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Moviedom 2022/2023: From the horses’ mouth (2)

By Shaibu Husseini
14 January 2023   |   11:56 am
Last week, Moviedom joined some leading practitioners in Nollywood to take stock of how moviedom faired in 2022 and their expectations for 2023. Here are the views of the last set of practitioners interviewed Filmmaker, Administrator and Festival Organiser Mykel Parish Ajaere Award Winning Actor Segun Arinze: ‘Nollywood economic scale was expanded in 2022’. The…

Last week, Moviedom joined some leading
practitioners in Nollywood to take stock of how moviedom faired in 2022 and their expectations for 2023. Here are the views of the last set of practitioners interviewed

Filmmaker, Administrator and Festival Organiser Mykel Parish Ajaere Award Winning Actor Segun Arinze: ‘Nollywood economic scale was expanded in 2022’.

The last year 2022, many high-budget and brilliant movies were produced and released in Nigeria, most by young emerging filmmakers, thereby expanding Nollywood’s economic scale. Several streaming platforms gave the film industry commercial value and made good money for producers and distributors. The year 2022 was perfect for Nollywood; filmmakers made real deals, actors earned more and local crew worked in collaboration on various productions on a larger scale. Cinema owners and producers even succeeded in luring large numbers of viewers back to cinemas to see big-budget films, indigenous films, sequels, remakes, and even animated films. We even had the first significant release of Nollywood films in the US and more participation in international film festivals. This year 2023, starts well with a Nigerian film going to screen at the Sundance film festival and a variety of deals for stakeholders. I believe 2023 will be one of the most successful years for the Nigerian film industry.

Filmmaker Emem Isong ‘’Nollywood Will Fully Exerting A Sort Of Imperialist Influence On African Local Filmmaking In 2023’’

Nollywood fared quite well in 2022 in my opinion. We witnessed better production quality, great story telling and more global recognition. There was also very good female representation and female authorship which I am very proud of. In 2023, I see Nollywood fully exerting a sort of imperialist influence on African local filmmaking. I also see an upsurge of indigenous films in African oral and cultural stories told more with better production values. I see Nollywood preserving and African identity in the middle of a global milieu that is becoming increasingly hybridized due to current digitalization operations and I see Nollywood being fully situated as ‘home grown’ industry within the notion of transnational Cinema.

Former President of the Association of Nollywood Core Producers (ANCOP) Alex Eyengho: ‘’Current National Assembly Should enact the MOPICON bill before May 28 2023’

I believe that Nollywood fared well in the year 2022, despite the effects of the global meltdown, post-COVID-19 and the Russia-Ukraine war. Yes, the volume of production dropped but the quality of production also improved in 2022. In 2023, I expect to see more professionalism in the industry in terms of the modus operandi of associations, guilds and individual practitioners. Above all, I expect to see the coming to life of the so-much-delayed but very important Motion Picture Council of Nigeria (MOPICON). I particularly task the Minister of information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed to walk his talk for almost 8 years now by ensuring that the current National Assembly (NASS) enact the MOPICON Executive Bill for President Buhari to sign it into law before May 28, 2023. In the unlikely event that the Minister fails Nollywood in this regard, the industry must take its destiny into its hands by sponsoring the MOPICON document as a Private Bill and push it until the necessary attention is given to it by either the current or next NASS. MOPICON is the only sure way forward for Nollywood in terms of enduring structure with the force of law.

Leading Stage and Screen Actor and Producer Francis Onwochei: ‘’We need a practitioner’s council that can firm up loose areas of practice’’

2022 ushered in significant improvement in the Nollywood space post Covid. We clearly saw the interest and intervention from streamers particularly Netflix and Amazon. This interest has generally thrown up improved production values both in feature and series.In addition, DSTV has increased the 260 episodes offerings of television series in different titles and this naturally translates into job creation for the sector. In 2023 there are clear signs that this will not only be sustained but increase business across board. I am hopeful that investors will take advantage of the ever growing population in Nigeria to increase the cinema screens available to audiences. Government must at this time take a closer look how policies already developed to support the creative industry can take effect. Not only revisiting the National Endowment for the Arts but also policies like Motion picture practitioners council which firms up loose areas of the practice. I am hopeful that provisions in the reviewed film and cultural policies can begin to get activation. Finally, incoming minister of Information can revisit the signed treaties which helps collaborations for the creative sector.

Prolific Film Producer Rogers Ofime ‘’Nollywood should keep the momentum of growth as a collective’’

For Nollywood, 2022 was a rising. It was us trying to get it right. There was a huge growth in the industry. The industry opened up to multiple expression streams and understanding of the business angle of film and Television. In 2022, Nollywood experimented a lot, from talents to technical, genre and pushing the envelope beyond where it was in 2021. It all paid off, not as much as some of us expected it to or the response we received but it did payoff that’s why we could export our talents around the world even to Hollywood. There were more collaborations, strategizing, sharing ideas and creative spaces.  Some of us pushed the envelope, we dared into areas of production or story telling that will rank amongst world class film productions. 2023 is a clean slate for Nollywood to build on the successes of last year and keep the momentum of growth as a collective, diversifying into not just in creativity but business also.

Prolific filmmaker Ugezu J. Ugezu: ‘’2023 will be a year of consolidation for the industry’’
The Nollywood industry has fared very well for despite the limitations placed on the way of producers by lack of a functional system that credibly supports small businesses, individual financiers have managed to keep the Nigerian flag flying on the global space. Truth is that Nollywood has managed to shift global attention towards our industry, and that is why all major distribution companies are showing interest in Nollywood. In 2023, I expect that Nollywood filmmakers should be able to keep their differences aside, and evolve a united distribution strategy that will guarantee return on investment for investors and massive gains for the producers and the executives thereof.

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