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Nigerian Filmmakers, Cinemas And Technological Impact

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The paradigm has been changed now and the art of film making has been simplified by technology to accommodate more persons across the spectrum with increasing possibilities.
The entertainment industry which is said to comprise the motion picture industry in Nigeria referred to as Nollywood, live theatre where stage plays are made and other allied arts, had been repeatedly said to be a gold mine or ‘the new oil' and can generate huge revenues for the country.

According to reports, Nollywood is said to be the second largest film industry in the world and contributes 2.3% to Nigeria's GDP.

In 2022, Nollywood, Nigeria's film industry, made 1,923 movies according to the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB). Another report says an aggregate of about 2500 movies a year are produced, from the different hubs of Nollywood kitchen, namely from the location hub where Direct To Home (DTH) DVD format movies are largely churned out; the Enugu hub where Igbo language movie practitioners largely ply their trade aside other areas in South East; Abeokuta and Ikorodu hubs for Yoruba language movie practitioners, who also produce for marketers in DVD format as well as in different movie websites and streaming platforms; Lekki-Ajah hub where the ‘new Nollywood' produce for home audience and also for the cinemas and streaming platforms; Kano hub for the Kannywood (Hausa speaking )movie practitioners, Kaduna hub for the professionals that domicile in that area who have coined the name Kadawood, and other regions like Jos where contents, movies, sitcoms (situation comedies) and soaps (drama series) are made for television wider audience.

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The thousands of movie made annually have made Nollywood the second most prolific movie industry after Bollywood and before Hollywood.

Cinema Box Office Revenues
Compared to Bollywood (name given to key Indian cities movie location) and Hollywood (Mecca of global box office movie production in Los Angeles, California), Nollywood is still far away from huge box office revenue as Hollywood movies in Nigerian cinema account for 70% of the revenue earned.

This is in consideration that Nigeria can only boast of less than a hundred standard cinemas (theatres) worldwide. In 2022, there were a total of 81 movie theaters in Nigeria. Most of them were situated in Lagos. The number of cinema screens in Nigeria which is about 300 screens is still discouraging in a country of over 200 million people. The Nigerian Film policy has a policy frame work of having in place, one cottage cinemas in all the 747 local councils and this will boost number of cinema consumers across the federation.

India (Bollywood) as at 2023, saw a four percent rise in total cinemas from the preceding year, has a total of 9,742 cinemas.

There are 1,916 movie theaters and 40,000 screens in the United States as of 2023, which according to a report experienced a decline of -1.2% from 2022. This may account for the preference of consumers in the States who prefers to watch movies via streaming platforms as most of streaming companies making waves started from the United States. the

In 2022, Hollywood made $7.37 billion, while Bollywood made $1.28 billion. In same year Nollywood movies grossed $203 million made in the same year.

Nollywood actress Funke Akindele's movie, ‘A Tribe Called Judah' released December 2023, made an impressive mark at the box office, grossing a total of N1.5 billion across cinemas in Nigeria, the UK, and other African nations.

According to Nairametrics' data compilation from the Nigerian box office post on twitter now known as X indicates that the blockbuster movie made N1.4 billion in Nigeria, $83,000 (equivalent to N132 million) in the UK and 3.5 million CFA francs (N9.29 million) in other African countries bringing the total ticket sale revenue to around N1.54 billion

Era of Skit makers and Influencers
A decade ago, there used to be few people that are into skit making. The likes of Mark Angel and others have proven that indeed good content laced with humour will sell anywhere, Fast forward to the now, there are dozens of skit makers in Nigeria that are smiling to the bank even as viewers consume the visuals they release out. The likes of Macaroni, Taoma, , Kiekie and others have become celebrities in the entertainment industry.

A tech expert, Jide Awe in a forum said that through collective determination and strategic partnerships, Nollywood could surmount its challenges by leveraging digital solutions to unlock unprecedented growth and prosperity.

Stakeholders Speak On Impact Of Technology
Founder of Kaduna International Film Festival (KADIFF), Israel Kashim Audu said that the Nigerian film industry has not remained the same decade by decade, years in and years out because, movies are shot faster now and there are gadgets that help a film production company to get the best shots aerially and indoors. “Nollywood has evolved as things are done better and faster and what we need is more funding for creative and re-training. Nigeria and her film makers, as a result of the authentic stories that are told, is getting the attention it deserves and this must be sustained with enabling environment and institutional investment in Nollywood across the value chain. In the North, we need more government patronage in area of incentives and provision of security for film makers to function maximally,” says Audu.

Queen Blessing Ebigieson, national president of Association of Movie Producers (AMP), speaking on technology impact on the industry said, a lot has changed in the last three years and is still evolving with the advent of new technologies in movie making and even our lifestyle. “A lot of actors are now content creators have YouTube channels where they market their movies and make extra income aside putting them on movie websites and consumers pay to watch via subscriptions. Gadgets, Improvement on the part of players are having a positive effect on what we do. Our cameras have changed now and our means our storing our films either via cloud or a platform where you pay a little token and save yourself the heat or fluid that can spoil the hard drive or card.

“When it comes to return on investment, the producer used to depend on local market. But with all the different platforms that have sprung, due to technology- Amazon Prime, Netflix, Youtube, that are now accessible to everybody. You find out that when you invest your money, there are multiple ways to get your money back. You are not relying only on TV platforms to put your content or the local market, and you sell your works faster than before.

“Our internet was not as strong as it is now, you upload a video and it takes you three hours to get it done. Now within few seconds you can upload a one hour video. The Tech space is impacting on life an also on what we do. It's a beautiful thing for film makers. There are creative people that come online and just showcase talent and people watch in amazement , the person can now go ahead to monetize the content,” says the actor-producer and now guild heads.

To move the industry forward, there is a need to embrace global best practices, investing in talent and emerging technologies, promoting inclusivity, and fostering collaboration across the industry's value chain.


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