures to tell a story, it remains in the mindset of people for long”.
The movie, she says has gained support from several partners including the Cocoa Association of Nigeria, part sponsorship from the Federal Government, Media Partnership with ‘We’ FM and Christian Broadcasting Network in Abuja.
Regina who won the 2006 Berlin contest for her 2005 documentary titled ‘Omule’ (The Queen Dance) also disclosed that collaboration with partners in India was in the pipes which will see them shoot some of their movies in Cross River State which according to her, will create employment as she intends shooting not only in Calabar but also Ogoja and the Cattle Ranch.