Remember those times when you watched a Nollywood movie and you asked yourself why you just wasted one hour thirty minutes of your life watching such nonsense? Let me tell you, those days are long gone.
Still don’t believe me? Check out reports on how Nollywood films like The Wedding Party, 93 Days, The Arbitration and 76 have all received rave reviews at the ongoing Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).
With particular praise given to the technical aspects of these films – a first for films made in Nigeria. I’m not saying our films can now stand should to shoulder with other top films from around the world, on the contrary, we still have a lot to do. For example, distribution and piracy are still major problems but we are slowly getting there. Below are 3 other ways Nollywood is gaining recognition internationally
- The rise of ‘New Nollywood’
OC Ukeje is considered to be one of the ‘New Nollywood’ Actors
The tag New Nollywood is being used to describe a new generation of filmmakers (e.g. Stanlee Ohikhuare, Mildred Okwo, Niyi Akinmolayan) actors (O.C Ukeje, Adesua Etomi, Deyemi Okanlawon, Somkele Idhalama) and other movie personnel. But not everyone agrees to this. Isioma Osaje is a talent manager and budding film producer. She said “As Nollywood progresses we learn different ways of doing things, our skill set has grown and it is evident in our technical output and now thanks to the cinemas we have that means of distributing our films. Nollywood is not old or new. It is simply a group of people learning and trying to be better.” Who agrees with her?
- More international actors are joining Nollywood
Theatrical release poster of A.Y’s film A Trip to Jamaica featuring international stars Paul Campbell, Eric Roberts and Dan Davies
Comedian and filmmaker Ayo A.Y Makun’s latest film A Trip to Jamaica has in its cast a bevy of international stars including Eric Roberts, Dan Davies and Paul Campbell. This only confirms the fact that more and more Hollywood stars seeing the potential of Nollywood are choosing to appear in films spearheaded by Nigerians. Also, did you know A.Y’s first film 30 Days in Atlanta has made it into the Guinness Book of Records?
- Nigeria is being recognized for more positive things
Stepping away from Nollywood for a minute, but has anyone noticed that not only is Nigerian entertainment in general being celebrated, but the world seems to have recognized that there is more to us than just drug dealing or advanced fee fraud 419. Wizkid is storming up the charts, A Nigerian stage play Wakaa the Musical recently featured to rave reviews in London and global online distribution giant Netflix signed a deal with respected filmmaker Kunle Afolayan.
It can only get better for Nollywood.