THE last edition of the Africa Movie Academy Award (AMAA) showed a significant shift in the African movie scene. Several foreign actors and other key players went home with awards that had been exclusive preserves of Nollywood movie buffs. This should ordinarily cause concern in the nation’s movie sector that other parts of Africa was fast catching up just as Nollywood is experiencing its worse moment.
But notable Nollywood producer/scriptwriter, Ikenna Emma Aniekwe, whose new movie Room Service will hit the cinemas soon said there was no cause for concern as Nollywood’s giant status was still assured on the continent. Rather than view the emergence of other Africa movie players as a threat to the premiere status of Nollywood, he argued that the foreign presence only served to confirm the “colossal growth we have achieved over the years”.
He further said, “It goes to reaffirm our leading position in the art of filmmaking in Africa, because when you look at Hollywood for instance, it has grown to become the centre of attraction of all filmmakers, actors and actresses the world over, so much so that one is forced to measure growth in terms of perfection or dexterity in the art with the ability or opportunity to have worked in a Hollywood or Hollywood project. So I see it as a mark of growth”.
The film director described Nollywood as Africa’s equivalent of America’s Hollywood, so, he counseled practitioners not to be afraid that others might out-pace them. His words: “What I see is that Nollywood, being the Hollywood of Africa is only but taking its rightful position in the continent in terms of filmmaking. The remuneration and expertise that define Nollywood would be another key factor that leads to the surge. But like I said, it’s all for good; it’s for growth and I don't feel that Nollywood is threatened at all, because we are moving and growing stronger by the day”.
On Nollywood’s sudden romance with the cinemas, with every filmmaker taking his film there, Aniekwe maintained showed “how much we yearn for improvements in the quality of films we make. It also goes to tell you that we are coming up again, that there is now a departure from the stereotyped and cliché Nollywood to a Nollywood that at least strives to meet present day standards in global filmmaking. If this weren't so, I can tell you that our counterparts cinema owners, who are standard- and quality-conscious would not have accorded our products or would not be considering to accord our products the space in their theatrical screening rooms”.
Room Service features an array of A-list actors that include the sensational Ghanaian export, Van Vicker, starring alongside the vivacious duo of Mercy Johnson and Bimbo Akintola.
With his new movie Room Service, a production of Columbyke Concepts, Aniekwe assured that Nigerian movie fans at home and overseas could now look forward to an exciting and thrilling summer as it would be showing in cinemas across Nigeria, Ghana, the U.K, and the U.S. beginning this June 2010.