For most foreigners who have heard about the exploit of Nollywood as the second largest producer of home video in the world, it was an opportunity to know how the film industry evolved from the pre colonial era to what today, has become the leading motion picture industry in Africa.
A documentary produced by Golden Effects for the Lagos Tourism tells it all in six minutes, to visitors at the Lagos State Pavilion, located at the Pantiero-Side, at the ongoing Cannes Film Festival in France.
Tagged ‘Lagos and Cinema’, the documentary captured the huge impact that Lagos, the former capital of Nigeria and economic nerve of the country plays in the journey of Nollywood, a generic name for film industries from the Eastern, Southern, Northern and Western parts of Nigeria.
Ahead of the showcase at 4pm on Saturday, a video presentation by filmmaker Kunle Afolayan and Celebrity politician, Desmond Elliot went viral, attracting producers, directors and fans of Nollywood to the pavilion.
This came a day after the second edition of the ‘Lagos in Cinema’ journal was unveiled with pomp at the festival.
The Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr. Fola Adeyemi, opened the floor with a brief introduction. He noted that Lagos, for decades, has not been rivaled by any other state in Nigeria, as the most profitable home for film business in Nigeria, saying; “It is the roles and potential of Lagos as the base of the film world and tourism hub that we are bringing out. Lagos is the seat of Nollywood. Every great movie in Nigeria is usually shot in Lagos.”
Thus, the television remote key set the mood for the six minutes narration, aptly and professionally pieced together.
Voiced by Bimbo Manuel, the documentary features stakeholders like the Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr. Steve Ayorinde; filmmakers Tade Ogidan and Kunle Afolayan among others, providing an insider’s account.
From the colonial era when film was majorly a tool for government’s activities and propaganda, guests at the pavilion were transported to the historic moments of the Yoruba traveling theatre, followed by the home video era that christened the industry Nollywood. Then, guests saw a return to the cinema tradition, and what today is called the New Nollywood.
The documentary captures film legends like Adeyemi Afolayan, aka Ade Love, Moses Olaiya, aka Band Sala, Hubert Ogunde, Ola Balogun and many others with their classic productions.
Shedding lights on the documentary, Afolayan and Elliot took the floor as the credits roll.
According to Elliot, Lagos State has complimented its natural tourism endowment by providing skills to filmmakers to grow in their art. He said this has become easier today, as most young people, unlike before, get their parents’ support to train as actors or filmmakers.
This was just as Afolayan explained that New Nollywood has had more opportunities to expand the industry. He said that skills and modern equipments used have brought back the cinema culture, and provided a somewhat escape from the problems associated with piracy.
Giving the vote of thanks, Executive Secretary, Lagos State Film and Video Censors Board, Mr. Dele Balogun urged the guests to consider using a Lagos location for their next film projects.
One of the guests, Jean-Antonio Duprat, a professor with the Institute d’urbanisme et d’amenagement de la Sorbonne, France, confirmed that indeed, Nollywood is going global, just as another guest, Monorom Youk, a French producer, noted that Africa is famous for Nollywood.
The Lagos outing at the prestigious festival continues on Monday, with a Roundtable Session and a Lagos Day, where, as usual, networkings will blend with fun.
Source: The Nation