THE TIDE: THE RISE & RISE OF NEW NIGERIAN CINEMA

So a little while ago i talked about the tide turning in Nollywood. An age where the things it’s been known for; contrived plot hole ridden stories. poor production audio and visual and hammy acting. The days of Nollywood just being admired for quantity,are coming to an end and the wave of quality from New Nigerian Cinema is coming in and it has several riders.

I’ve seen several trailers that have me intrigued and excited. From the premise to the performances it seems an epiphany A-bomb was dropped on the industry and sent ripple effects around. One of the recent trailers to catch my attention is HOOD RUSH starring OC Ukeje,Gabriel Afolayan and Bimbo Akintola making a return to acting after a hiatus Another is also starring OC Ukejwe,co directed by James Omokwe & Ethan Okwara, a true indie film made by a couple of friends on a tight budget.

The first being a musical thriller with two of the hottest young actors in the game. I foresee a very bright future ahead of these two if they keep making the choices they make. From the trailer, i can say I’M very excited.The latter , is a film, about movie making. The first of it’s kind as far as i know for Nolly (of this production quality anyway). One of my earlier entries talked about “Lions of 76” and “Half of a Yellow Sun” going biopic/historical,and hoping the kind of budgets they had would become more frequent, in spite of that though, with these contemporary stories things just keep getting better.

Everyday there are new film makers rising. Both resident here and those returning home, (much like the music industry), fresh blood and new thinking is changing things and the quality of work we are seeing. From short films to tv shows the game is changing and it’s evident that things aren’t what they used to be. Films directed by Nigerians are now getting wide theatrical openings and screenings in Europe and America , something that didn’t and couldn’t happen some 7 years ago.

If we keep up this momentum and keep raising our game, i see Nigerian Cinema being a rally point for black actors and being the go to place for International collaborations in Africa. We may see a time when African Americans no longer play African roles but our body of work showcases that we have enough talented peeps to play the roles. In fact, i foresee it getting to the point that Hollywood is throwing money at us just so we can create content so they can service the diaspora market.

The tide is rising, and i pray we ride this wave like the big one.

NB: As i haven’t seen any of the films, im basing this on trailers and teasers that have been released. Like everyone else i’ll have to wait to see the final outcomes.

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4 comments on “THE TIDE: THE RISE & RISE OF NEW NIGERIAN CINEMA

  1. totally agree. things are changing. the producers who refuse to change with the tides will be left behind. however, there needs to be a shift in the mindset of the players who pioneered the strides in Nollywood – the cam operators, cinematographers, directors, producers, art directors, production designers, editors, and screenwriters need to unlearn and relearn the techniques of the new school. you can’t be a part of the New Nigerian Cinema revolution while taunting the skills you haven’t bothered to upgrade since 1997. we need more daring and creative folks – people who will challenge the status quo, and feel confident that regardless of budgetary constraints – they can compete with Hollywood in terms of quality cinema – from story, plot, characterization, to production. chikena!

  2. Mr Amuta: just why should we ‘compete with Hollywood’?.

    Every nation that ever made a mark in the history of world cinema has always had to disregard the Hollywood paradigm. Italy did so in the 1940s when it developed neo-realism. Brazil and other Latin American countries did it with their ‘cinema novo’. And to a great extent, so did India: before Bollywood got corrupt, it was a bold, unapologetic antithesis to Hollywood.

    The fact of the matter is that when it comes to regarding film as a legitimate art-form, serious minds do not regard the much-fangled Hollywood as an icon of ‘quality cinema’ as you put it, Mr Amuta.

    A thousand flowers are blooming in our visual narrative space, right now. NIgerian cinema is redefining itself, far away from the anachronistic narrative profile imposed by the silly nomenclature of ‘Nollywood’. i think it will be slowing the momentum for anyone, professional critic or casual lay-audience, to continue insisting that we must ‘compete’ with the so-called ‘international standards’ of ‘quality cinema’ as it was defined over a hundred years ago and refined to its current state of putrescence in the Hollywood film factories.

    Art cannot follow ‘international standard’ if it is to be called art.

    Art must be culture-specific if it is to ring true, genuine and reflective of those who create it. Nigerian cinema must continue striving to become truly Nigerian, not Hollywood.

    Hollywood is sh*@#!

  3. Hey, you are a hell of a ready writer, lovely observation trust ts bout time: our hens are coming home to Breed…

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