Nigeria’s film industry
One sector of Nigeria's vibrant economy is its film industry. The cinema of Nigeria, often referred to as Nollywood, grew quickly in the 1990s and 2000s and became the second largest film industry in the world in number of annual film productions, placing it ahead of the United States and behind only India The Nigerian film industry produces more than 50 home videos and films per week. Nigerian cinema is Africa's largest movie industry in terms of value and the number of movies produced per year. Although Nigerian films have been produced since the 1960s, the country's film and video industry only got stimulated after the rise of affordable digital filming and editing technologies.
With more than a million people, Nollywood is the country’s second largest employer. The Nigerian film industry, also known as Nollywood, produces about 50 movies per week, second only to India’s Bollywood—more than Hollywood in the United States. Although its revenues are not on par with Bollywood’s and Hollywood’s, Nollywood still generates an impressive $590 million annually. Believing that if the industry is properly managed, a million more jobs could be created in the sector, the World Bank is currently assisting the Nigerian government to create a Growth and Employment in States project to support the entertainment industry, along with other industries.
Koïchiro Matsuura, former director-general of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), says that “film and video production are shining examples of how cultural industries, as vehicles of identity, values and meanings, can open the door to dialogue and understanding between peoples, but also to economic growth and development.” The African film industry is not only an entertainment industry; it is also a moneymaker. Film industry analysts believe that the Nigerian cinema is the most popular on the continent.
Straight-to-video movies are shot on location all over Nigeria with hotels, homes, and offices often rented out by their owners and appearing in the credits. The most popular filming locations are the cities of Lagos, Enugu, Abuja and Asaba, Nigeria. However, distinct regional variations appear between the northern movies made primarily in the Hausa language, the western Yoruba movies, the Edo language movies shot in Benin City, the Igbo movies shot in the southeast and the Epie movies shot in the south. Many of the big producers have offices in Surulere, Lagos.
Cinematic films are typically shot in studios. Other parts that maybe expensive to replicate in the studio are shot on locations. However, not all production outfits who make films for the cinemas shoot in the studio, some still make use of locations throughout. Major production companies like Golden Effects studios, the Audrey Silver Company, Mainframe studios and few others shoot most part of their movies in the studio, especially the interior scenes.
Nollywood production success hinges on low cost production. On average, producing a movie in Nigeria costs between $25,000 and $70,000, says the British Broadcasting Corporation. The films are produced within a month and are profitable within two to three weeks of release.