Nollywood and the New Decade: What fans will be expecting to see
The renaissance of Nollywood in the past
decade has been… well, interesting to watch.
We have gone from rural centred movies to movies about city life, from slapstick comedy to mature comedy, and from corny love stories to even cornier love stories (had to be said, dkm). The production quality too has greatly improved, with directors and producers now paying better attention to details.
In general, the facelift has been impressive to see
and follow. What’s most impressive is that since the renaissance which was
sparked about six years ago, we have seen our films being premiered at many different
international festivals, which, for a filmmaker, is akin to heaven. We are no
longer the second largest movie producing country by mouth again – we now have
the goods to back it up.
The new decade brings a lot of promise as towards the
end of the last decade, we started seeing films like Muna, King of Boys, the
currently trending Sugar Rush; animated shorts like Malika the Warrior Queen,
and a few filmmakers who have begun to show their capabilities by dabbling into
sci-fi. It is expected that by 2030, all of these would have been built upon
and we would become a force to reckon with in movie production.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the improvements
that fans are still hoping to see from Nollywood in the new decade.
This call is bordering on redundancy but it will still
be made until fans get what they want. They are the ones who pay for the
tickets at the cinemas after all. A movie from Hollywood can have as many as 5
locations within the geographical region of the United States of America and
without. Here, almost everything is shot in one state and at best, three. When
the shots are done outside the country, they are shot in one area too.
We want to see our actors interact with locals in
various locations across the world, because Nigerians are everywhere. We know
that the financial implications of this may be scary, but we will keep chipping
in this reminder as often as we can so that filmmakers who are lucky to come
upon a big budget can get more creative with their projects.
The second largest film producing industry without its
own headquarters? Haba!
This has to change in this new decade. Just like
FESTAC town was created to celebrate arts and culture (even though it currently
has nothing to do with that theme), Nigerian filmmakers should come together to
create an official NOLLYWOOD city, or town, or whatever. Somewhere we can point
to as a heritage for all our films, past and present.
It will not only be a huge resource for students, but
it will be a huge tourism booster.
Indigenous Language Movies
Unfortunately for the indigenous language movie scene
in the country, it seems like they are cut off from what we now call Nollywood.
This shouldn’t be, period.
With the exception of filmmakers like Kunle Afolayan
and a few others who make films for general audiences in indigenous languages,
the rest of that segment of Nollywood is cut off from fans. If not for certain
TV stations dedicated to the showing of these films, they will have no
The new Nollywood has to absorb the indigenous scene
so that the world can hear our languages and experience more of our culture
through film (Thank you Genevieve).
Historical and Folklore Movies
I can count the number of movies about Nigeria’s
history on one hand. That has to change in the new decade.
There are a billion stories to tell: tribal histories
– the great Bini kingdom, the Kanem-Bornu empire, and so on; pre- and
post-independence stories (all hats off to Imoh Umoren for The Herbert Macaulay
Affair), and so on; stories about extinct tribes, cultures, tradition, and so
on. We should be telling these stories a lot more, especially as our history is
fast being forgotten by our people.
Also, the numerous deities and gods in our country
whose histories are very interesting to read will make great adaptations for
the silver screen. If we can make a superhero out of Sango the way Hollywood
has done with Thor, e no go bad now, abi?
These (and more, to be honest) are not too much to ask of
Nollywood. Nigerian writers and filmmakers have more than what it takes to
deliver the goods, so we will keep pushing them to challenge themselves. Also,
it will help writers explore the limits of their creativity and will win a lot
more fans over to Nollywood, within the country and without.
PS: This is also a passionate appeal to writers
especially in the romance and drama genre to be less corny with their stories
and to do better, as well as to actors to not force their character and make
cinemas goers cringe at their acting . Eshe gan. Thank you.