Welcome to Nollywood

Welcome to Nollywood

By Jamie Meltzer

Synopsis

Welcome to Nollywood takes you inside the Nigerian film industry, which has exploded in the last ten years. Now the most popular cinema in all of West Africa - more popular even than imports of Hollywood or Bollywood films - the Nigerian film industry has distinguished itself by shooting all films (called video-films) on digital video. This has allowed production schedules to be compressed (films are shot in several days) and immediately brought to market (distribution consists of bringing films to Idumota electronics market in Lagos and selling them for home-viewing). The sheer volume of Nigerian video-films is staggering: one estimate has a film being produced for each day of the year. Nollywood is now the third largest film industry in the world, generating 286 million dollars per year for the Nigerian economy. And yet this vibrant, profitable industry is virtually unknown outside of Africa.

Jamie Meltzer, director of Off the Charts: The Song Poem Story, (which premiered on PBS Independent Lens series In 2003) has created a fascinating look into this newly emerging film industry, exploring its inner workings, economic challenges, and diverse array of colorful films. Traveling to the country's chaotic capitol, Lagos, Meltzer spent two months following three of Nigerias hottest directors, each different in personality and style, as they shot their films about love, betrayal, war, and the supernatural. Welcome to Nollywood tells the stories of these three directors and their latest productions, while also using interviews with scholars, actors, and journalists who celebrate (in insightful and often humorous ways) Nollywood as a whole; its unique character and genres, as well as its impact on the culture of West Africa and Africans at home and abroad.
Nigeria 58 minutes 2007 English
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Awards
  • ReelWorld Award for Outstanding International Documentary (Winner) - 2008 ReelWorld Film Festival (Toronto, Canada)
Festivals
  • Berks Movie Madness 2008 (Reading, United States)
  • Mendocino Film Festival 2008 (Mendocino, United States)
  • New York African Film Festival 2008 (New York, United States)
  • Pop Montreal 2008 (Montreal, Canada)
  • The Institute of Contemporary Arts 2008 (London, United Kingdom)
  • The Institute of Contemporary Arts 2008 (London, United Kingdom)
  • AFI Film Festival 2007 (Los Angeles, United States)
  • Avignon Film Festival 2007 (Avignon, France)
  • Full Frame Documentary Film Festival 2007 (Durham, United States)
  • Harlem Parks Film Festival 2007 (New York, United States)