Nigeria’s booming film industry is the world’s second largest producer of feature films. In 2014, data was released that ‘Nollywood’ is a $3 billion industry and is coming second in place, behind the well-known Bollywood. Nollywood was born in 1992 where “Nigerian electronics salesman Kenneth Nnebue shot a straight-to-video movie in one month on a budget of just $12 000 and sold more than a million copies.” (Fortune, 2015) Nollywood had so much success that by 2009 it surpassed Hollywood as the world’s second largest movie industry in volume. In 2013, the film industry produced 1844 movies and $3.3 billion dollars in revenue. Although Nollywood is extremely successful in Africa, on a global scale, the film industry is not well known.
Nollywood films are not made for the cinema, instead once they are produced they are distributed through videos and DVDs sold in market stalls. Unfortunately for the film’s producers and financers the money received is a fraction of what is actually made due to pirated reproductions and unauthorised vendors. This type of production is different to Hollywood’s. Hollywood makes most of their profit from the film’s opening weekend where the movie is shown in cinemas around the globe. A Nollywood film’s average budget is around $15 000 and only takes a couple of weeks to finish, which is significantly small compared to an average Hollywood film which has a budget in the millions and can take years to finish. Nigerian producers only ever update to new technologies as soon they become affordable. The main objectives behind Nollywood films are to show their local environment, traditions and culture. However, they are still influenced by other cultures such as Latin, Western and American themes.
To access a Nollywood film may seem difficult but surprisingly you can find a lot of foreign films, including these, on websites such as YouTube. It is because of this easy accessibility that these films can gain international audiences. It is important that these films expand their audience because by watching them we are given a better understanding of Nigerian culture and can gain a unique experience as easily as watching a film in the comfort of your own home. It seems as though there is an endless supply of Nollywood films out there, as the estimated amount of films produced a week is 30, where an average film sells 50 000 copies.
Nollywood also takes part in film festivals located in countries around the world . An example of this is the Nollywood Week Film Festival in Paris, France, where they showcase the top movies by Nigerian filmmakers. It is because of this participation in such festivals that the Nigerian film industry may become increasingly appealing to a larger more international audience. Although the industry is not quite as well known as Hollywood or Bollywood, we can see the success and growth throughout the past years and can predict it won’t take too much longer for the Nollywood film industry to become increasingly popular and internationally known.