6th June, 2012
Ace Nollywood movie director, Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen has cleared the air on the purported copyright ownership of his award winning movie, Adesuwa, by his executive producer, John Abua.
The filmmaker in a statement by Media Image Managers, his publicists, debunked the claim that there is an ongoing ownership tussle over the movie.
“I would ordinarily have not reacted to this issue because it is infantile. All over the world, it is common knowledge that a director owns a movie and in the case of Adesuwa, Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen is the director and producer of Adesuwa. John Sources Films is the Executive Producer. They brought about 65 per cent of the money while my company Lancelot Imasuen Media Network provided the balance as dictated by the contract,” Imasuen stated.
Signs that all was not well began some weeks before the Abuja premiere of Adesuwa in March when the Executive Producer, Abua, accused Imasuen of taking the shine off him especially in the media. He said his role as the Executive Producer was not being highlighted and that he was also not getting a fair share of the media publicity Imasuen was enjoying through the film.
However, the multiple award winning producer reportedly advised him to get a media company to handle his media image if indeed he was seeking attention. Lawyers of the parties were called and the issue resolved.
He, however, got all the attention he sought at the Abuja and Lagos premiere of the movie when he was specially introduced to a resounding applause as the financier of Adesuwa. But the whole issue took a dramatic turn some days before the African Movie Academy Awards, AMAA held in April in Lagos when Abua still smarting from being left out of the perceived media swirl, rushed to the AMAA office and collected all the invitation cards for the nominations Adesuwa got.
He insisted that AMAA should have created an award for the Executive Producer. He also lamented through press interviews that he was being sidelined by everybody and not getting all the attention he deserved as the financier of a movie that got 10 nominations in AMAA, Africa’s equivalent of the Oscars.
Just last week, he caused the police to arrest Imasuen in Asaba, Delta State, alleging he was duped and threatened by the filmmaker.
Imasuen claimed that Abua went to the press making wild claims that he released N18 million for the production, when in actual sense his investment in Adesuwa is N6.5 million of which he has paid him a million.
“So far, I have so far spent N28 million and he is crying over his balance of N5.5 million. The contract is there for all to see. I have told him to be patient and allow Adesuwa to go through the normal channels of release for us to make our money back but he is more concerned about media attention.”