The Director-General of Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Mallam Yakubu Ibn Mohammed, has approved collaboration with a renowned Nollywood filmmaker now based in Hollywood, Los Angeles, Mr. Jeta Amata, to remake Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart and other television series meant for international audience.
Amata said in a statement that he would engage young Nigerian filmmakers and other African-Americans in Hollywood to partner with him to direct the works and also get a chance to work in Nigeria, and know Africa better.
Amata said he would mostly act as an executive producer of the coming series and seeking funding to connect the two worlds but direct when necessary.
“I will get all the top writers, directors, show-runners. We are going to bring them home to work and earn the same as they would in Hollywood. One of the guys I went to elementary school in Jos, Nigeria, and my next-door neighbour growing up is a top writer in Los Angeles. We hadn’t seen each other since we were kids. They want to come back home to work; they just don’t want to be asked to earn less because they are black.”
In the letter by the NTA signed by the Executive Director, Programmes, Mr. Wole Coker on behalf of the DG, endorsing the deal and sighted by The Guardian, stated that the station is optimistic that the collaboration would yield the desired result and be warmly received by the target audience.
In a related development and in an open letter to Cross River State governor, Ben Ayade, titled: “Using entertainment for Creating Employment in Cross River State,” Amata disclosed that it was time to revive the multidimensional entertainment hub known as Tinapa, Calabar, Cross River State, so it serves the intended purpose for setting it up.
According to Amata, who also played a significant role in the setting up of Tinapa, “My drive to do this in Calabar, rather than any other part of Nigeria, is because of the love I have for the town and people. Tinapa also started because I brought the film industry to Calabar, and I also trained most of the filmmakers in Cross River. So I feel a personal responsibility to make Tinapa work. We were less than 200 in the first Christmas Carnival, and more than half of the people were my artists and crew.
“It was in Calabar I discovered the likes of Iyanya, Alex Ekubo, Enyinna Nwigwe, Belinda Effah and my ex-wife, Mbong Amata (nee Odungide) and some of your commissioners, and specials advisers, to mention a few.”
Amata indicated that he was already in Nigeria to kick-start his array of programmes that would bring Nollywood, where he started his filmic career, and Hollywood, where he has worked to produce his thriller, ‘Black November’, a film that is dedicated to the plight of the Niger Delta and the judicial murder or writer and environmental rights activist, Mr. Ken Saro-Wiwa, 25 years ago on November 10, 1995.