2019 is here! And we’re taking a look back at Nollywood in 2018. From the spirited victories to the letdowns, we are going to review the year that was.
Let’s begin with the victories.
Kemi Adetiba makes a record-breaking thriller
The last quarter of the year saw the release of some of the best movies to come out of Nollywood in 2018. Although not a perfect film, “King of Boys” reportedly became the first Nollywood non-comedy to gross over N100 million at the Nigeria box office.
Genevieve Nnaji and Joseph Benjamin made some international moves
At the 43rd Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in September, Genevieve announced that Netflix had acquired worldwide rights to her movie Lionheart. Lionheart will start streaming on Netflix on 4 January.
In November, Joseph Benjamin announced that he would be featuring in the third season of Netflix original series, Greenleaf. The news gladdened the hearts of many. Benjamin featured as Joseph Obi, accountant at Triumph Church. Greenleaf has been renewed for a fourth season but we’re not sure whether Benjamin will feature in it.
Some filmmakers departed from the norm
It was also heartening to see some Nollywood directors break away from the cliches in 2018. They told the unusual stories. Ema Edosio’s “Kasala”, Tope Oshin’s “Up North” and Moses Inwang’s “Crazy People” are noteworthy. Edosio and Oshin’s movies stood out in particular. because they told stories of everyday people who find happiness in their own way.
Now to the letdowns.
Nollywood wasn’t without disappointments in 2018. Here are a few areas filmmakers can improve upon:
Last minute Nollywood releases
Kemi Adetiba’s “King of Boys” came in October and enjoyed a free rein at the box office until December.
But in December came a jostle among Nollywood filmmakers to release their movies. Within the last 10 days of 2018, Izu Chukwu’s “Power of 1″, Uche Jombo’s “Heaven on My Mind”, Niyi Akinmolayan’s “Chief Daddy,” BB Sasore’s “God Calling”, Genevieve Nnaji’s “Lionheart,” Tope Oshin’s “Up North” and Dare Olaitan’s “Knockout Blessing” all hit the screens. And the cinemas became mad houses. Although moviegoers were spoiled for choice, I was difficult to keep. The downside for the producers is that some movies will suffer at the expense of more publicised ones.
All of the movies released this year showed great improvements in production and directing. “God Calling” made a statement with it’s use of computer generated images (CGI). Unfortunately, most of the movies disappointed in the storytelling. The moviegoer just wants a great story irrespective of whether it is big or small budget. Most of the movies released in Nollywood in 2018 lacked purpose, had inconsistent or tired plots and others outrightly moronic. Give the audience an underdog to root for, arouse their emotions and whatever your plot is, stay true to it. If you are making a movie about gangsters, do not let your gangster be fainthearted.
The best man does not necessarily win
According to data available on the Cinema Exhibitors Association of Nigeria, website; “Chief Daddy”, “Merry Men: The Real Yoruba Demons” and “King of Boys” are the top three grossing Nollywood movies of 2018 . It proves once again that comedy still rules in Nollywood. More so, when you have a strong publicity machinery and can make the loudest noise despite having a mediocre film. An unnamed director in Alithnayn Abdulkareem article, “Nollywood is not ready to compete globally, despite what they are telling Nigerians sums it up aptly. He says, ‘Between creatives and hustlers, hustlers will always win’.
Image: Zam Magazine