• Monday, May 20, 2024
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‘Battle on Buka Street’, ‘Ijakumo’ to screen in global cinemas

‘Battle on Buka Street’, ‘Ijakumo’ to screen in global cinemas

After years of waiting for global penetration into the international cinema market, two Nollywood movies, “Battle on Buka Street” by Funke Akindele and Toyin Abrahams’ “Ijakumo: The Born Again Stripper” are set to debut across 11 cities across The United States of America and The United Kindom.

As part of the international partnership between Filmone and Regal cinemas, “Battle on Buka Street was released exclusively at Regal Theaters in 11 cities in the US including Atlanta, New York, Chicago, North Brunswick, Houston Texas, Los Angeles, Dublin, Long Island City, Columbia, and Silver Spring, on 30th December 2022 with advanced screening beginning on 29th December 2022, while Ijakumo will be exclusively released in the same theatres from the 13th to 19th of January, 2023 with advanced screening starting on January 12, 2023. Both movies are also screened at Odeon Cinemas UK but are limited releases as Battle on Buka Street started screening from 30th December to 5th January while Ijakumo screens from 13th to 19th January 2023.

What led to the trend?

The rise of Streaming services in Nollywood

Nollywood has become one of the latest major battlegrounds in the streaming wars as both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video have made sizeable moves into Africa’s most populous nation as they look to boost their subscribers, signing several deals in the past couple of years with local producers and studios for Nollywood original content. Contents like Far From Home, Anikulapo, King of Boys, King of Thieves, and Brotherhood which had a good run in the cinemas becoming the highest-grossing Nollywood movie of 2022 and is set to be released on Prime Videos at the tale end of January 2023 are factors that push the popularity of Nollywood films and foster more partnerships between local and foreign distributors.

Filmmakers are getting bolder

Nollywood filmmakers have opted to deviate against the norm and have dared to compete with their Hollywood rivals. Jade Osiberu, Kemi Adetiba, Ramsey Noah, and a few other filmmakers have begun to perceive themselves as filmmakers, not simply Nollywood filmmakers, and they are confident that they can make movies that the general public can watch and relate to while also telling their own native stories. Movies like “Lion Heart”, “Isoken”, “Wedding Party”, and “ King Of Boys”, “Omo ghetto: The saga” have screened in countries such as the US, UK Dubai, and some parts of Africa.

The Nigerian Music Industry

The phrase “Afrobeats to the world,” which refers to the success of the Nigerian music industry, has had an impact on other facets of the country’s creative sector, including food, fashion, art, and, of course, cinema. The phrase “Afrobeats to the world,” which refers to the global success of the Nigerian music industry, has had a spillover influence on other facets of the country’s creative industries, including food, art, fashion, and, of course, cinema. We are starting to notice the same pattern with Nollywood films having limited exhibition time in international theaters, much to how the worldwide audience gradually accepted Afrobeats and made it popular.

Read also: Titilola Ajayi premieres maiden movie, Aìmókàn

Nigerians as members of the Academy

The Academy, on June 28th, 2022, published the full list of invitees to join 10,000 academy members that take part in the Oscar voting process. The list included Funke Akindele-Bello, Daniel K. Daniel, and Blessing Effiom Egbe. In 2021, the Academy named Nigerian filmmakers, Mo Abudu and Ramsey Nouah, among 395 members of its 2021 class. While Nollywood actress, Genevieve Nnaji and Film director, Akin Omotoso, were selected as members of the class of 2020. In 2019 Omotola Jolade Ekehinde and Wunmi Mosaku were invited to the actor category list while Filmmaker Femi Odugbemi and Ngozi Onwurah were invited based on their work from “Battleground, Tinsel” and “Hang Time, The Body Beautiful”.

Having members of the Academy with Nollywood backgrounds has established relationships with foreign companies and provided an opportunity to collaborate and learn about economic and artistic trends that the film industry may use to attract attention from all around the world.

The Black Panther effect

Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is set to make history in Nigeria and become the first film to make N1 billion at the box office in Nigeria. Hollywood movies have in the past had a bulk of the revenue at the cinemas but none has come close to making such an amount of money. As part of the strategy to push the movie right into the heart of moviegoers in the country, Ryan Coogler together with the lead cast of the movie had a press conference and movie Premier in Lagos, Nigeria. Having gotten a good reception from fans in Nigeria and big numbers at the cinemas, the pathway for collaboration was created, bridging the gap between Nollywood producers and global audiences.

The Nollywood sector will transition from an experimental phase into a well-structured and purpose-driven phase in 2023 as businesses strive to adapt to patterns learned in earlier years and transform them into a culture that would in turn foster Nollywood’s expansion and influence.