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I make movies to change lives – Akpagu

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Actor Smart Chukwuemeka Akpagu told our entertainment reporter CHIKAODI CHUKWULETA why he joined the movie industry and how he combines acting with his job. Excerpts

WHAT inspired you to join film industry?

I joined the film industry in order to solve problems in the society, capacity building, expansion of one’s efforts to change the negative practice of crime, nudity, in-ordinate quest for material things, killing and most importantly, turning away from God. Crime is not the right thing to engage in. Movie will tell you it’s not a good practice and also direct you on what to do. A lot join the movie industry for money making, but it’s a place where somebody can change our society based on how people are seeing it. Movie industry is a community on its own, where one can make friends from different parts of the world and in making such friends, you learn other’s culture.

How many films have you acted?

There are a number of films I have acted. I am a script writer and a crew person. I joined the movie industry in 2008, but later, had a break due to corrupt practices militating against the progress of the industry and growth of artists and my civil service tight schedule.

What do you mean by corrupt practices?

Corrupt practice is something they practice constantly in the industry. Sometimes, you come for audition and win a role; they will start playing politics with it and demand payment of money. If you are a woman, they would like to have sex with you. When someone fails to meet these demands, they will give your role to somebody else who agrees with their proposal. That is one of the contributing factors to substandard movies in the market because the actual person who acted it is not the real character. Even the producers and directors are aware of the entire mess.

Which of your films was most challenging?

Movies are very challenging. Trying to understand the intellectual aspect of it, put it into life and make it real, demands a thorough job. There are few movies that were really challenging like ‘Wasted Generation’. In this movie, we tried as much as possible in disengaging some ills of our contemporary society and tried to present the real thing that should have been done. Crime and corruption have been the major norm of our society and trying to change people out of it by using movie is really difficult and playing a role that is totally not your real character is a challenge.

There is another movie where I was a major opposition to the biggest evil man of the town who delighted in destroying families and persons who challenge his view. Another movie was where I was given a role of a grand crime plotter who works behind the scene. I was in-charge of a syndicate that executes and plots crime but at the end justice prevailed.

How do you cope with acting and office work?

It has not been easy; I go to movie when I have off time or when I am on annual leave. I don’t allow it to crash and don’t use my official hour to do movies or musical engagements. I like music, good piece of music. I play guitar, drums and I want to sing. I have been on training to perfect on that.

Which of your works do you prefer most?

‘Wasted Generation’; this movie presents the vice of the society which we live in. It’s really hurting, being given a role to play, trying to correct the negative engagement. It’s really challenging and why I prefer it is that it tries to salvage the society.

What Is your view on the  film industry?

Film industry is a wonderful community, a place to be. I look at it as a household engagement. Every family should have a stake in the movie industry but the way it is being run locally is really discouraging. There should be a step up in the administration.

From the leadership to the crew need to engage in capacity building constantly because of the dynamic nature of film making. It will enhance the growth of the society and provide jobs for the teeming population especially the youths.

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