Most people when thinking of directing a movie, it would take months and months to finish, but that may be common in Hollywood and Bollywood, but when it comes to Nollywood, films can be done in as little as 10 days! Ofcourse the outcome of the film in production and stunts and digitization will probably be different from a Hollywood or Bollywood movie, but that does not prevent Nigeria’s Nollywood from becoming the 2nd largest movie producer in the world, according to Ibtimes. Nigeria may be one of the poorest country in the world, but it has many accomplishes in the film industry, who with only one digital camera and two lights and a few thousand dollars achieved the world’s second movie industry title.
According to Maps of the World, the Nigerian culture is multi-ethnic with over 250 languages spoken in the country, and although Nigerians hold on to their language, music, and arts, English is considered to be the official language although it is notable that not more than 50% of the population can speak English. In Nollywood, most of the films produced are in English, for better distribution, but still tell the stories of common Nigerian culture from everyday stories of love, romance, family, comedy, crooked cops to HIV/aids. According to the documentary, This is Nollywood, it is said that Nollywood has grown from nothing into a $250 million dollar-a-year industry that employs thousands of people, from rising actors and actresses to stunt doubles and camera crew. The Nollywood phenomenon was made possible by two main ingredients: Nigerian entrepreneurship and digital technology.
Nollywood is quite different than Hollywood, in the fact that not only does it take much lesser time to make the movie and the quality is not as high as Hollywood movies, the distribution is also different. Nigeria, being a poor country, with many people not having the money to go to cinemas, if there is any theaters at all in the area. Since Nigeria is a group country, meaning people watch and live as a group or family, the films are made directly to DVD and sold for about $3, according to Csmonitor, giving the movies a better chance to expand and reach a higher audience with cheaper pricing.
Although Nigerian films may not be watched as common or more than Hollywood and Bollywood films, one thing for sure is they are certainly making big news. According to Ibtimes, actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, of Nigerian parents, known for his role in Oscar-winning movie, 12 Years a Slave, is said to be working on the most expensive film that will ever be made in Nollywood, “Half of a Yellow Sun,” which is a British/Nigerian co-production, said to be budgeted at about £4.6m.
There has definitely been a change in the Nigerian film industry in the past few years, with about a 1,000 films being produced weekly, Nollywood is leading with second place in film production, but will it soon become the first? We’ll just have to wait and see.