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Nigerian Film Industry: From Bust to Boom (Posted 10th Aug, 2003) Tell your friends about this page! Email it to them.

Nigerian Film VillageFilmmaking and its marketing is the economic mainstay of some countries. Notable among these countries are India of old,  and to some extent, United States and France. In America film awards especially the Oscar awards is eagerly looked forward to by many artistes as it could mark a turning point in their careers. Also the Cannes Film Festival held in France is not easily toyed with by film makers.

The Nigeria film industry 15 years ago was nothing to write home about. Many of the films shot in the country were shabbily
produced with low quality film equipment. Again the storyline and scripting were bad with amateurs handling the story boarding. The only exceptions were the works of the late sage of the industry, Herbert Ogunde, who took Nigerian films across the globe. Though, there were few others whose works were globally applauded too.

Inside the Nigerian Film VillageBut a dramatic change has occurred with new buoyancy in the film industry. Today Nigerian films have become a source of
foreign exchange earnings for the country. The trend is fast changing with each day producing a new film in the market. Statistics show an annual turnout of over 1,000 films.

Quite unlike the past, the film industry is better organised and regulated. Bodies like the Film Makers Association,
National Copyright Commission, National Film and Video Censors Board and Actors and Actress bodies  among others are in place to bring sanity to the industry. Stake holders in the industry recently pooled resources to open a Nigerian Film Market in Surulere area of Lagos State, where un-pirated films at wholesale prices can be bought directly from the producers.

Films in Nigeria fall into different categories based on the language of production. We have films that are shot exclusively in Yoruba language, Igbo language, Hausa language and those in English language. Predominant among these films are those filmed in Yoruba and English language films, though some of the films shot in indigenous languages are subtitled in English. Unlike film makers in other parts of the world, a unique development in the Nigerian film industry most especially Yoruba films is the use of same actors' and actresses' stage names in different films. This allows for easy identification of your favourite actors or actresses.

Video Cassettes and VCDs of Nigerian Films For Sale at the Village All these positive developments have led to a gradual recognition of the Nigerian film industry by the world. Though, foreign exchange earnings are still in trickles it is believed that given the pace the industry is going, time will be the judge.

Government on its part is trying its best for the industry; although much is desired from them. The government has supported
the production of more indigenous movies especially those with historical and cultural inclinations. Key players in the industry are constantly appealing to the government to assist them by reducing the import duties on their equipment which are solely sourced from abroad. Also they desire an improvement of the economy and foreign exchange regime in order for them to be able to get the equipment at a cheaper price.

Part of the challenges faced by the industry is the menace of pirates and video clubs. Many of the films in the country are being reproduced by pirates and sold for cheaper prices thereby costing the producers Film Posters Galore on Lagos Roadstheir investments. Also, they face the problem of tackling the video clubs where new films are bought and rented causing potential loss in sales of such films. At other times, the film makers are accused of making some nude and obscene films and films depicting horrible rituals scenes.

Presently, the film industry is dominated by private investors. Though, abundant opportunities still remain to be tapped in the industry. Investment openings include: equipment sale and leasing, organised marketing and publicity, building of more cinema houses, film studios, script writing, video clubs, and better distribution chain, artist management among others.

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