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Top five events that shaped Nollywood in 2022

Nollywood leaves money on the table over lack of profit sharing deals

As the curtain is about to fall on 2022, the Nigerian film industry, Nollywood, is not without remarkable feats, including international collaborations, blockbuster movies and original series.

However, it was not entirely a rosy year for the industry as film distribution companies faced the rising cost of diesel and the lingering foreign exchange shortage in the country, even as the surge in inflation shrunk the number of cinema-goers.

Here are five major events that shaped Nollywood this year:

Premiere of ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’

The premiere of ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ movie in Lagos shined the spotlight on the Nigerian film industry. Disney and Marvel Studios made history on the African continent with the premiere, influencing the global perspectives of African storytelling culture. It was the first Marvel Studios’ premiere on the continent. It was organised in collaboration with the Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) and FilmOne Entertainment.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’, a sequel to the 2018 box office hit movie, ‘Black Panther, is an American action superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character.

The film, which is set in the Marvel Universe’s dystopian African region of Wakanda, explores ideologies for a large global audience in order to increase indigenous capacity and global talent exports in filmmaking.

Historic AFRIFF 2022

The Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) is one of Africa’s most vibrant film festivals. According to Chioma Ude, founder of the event, this year’s edition was designed to influence global perspectives of African films and storytelling. She said for the first time, they had 500 movie entries from the Republic of Iran.

The festival was packed with activities including movie screenings, panel discussion, and masterclasses on filmmaking aimed at enhancing the development of the industry and the growth of African stories.

Blockbuster movies and original series

This year, there were a lot of Nollywood blockbuster movies and original series produced, grossing millions of naira at the Nigerian box office and also trending on Netflix as top movies. The blockbuster movies include ‘King of Thieves’, grossing N320 million; ‘Brotherhood’, N327 million; ‘Passport’ – N85 million, and ‘Anikulapo’, N14 million.

The industry also saw ‘Blood Sisters’, Netflix’s first Nigerian original series, which gained global applause as it hit the top 10 rated in over 30 countries across the world. The series amassed over 11 million views worldwide in six days.

Early this month, ‘Far From Home’, the first Netflix Nigerian young adult TV series, was released and is still the talk of the town.

Read also: Experts want Nollywood, financial institutions to collaborate

No Nigerian film was eligible for Oscars

The Nigerian Official Selection Committee (NOSC) made it official in September that no Nollywood film would feature in the International Feature Film (IFF) award category at the Oscars in 2023. In October, the NOSC reached a no-revote verdict, even after the Oscars organisers extended its submission deadline, allowing the NOSC to reconvene and revote.

Read also: Experts want Nollywood, financial institutions to collaborate

This is the second year in a row that Nigeria would not be submitting a film for the IFF category of the Oscars, the last submission being ‘The Milkmaid’ in 2020.

In 2019, the Oscars disqualified Nigeria’s official submission ‘Lionheart’ for not meeting the non-English dialogue criteria.

The committee voted for three films that advanced to the finals, including ‘King of Thieves,’ ‘Anikulapo,’ and ‘Eleshin Oba,’ but none of these films were chosen for the Oscars in 2023.

Remaking of Nollywood classics

‘Glamour Girls’, a remake of the 1994 Nollywood classic of the same name, was released this year, following other remakes such as Ramsey Nouah’s ‘2019’, ‘Living in Bondage: Breaking free’, ‘Rattlesnake: The Ahanna Story’, and ‘Nneka the Pretty Serpent’.

The remakes of the ‘Glamour Girls’, directed by Bunmi Ajakaiye and produced by Abimbola Craig, made history as it became the first Nollywood film to rank in the top five Netflix global charts. The film received mixed reviews from fans of Nollywood and film critics shortly after its release. It took the number one spot on Netflix in Nigeria, reaching the top 10 spot in 20 other countries worldwide.