By Temitope Ojo
Award-winning filmmaker, Kunle Afolayan, has debunked media reports which quoted him as saying he does not watch Nollywood movies.
The 43-year-old came under attack at the weekend after some blogs took a portion of an interview he granted thecable.ng and twisted a statement he made about badly subtitled films.
Asked about inaccurate subtitles in Nigerian movies, the Phone Swap director said fans of such movies love them irrespective of the errors.
“The people watching it don’t have a problem; it is us the elite that has all the time to see this. Truth be told, I hardly watch them because I am keen on watching movies that will challenge me and change my orientation about certain things. My children watch them a lot and that does not make them speak bad English,” he told the online newspaper.
In reporting the statement, many blogs interpreted the statement to say he does not watch Nollywood movies.
The reports caused some, including female filmmaker, Egor Efiok, to accuse Kunle of disrespect and promoting disunity in the industry.
Responding via a video released on Monday, Kunle said the story must have been orchestrated by “some people who just don’t like my guts.”
Describing Nollywood as his space and in obvious reference to those accusing him of causing disunity, the filmmaker said “I try to embrace everybody as much as possible.”
While saying he watches a lot of “our films”, he added that he cannot watch every film.
There are some films that are bad, but a Nollywood film is a Nollywood film, and it is my space. And I will do everything to keep promoting it,” he concluded in the video.
A message that accompanies the video on Instagram reads: “My attention has been drawn to a report alleging that I claimed I do not watch Nollywood films. I urge all my fans to kindly disregard this statement which, obviously, was tweaked by a mischief maker to score cheap and sensational point, and cause disaffection between myself and the public.
“While the report may tend to achieve its aim in some quarters, discerning minds would understand that it lacks credibility. Otherwise, how can I say I do not watch Nollywood films yet allow my kids to watch same?
“It is obvious I was quoted out of context while answering to a question on bad film subtitles and not about Nollywood films as a genre.
“My take is that not every fan of a Nollywood movie care about good or bad subtitling, while makers of the films that are so referred not only have their followers, they have made fortunes from their productions. And as long as everyone is happy with what they do, it is pointless making unnecessary comparison.
“I am a grassroots person and avid promoter of the Nigerian brand. This can only explain, as quoted, why I allow my children to watch Nollywood films which have helped their educational development and cultural understanding.
“While my statement is not a sweeping one about Nollywood, the inference was about films that challenge my creative endeavour. This is not out of place for anyone who aspires for greatness in any field of their endeavour.
“I therefore urge my fans to disregard this, and any sensational publications that may tend to bring disaffection among practitioners who thrive to take Nollywood to greater height.
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