The Nigerian (Naija) artistic world offers many possibilities for entertainment and relaxation. Even if the Nigerian film industry is an emerging industry, it has completed to become the 2nd largest movie industry at worldwide level in terms of the quantity of movies produced on a yearly basis.
In this way, the Nigerian film industry represents an attractive opportunity for prospective film investments. Whether we are thinking of comedy, drama, soap operas, romance or action films – Nigeria's film industry can raise to expectations.
While in the USA the film industry is known as Hollywood, in the case of Nigeria the film industry is Nollywood. In terms of value of the movies and quantity of movies produced on a yearly basis, the Nigerian cinema industry is the largest one in Africa and it can also be compared to Hollywood or Bollywood.
Short history of Nollywood
The Nigerian cinema has appeared during the 1960's, but no worldwide success was registered until the use of digital filming. However, the first Nigerian movies were produced during the 1960's by Hubert Ogunde and Ola Balogun but with high costs. It seemed that the television industry was much more profitable as compared to the cinema industry and until the 1980's, each state of Nigeria had its own television station.
Due to the restrictions related to foreign television stations, the local theater productions became more popular and in 1992 the release of "Living in Bondage" was the first success of Nollywood. This movie opened the windows towards a new successful industry in Nigeria and increased the opportunities for investments in this field of activity. Since then on, approximately $ 250 million are spent on a yearly basis in the movie industry.
Successful Nollywood movies
After the success of the movie "Living in Bondage" from 1992, thousands of Nigerian movies started to be produced and released. The most important achievements in the Nigerian film industry are listed below:
. 1994: "Glamor Girls";
. 1997: "Back to Life";
. 2003: The first international performance and success of Nollywood occurred in 2003 with the release of "Osufia in London", starring the famous comedian Nkem Oweh; besides this movie, other major success movies were "Beyond Belief" and "Break Up";
. 2005: "Behind Closed Doors", "Baby Girl" and "Bus Driver";
. 2006: "30 Days" – received 10 nominations for the African Movies Academy Awards in 2008;
. 2007: "Ezra" – the winner of Grand Prize at the Ouagadougou Television Festival.
Famous actors in Nigerian movies
As any other nation, Nigeria also has its own actors to be proud of at local and international level. Having this in mind, the most famous actors who played in Nigerian movies are as follows:
. Nkem Oweh – comedian actor – appeared in the first internationally successful Nigerian movie "Osufia in London";
. Van Vicker – Ghanian actor – played in "Divine Love";
. Majid Michel – Ghanian actor – played in "Agony of the Christ" which had had seven nominations at the 2009 African Movie Academy Awards;
. Ramsey Nouah – Nigerian actor – star in the soap opera called "Megafortunes" but also in the romance movie "Lover-Boy";
. Genevieve Nnaji – Nigerian actress – played in famous Nigerian movies such as "30 Days" from 2006 and "Beautiful Soul" from 2008.
. Desmond Elliot – regular face in Nigeria's film industry starring in the successful movie "Behind closed doors" in 2005;
. Other famous Nigerian actors are: Jim Iyke, Baba Suwe, Oge Okoye, Hassanat Akinwande, Ini Edo.
All in all, Nollywood is one of the largest film industries in the world and it is growing in a fast pace. The future looks bright for Nigeria's cinema industry and the competition is fiercer in this field of activity.