First there was Hollywood, then there was Bollywood, and now… we have Nollywood. Nollywood can be described as the “cinematic phenomenon” that originated in Lagos, Nigeria (Okome, 2007). Nigeria produces around 1000 films annually, positioning itself within the market ahead of Hollywood, however second to the biggest in the industry, Bollywood.
Nollywood’s production is on the other end of the spectrum compared to Hollywood. Hollywood’s average film budget is around $6.7 million, and has a production span of around 12 months. Nollywood on the other hand has a budget averaging between $7,500 to $13,000 and a production time of just 7 to 10 working days (Amos, 2015). This may seem like a disadvantage to Nollywood, however considering the Nigerian Economy it is extremely impressive that the industry entity managed to generate a total of $10 billion dollars revenue in 2013 (Tolchisky, 2015). Nollywood has also recently increased film budgets for films such as “Half a Yellow Sun” which set a new record of the most expensive Nigerian film with production costs valued at $8 million.
“Half a Yellow Sun” was the beginning of a Nigerian movement into the market of higher Hollywood quality films. This movement is allowing Nollywood to provide Nigeria with higher economic productivity and job stability as the demand for film furthers from a domestic level to an international level. There is a promising future for Nollywood as investment opportunities arise and the recent implementation of “IKROKOTV”, which can be described as the “Nigerian Netflix”, grows even more popular (Tolchisky, 2015).
Nollywood film gives audiences an insight into the impact of Nigerian culture, heritage, politics, and society. The Nigerian film industry has also assisted in improving the economy by developments such as using endorsements in the 2011 general election and work towards the removal of fuel subsidy (Onuzulike, 2012). Nollywood also has the power to portray Nigerian culture in its most raw form allowing the industry to preserve African culture and heritage despite globalization. For example Nollywood films use their indigenous languages throughout films and tell African stories. This can lead towards educating other cultures and creating a basis for furthered awareness of not only the heritage but also the hardships that Nigeria has faced.
It could be said that Nigerian film has more soul than Hollywood blockbusters. The film context is more of a realistic insight into culture and the filming only adds to this ideology as it is shot in its location of origin. The video below features individual Nigerians giving their opinion given the choice of Hollywood vs Nollywood. Although one man states it “isn’t comparable”, another states Nollywood is better as “it is ours”.
Nollywood films may lack the standards of Hollywood blockbusters however they are evidently worth more in culture than in dollars to members of the Nigerian society by statements in the Hollywood vs Nollywood clip. Nollywood is not only important to the Nigerian economy, but to globalization giving an insight an education of African culture on an international level.
Amos, F. 2015. First Hollywood, then Bollywood, now Nollywood!. [ONLINE] Available at: <http://www.one.org/us/2015/06/15/first-hollywood-then-bollywood-now-nollywood/>. [Accessed 01 September 15].
Okome, O (2007). ‘Nollywood: spectatorship, audience and the sites of consumption’ Postcolonial Text, 3.2, pp. 1-21.
Onuzulike, U. 2012. Nigeria: Nollywood as a positive tool for African transformation. [ONLINE] Available at: <http://www.consultancyafrica.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=970:nigeria-nollywood-as-a-positive-tool-for-african-transformation&catid=90:optimistic-africa&Itemid=295>. [Accessed 01 September 15].
Tolchinsky, M. 2015. Nigeria’s Nollywood is putting Hollywood to shame. [ONLINE] Available at: <http://globalriskinsights.com/2015/01/nigerias-nollywood-putting-hollywood-shame/.> [Accessed 30 August 15].