For many years, the Nigerian entertainment industry has come under a lot of criticism for mediocrity and lack of quality content. But all of that could be about to change as we approach a new decade.
The emergence of terms like New Nollywood and Alté shows a shift in how movies and music are being made and being received.
New Nollywood (or New Wave) refers to the emerging phase in nigerian cinema in which movies are made with higher budgets and intended for cinemas both locally and international. The films are also made to be screened at film festivals worldwide. The main features of New Nollywood are bigger budget, better production values and improved visuals.
The Nigerian film industry ranks second for films released annually, Bollywood (India) ranking first, but in terms of quality and global appeal nollywood hasn’t really fared well.
As the enter into the 2020’s, nollywood looks fairly poised to break through. Films like October 1 and The Figurine have sparked a movement in the industry and others have followed their lead. Lionheart (Genevieve Nnaji) was acquired by Netflix and has put even more spotlight on the Nigerian film industry. A less popular name in the industry is Dare Olaitan, director of Ojukokoro (Greed) and KNOCKOUT BLESSING. The two films are examples of what the future holds for the industry.
Although there is still some room for improvement. Movies still lack quality scripts capable of competing on a global scale. As improved as the films are, scripts and screenplays still lack in originality and quality content. Films are criticised for being too focused on wealth and wealthy families. Chief Daddy in particular lacks a clear plot, The Wedding Party 2 is seen as an unnecessary movie and many others follow this trend. This is undoubtedly not the peak of cinema but all great things need time to develop or more popularly, ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’.
Whether New Nollywood becomes definitive of Nigerian Cinema or inspires a much bigger movement is unclear, but what is clear is that we are experiencing a revolution.
Following in the steps of other great film movements like New Hollywood, Italian Neorealism or French New Wave, there is a lot to be excited about for the next decade of Nigerian Cinema.
This article was written by Shalom O.G Ejimah; connect with him on IG here