The African Film Industry: Nigeria @ $250M

According to WIRED magazine, Nigeria is in the early stages of a $250 million film industry. We know this is not the only nation on the continent with a film tradition. South Africa has been turning out excellent films for decades. Nigeria, though, presents some interesting challenges and opportunities which are unique. It’s something to consider.

With respect to the speed to market, Wired adds: “This lightning-quick turnaround also allows directors and producers to make films with plotlines that reflect the rapidly changing political and cultural climate, often weaving in aspects of current events. Whether revolving around corruption, prostitution, folkloric legends, HIV/AIDS, cautionary tales, romantic comedies or even epic period pieces about slavery and civil wars, the films present an unfiltered view of African culture, intended for an African audience.”

That is part of the recipe for an attractive investment.

clipped from
The Nigerian film industry is the third largest in the world, after Hollywood and Bollywood. Outside its native continent, the industry affectionately known as Nollywood remains relatively unknown. Yet millions of African fans can’t get enough of its movies.Unlike their international counterparts, the films coming out of Nollywood aren’t intended for the big screen. Nigerian filmmakers use a mix of quick-and-dirty digital technology, shooting their movies entirely on digital video, editing them on home computers and delivering them to the market on VHS, DVD and video compact discs, or VCDs.

Two films, slated for screenings and release on DVD this summer, shed light on the flourishing industry. This Is Nollywood, directed by Franco Sacchi and Robert Caputo, follows Nigerian director Bond Emeruwa as he produces a feature-length action movie, Check Point, in just nine days on a budget of only $20,000, an allotment most American directors would deem incomprehensible.

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