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Young Nigerian filmmakers on the future of Nollywood

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The third edition of the Nigeria International Film & TV Summit (NiFS) holding at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Ikeja gathers hundreds of Nigerian Film Industry players.

The four-day summit themed ‘Streaming Wars: The Implications on Future of Content Monetisation for Film and TV Content’ is a parley of conversation starters by current industry players about the after-effects of Nollywood’s current streaming boom.

While these industry changemakers need to start active conversations about the near future of the business of the Nigerian Film Industry, it’s also crucial to hear from the new voices stepping into the industry.

As Nollywood spews out its new generation of filmmakers each year, one can’t help but wonder what the near future of Nollywood might look like in the fresh eyes of its young industry players.

Fiyin Gambo – Director

First things first, I think it’s never been a more exciting time to be in Nollywood than now, especially because of the kind of attention the industry is getting. In the space of three years, we’ve seen streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Showmax, with rumors that Disney is entering the space, buying and commissioning content.

The playing field is also getting more leveled with social media and how affordable it is to make a film these days because what truly makes a film is a story.

A young kid can make a film from his dorm room and post it on Youtube and become the next big director or filmmaker or actor. I say looking to the future there are a lot more opportunities to find new voices that have never been heard before.

I’m also happy because there’s going to be a higher demand for story variety from our audiences. Producers mostly stick with safe stories that have proven box office success, but with Twitter and other social media platforms, we’re getting instant audience feedback and they’ve let us know the kind of films they want.

They let us know they don’t just want comedy, but they want action or fantasy. It’s interesting to see how these numbers will translate at the box office. The current investment in the technical education of craftsmen in the industry gives people more opportunities to hone their crafts.

The future of Nollywood will see an influx of more skilled industry people and that really excites me.

Funmbi Toye- Actor

When I think about the future of Nollywood as a young emerging actor, I think we’re headed in the right direction. There’s a lot of hope for Nollywood in terms of opportunities, audience reach, and distribution.

Consistency is proving to be the key to where we’re headed, and it’s the one thing I know that is paving the way for us to be seen and heard in the global sphere. Now more than before, we’re making a lot of art that has longevity and lasting factors.

The spotlight is also starting to shine on niche filmmakers and actors that have their distinct types of stories to tell alongside the big names (in terms of talents and production companies).

Proper structure we can all benefit from within the industry is something that I look forward to and once we start inching towards that, I see this growing into something more fulfilling and beautiful soon.

Funmbi Toye

Chisom Ifeakandu – Producer

The future of Nollywood is here! If you had asked the pioneers 30+ ago what they thought Nollywood would be like now, they probably wouldn’t suggest what Is currently happening.

The industry has grown from using basic DSLRs to using the biggest film cameras. More and more people are beginning to gain an interest in some part of filmmaking as a career. And I think for me, that is one of the best things to occur.

The Nollywood that I see coming forth is another concept entirely. I see a Nollywood that enjoys the same attention that our music counterparts are enjoying.

Our industry seems to be selfish with growth and it looks like there is some form of competition going on within the small walls of the industry. I see a Nollywood where more collaborative work is done.

I see a Nollywood that is intent on telling the stories that are true to us. (I’m speaking of our deep cultural identity). I see an industry where there is increased access to watching films that are being made for everyone to watch, not just a select few.

I see a Nollywood where its practitioners are [better] represented by some union, where activities are regulated properly to favor everyone.

Chisom Ifeakandu
Chisom Ifeakandu

Motunde Yahya – Editor

The future is looking good, the young people are coming in and with new technology and tools, the work is a bit easier now. I’m really happy to see our movies on Netflix and Amazon Prime.

Nollywood movies have their lapses but they’re getting better each day. For me I see Nollywood walking towards a time where filmmakers really understand the essence of editors.

An editor is only as good as their director and a director is only as good as their editor. That’s why it’s a collaboration, not a competition.

I look forward to one where editors pay attention to continuity, sound design, dialogue sound, and things like that because they really matter. When you see a good film that flows well, you’re seeing good editing.

The future of Nollywood needs editors who understand the art and science of the craft. Like Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese and George Lucas say “editors write the last draft of a script”. Editing goes beyond cut and join, and really involves the editor to actually feel the story.

Motunde Yahya
Motunde Yahya

Adakole The Great – Actor

Many young actors have a lot of belief in the future of Nollywood because we’re all witnessing a global embrace of our content. With a lot of people currently buying into Nollywood, the industry is gradually developing itself from within.

As older generation filmmakers are beginning to finally trust the crafts of younger generation filmmakers, I believe what’s in store for the future of Nollywood will be seemingly insurmountable feats.

Storytelling itself has also transported Nollywood to the international league in the last few years, giving the hidden gems the Nigerian film industry is riddled with, a chance to shine on global platforms.

I also see a future where actors are involved in the back-end finances of films. Meaning that actors will more often be considered when films generate subsequent income from initial payment.

Adakole the great
Adakole the great

Chado Eyitayo – Film Marketer

The marketing space in Nollywood, I think has a really bright future ahead because for me the last one or two years have been a rollercoaster. The projects I’ve worked on have been able to get across to a much larger audience.

The kind of marketing that went into the likes of King of Boys, Blood Sisters, and others have given these stories a greater amount of eyes and also access to similar African stories.

With the introduction of international production and streaming companies, the huge marketing budgets ensures that a large dispersed audience gets to be aware of more of our stories and also actually have access to these films.

In a case where multiple streaming services acquire and fund local titles, the marketing budgets and campaigns for some of these titles will be astronomical.

The future also sees an introduction of other big players in the industry to allow our titles to be seen in regions we don’t even expect.

In terms of storytelling, we have very amazing scriptwriters and with the influx of those big players in the industry, we’re sure to have more authentic stories churned out, stories that can compete with other global stories.

Chado Eyitayo
Chado Eyitayo

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