So the past few weeks have been a paradigm shifting one for me in how i see Nollywood and the Nigerian film industry. First it was the teaser for “76” by Izu Ojukwu, a story set in the 70’s against the backdrop of the Murtala Mohammed assassination. All i can say is WOW, it looks amazing, it is a first of it’s kind and i look forward to seeing it. Secondly i was at the cinema and two films completely entertained me; one was The Meeting by Mildred Okwo and the other was Phone Swap by Kunle Afolayan , both great comedies, that raised the game on all levels, writing, performance, directing and over all production quality. These movies showed me that things have truly changed in Nigerian cinema. It then finally hit me, that perhaps many of us have been giving Nollywood too much of a hard time. Hollywood had it’s stages , from the silent era, to the talkies, to color and finally the CGI overload era. As they had their stages so we should give Nollywood that room to grow.
YES ,there are still productions with poor audio/video, bad performances and cliche predictable stories, but HEY, ever heard of B movies or exploitation movies? Every movie industry has their ugly ducklings, and Nollywood is no exception, but a few are breaking out and transforming into beautiful soaring swans.
Nollywood is evolving, and i believe it’s just in it’s 2nd phase right now and there is still a lot more room to grow in a world where Hollywood has come full circle and is retarding and inbreeding.
Now i previously wrote a blog about Hollywood and Nollywood collaborations and being excited about it , but i’m now having a re-think, though they are welcome, i think we have to be careful that they do not come and muddy the pure waters of our industries growth. Like the story of the kid that tried to help the caterpillar in metamorphosis out of it’s cocoon, but ended up killing it, too much outside interference can do the same. As Nollywood started from scratch on it’s own, during this second phase it can continue to thrive , all that is needed is to continue and increase the current momentum , master the distribution that the American seem to monopolize so much .
If we continue this level of improvement, just like the music industry exploded beyond belief, and now we have more Nigerian music on radio and in clubs than foreign, i see a time where there are cinemas dedicated to ONLY Nollywood films , here and around the world, i see Hollywood studios scrambling over themselves to work with our directors, hire our actors and acquire the rights to our movies, but the next 5 years are going to be very pivotal, the birthing years and shift to maintenance of a steady 2nd gear. Personally, as we enter 2013 , i’m very excited about what the years ahead hold.