According to Nollywood filmmaker, Chris Ihidero, the Nigerian film industry has the capacity to produce great original content of global quality if the industry is adequately funded.
Ihidero made this argument on the popular CNN special, MarketPlace Africa while discussing the recent attention the industry is enjoying from global players, especially giants like Netflix, Showmax, and Canal+.
Currently in its seventh season, Marketplace Africa is a CNN Special covering the macro business trends impacting the region and profiling the continent’s key industries and corporations.
‘‘Nollywood has been at the forefront of showcasing Africa in a certain way over the years. What’s beginning to happen is a recognition of Nollywood’s possibilities, Ihidero said.”
“What the partnerships with international streaming services like Netflix have done is to first show value. That association immediately ascribes quality to you and raises your value proposition. It’s removing all the shackles around creativity.”
Analysis from Digital TV Research projects that global streaming revenue will likely rise over the next four years to one hundred billion dollars. For Ihidero and his colleagues in the industry, this presents a unique opportunity to show what they are capable of.
Ihidero, who recently produced Nigeria’s first feature-length animated movie, ‘Lady Buckit and the Motley Mopsters’ also said he “feels like films such as ‘Lady Buckit and the Motley Mopsters’ tell a different story about Nollywood. It talks about the possibilities where talent is involved. It also talks about the possibilities where adequate funding is involved. Nollywood can do anything. You just have to fund it right.”
Ihidero is a Nollywood veteran with over two decades of experience in the film industry. He has been a theatre artiste, broadcaster, newspaper columnist, magazine editor and university lecturer. He made a switch to film in 2007 when he joined Amaka Igwe Studios as a trainee director and since then, has directed over 100 hours of TV drama and has written or consulted on over 1000 episodes of TV dramatic content, including Fuji House of Commotion and Africa Magic’s HUSH.
He also produced MTV Shuga Naija Series 3 in 2015 and Series 4 in 2017. Through his Chris Ihidero’s StoryStory project, done in honour of his late teacher, Amaka Igwe, Chris has trained over 200 Nigerian storytellers for free.