A recent industry analysis has revealed that Nigeria’s film industry is taking the world by storm, with over US$6.4 billion in revenue and more than 2,500 movies per year.
The reports, produced by First Generation Mortgage Bank (FGMB), state that Nollywood, the Nigerian film industry, is currently one of the world’s top film industries, producing more movies each year than Hollywood (the American film industry).
Dr Young-Tobi Ekechi, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of First Generation Mortgage Bank (FGMB), has claimed that Nollywood is worth more than US$6.4 billion, making it one of the fastest-growing industries in the country and more lucrative than the Online Casino Games industry, which earned more than US$600 million in 2019.
Despite having the world’s 27th-ranked GDP, Nigeria enjoys rising success in the film industry. Explore the rise of Nollywood to the position of the world’s most rapidly expanding film industry.
With over 2,500 films each year, Nollywood is only surpassed in size by Bollywood as the most extensive global film industry. Although Nollywood primarily refers to movies shot in Nigeria, it also includes films spoken in English, shot in Ghana or the United States and elsewhere.
The reports reveal that a group of Nigerians, including Ola Balogun, Hubert Ogunde, and Eddie Ugboma, started making movies soon after Nigeria gained its independence in 1960. These directors are today recognized as the founding fathers of Nollywood. Afterwards, cinematography became wildly popular in Nigeria, fueled partly by the proliferation of cinemas around the country and, more specifically, in Lagos, the country’s commercial hub, where both foreign and local films were presented.
“Nollywood films suffered throughout the 1980s due in part to the scarcity of necessary filmmaking gear. As a result, the industry became stale, and directors were forced to change the scope of their movies to deal with cultural and societal themes, shifting focus on the plot’s quality rather than the filmmaking’s quality. In addition, independent filmmakers were capturing their films using retail cameras and marketing them to an at-home audience despite financial constraints,” Ekechi explains.