"The ban has dealt a lethal economic blow to the industry.

Some performers have become destitute." Kannywood had already been under close watch by Muslim clerics and government officials who believed it promoted un-Islamic foreign values.

"We were shocked when the pornographic clip appeared because we never expected such behaviour from any actress - we had been counselling them on the need to be careful about their private lives," said Aminu Sharif Momoh, head of the Kano Guild of Artistes, and himself a film director, producer and actor.

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But it got out, prompting the state government to slap a six-month ban on any video production in Kano, the biggest city in Nigeria's north and the one that gave "Kannywood" its name.

Though it ended this month, the ban was followed by 32 new restrictions that, operators say, make production all but impossible.

And operators say the new restrictions on actors and film companies are just as crippling.

Among the most contested is a requirement for each film company to have capital of at least 2.5 million naira (around 21,000 dollars, 14,000 euros).

And though Segal is a promising young "Northeasterner," he has never tried a murder case.

As far as the role goes, I was excited that it was completely different than anything I had done before, which is sometimes scary.

I went down, and I think Nick did as well separately, but we went downtown with him and sat in on a couple of cases and he introduced us to some lawyers.

We just kind of watched a normal proceeding — we didn't go in any murder trials or anything like that.

-- 'One person's private life was used to judge thousands' -- The government, meanwhile, prohibited Hiyana from appearing in films for five years, and censored all productions in which she has already acted.