Nigeria’s film industry open to foreign money

A movie director, actors and a soundman on the set of a low-budget Nollywood movie production. Photo: RR

NEWSROOM (ADV) – Nigeria’s movie industry, also known as Nollywood, is open for foreign investments in order to have a wider outreach, according to industry stakeholders.

Nollywood is perhaps the largest movie industry in the world in terms of quantity of movies produced every week. However, the stakeholders said funding is one of its major challenges and the industry is in dire need of increased collaboration with foreign investors who can take it to the next level.

In an interview with Xinhua, Segun Arinze, a top Nollywood actor and former national president of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), said the movie industry has opened itself up and is looking for ways to invite more people, including foreigners, to come and invest in it.

“One of our major challenges is funding. It is always a major challenge when it comes to filming,” Arinze recently told Xinhua in Lagos.

With overwhelming popularity, Nigerian movies started to dominate television screens across the African continent and by extension, the diaspora, since the early 2000s. The movie industry also has a strong following in the African diaspora community in Europe, especially in Britain.

Arinze, who described Nollywood as “a multi-billion dollar industry that provides employment,” said foreign investments are not going to have any negative impact on the industry.

In terms of technicalities, the industry has grown in leaps and bounds amid daunting challenges, the former AGN president said.

“China, for instance, can go into partnership with Nollywood in terms of technology, finance, and expertise. China and Nigeria have one thing in common: population. Let us have a synergy by working together and pushing the industry forward,” he said.

Gabriel Afolayan, another actor whose father Ade Afolayan is a pioneer of the Nigerian theater, said stakeholders are currently working hard to maximize every opportunity that they have with support from external bodies and corporate bodies.

“We have managed to keep the industry moving and to help with the paradigm shift of how things are. I pray we get better over time,” he added.

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