The Film Blog: From #TheOtherRoom to #Room315 (and what we think)

In case you were looking for a room controversy that actually worth your time, rather than the teenage-boy fantasies of an over-indulged President, well yesterday the good guys at YNaija’s Conversations desk kept one for you.

We thought this would be a storm in a tea cup when we first caught wind last week.

But no, the battle between Room 313 and Room 315 has hit the mainstream.

Full gist here.

What do we think of the matter?

To be honest, first we like Niyi Akinmolayan. He is one Nigeria’s filmmakers actually interesting in pushing the envelope. And we especially like him for The Arbitration. But we also love Wana Udobang. We love her plenty – for taking a risk and quitting a dour job at Inspiration FM to create art that actually makes a difference. A big risk. A worthy one.

“Room 315 is a psychological drama about a psychiatrist and his odd patients’ whose stories weave together into a startling revelation, revealing life’s interesting connections,” he said. “Wana Udobang’s Room 313 is a series in which each episode features a monologue about their varied life experiences. While the titles – Room 315 and Room 313 – are similar, Abosi used his birthday, 31 of May, as the number of his character’s office, Room 315, in his screenplay. He shared this in a Facebook live video over a month ago.”
“Based on these clear differences, we believe that the allegation of plagiarism leveled against Abosi Ogba are unfounded. We have attached the script of Room 315. A simple read of the script and perusal of Wana’s show will prove our stance.”So, you can take all of that with and, when you’re done, you could apply a possible discount for bias.

But, first: lost in all of this outrage is the fact that Akinmolayan is doing something actually historic, that is actually going to move the needle in a significant way for Nollywood talent.

Forgive us if we disappoint here, but we will take big picture growth over narrow possibilities of plagiarism, in a new world where talent is evenly distributed but opportunity is not and we need more voices and hands at the table.

We also buy his argument below:

“Room 315 is a psychological drama about a psychiatrist and his odd patients’ whose stories weave together into a startling revelation, revealing life’s interesting connections,” he said. “Wana Udobang’s Room 313 is a series in which each episode features a monologue about their varied life experiences. While the titles – Room 315 and Room 313 – are similar, Abosi used his birthday, 31 of May, as the number of his character’s office, Room 315, in his screenplay. He shared this in a Facebook live video over a month ago.”
“Based on these clear differences, we believe that the allegation of plagiarism leveled against Abosi Ogba are unfounded. We have attached the script of Room 315. A simple read of the script and perusal of Wana’s show will prove our stance.”

Also, we don’t care much for how quick the Outrage Machine works on Twitter (one particular lady captured in the thread above is the worst example of that knee-jerk ‘everyone is wise and I am the jury’ machine). And we also don’t care for the reflex presumption of guilt that defines popular conversation.

We don’t care for mobs. There is a reason we have the law.

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