Since the emergence of the genius directing and producing capabilities of Kunle Afolayan, there has undoubtedly been a shift in the way Nigerians perceived Nollywood as a movie industry. From the era of watching just about any movie that came because our favourite actors and actresses starred in them and the same actors willingly taking up any movie role just to remain consistent on set, to recent times where both the movie stars and viewers alike turned out to be very selective when it comes to movie roles\movies they decide to stare in or watch, thanks to the new standards of the movie industry.
In the 80s – 90s, the Nigerian movie industry saw the likes of great films such as “Diamond Ring”, “The Only Nigerian Girl”, “Igodo”, ”Isakaba” etc., being made and enjoyed by millions of Nigerians worldwide – yes best believe that the CDs of those movies made their way out of the country. There was even a scene in MIA’s Paper Planes video where the cover of a Nollywood movie was shown.
But the late 90s saw a disastrous fall in the quality of movies made in Nollywood. While fans, actors, and actresses basked in the fact that Nollywood was the third largest movie producing industry in the world, only bested by America’s Hollywood and India’s Bollywood, the number of movies produced were large but 90% were no doubt piss poor.
The industry got so lazy that the names of the movies were all ‘spinoffs’ of one movie, with basically the same storyline, but different actors. Movies like “Blind Love” saw its name ripped off to become “Love is Blind”, “When Love goes blind”, “Is Love Blind?”, “Blinded by Love”, etc., and a 1 hour 45 minutes movie was cut into 45 minutes each to make sure it had parts 1 & 2.
However, Kunle Afolayan’s plan to raise the bar and lift Nollywood from the filth worked out nicely with movies like Figurine, October 1st, Phone Swap, etc. The movies saw a drastic and much-needed change in video and sound quality, script, directing, and acting. And thanks to directors like Wangi Mba-Uzoukwu, Kemi Adetigba, Robert O. Peters, etc., Nigerians all over the country troop into cinema halls with their popcorn to kick back, relax, and enjoy wonderful and beautiful movies.
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With Movies like 30 Days in Atlanta setting a record for grossing N170 million in two months and more recently The Wedding Party which shattered the record by grossing N200 million in just 16 days, there is much to celebrate in the movie industry. Now there are more Nollywood than Hollywood movies showing in cinemas Nationwide. Movies with enough quality to make Nollywood challenge Hollywood and Bollywood in not just the number of movies produced, but in the quality as well.
We have definitely moved past this level of sound and video quality, soundtrack, and acting! and it will only get better from here!
So what are you waiting for, hit the cinemas!!!