.. The Nigeria movie industry has come a long way and like every other movie industry in the world, year in year out one can confidently say that there are improvements in the different facets that make up the industry and no doubt, people cherish more what comes out of the industry this days because of the massive interest it generates.
Before the advent of present day Nollywood, there was difficulty in the industry and top on the list was circulation of what is known today as home videos due to piracy by unscrupulous elements who posed a great threat to the industry. This has been addressed as they are bodies set up to see to the complete eradication of the nuisance.
Passion was the primary motive of any person coming into the movie industry in the early stage, but the case is quite different today as the purpose of some so called celebrities today enter the industry to garner fame and not professionalism. Clarion Chukwurah one of Nigeria’s foremost actress said during an interview that her passion for movies brought her into the industry.
According to her, she started from the theatre when no one was contemplating fame but share interest and passion for the arts. In one of her early Yoruba movies in the 80’s, she gave a wonderful performance even though she is not Yoruba. This beat my imagination, how she and many actors who are not Yorubas, Igbos or Hausas, are able to act movies in another language and do it so well. She was so fluent that many thought at the time that she is Yoruba but for her name. Ace actress and musician, Omotola Jalade Ekehinde on her part has acted in a lot of movies with the likes of Ali Nuhu and others in movies that have northern themes, though in English.
In another recent movie, Ije which has the sound track of Bongos Ikwe and produced by Jeta Amata, showing that language is no longer a limiting factor for Nigerian actors in their choice of movie roles.
In another development, The Mirror Boy, a new movie starring Genevieve Nnaji is in the UK top 20 box office which shows that the world is interested in what comes out of Nollywood and in line with this, Nigerian actors are today starring in movies along side international actors from the US and UK in particular.
The change that is being enjoyed in the industry can also be attributed to the procurment of modern equipments. This has also helped in shaping the industry in the area of hiding flaws of some celebrities. Hi-tech cameras like the 3mm can work wonders and our videos now enjoy good quality of international standard and people can watch movies without having to complain about the picture quality except for pirated ones on DVDs.
Our movies are rated very high in the international market these days which tells you we getting there or we are already there, looking at where we are coming from.
In those days also, people don’t know Nigerian actors because we were used to watching films like ‘Rambo,’ ‘Commando’, ‘Police Academy’ and so on. The case is different today because there is hardly any home you go to that you won’t find at least three to four Nigeria home videos. ‘Living In Bondage’, a movie that touches the heart, a movie that is real, a movie that you can’t doubt or say there were film tricks is one of such films. One of the very first in the industry, it carries a storyline most people can relate with.
The liberalisation of the industry has also made it a lot easier for people to come to Nigeria like Del York International Film Academy, a renowned film academy from the United States of America, to train and re-train Nigerians on how to be great professionals in the movie and broadcast industries. This only shows that the world indeed is ready to co-operate with Nollywood and should be further encouraged.
Having said all these about the industry at this juncture it would be wise to be truthful about one part of the industry that still needs to be and that part is the part that cast movie titles. Right from the start, Nigerian Home Videos have had problems with titles, titles like ‘Beyond Passion’, ‘Deadly Passion’, ‘Passion Of Love’, ‘Can This
Be Passion’. Why are there no unique titles that will not conflict with others? No wonder comedians make jest of them. As a Nigerian, you are supposed to patronize your own the way other countries of the world patronise their movies. Why Bollywood is the number one movie industry in the world is not because of its cultural heritage, but because of the patronage it gets from within and outside the country but some of us are embarassed sometimes when we just as much as hear the title of the movie. It does not encourage patronage and so needs to be addressed.