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How Nollywood Dominates Int’l Film Festival

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From million-dollar budgets to Netflix partnerships , Nigeria’s film industry, Nollywood, has burgeoned in the past decade. Nollywood films have dominated international film festivals, making the industry a creative force to be reckoned with.
But with more movies being made abroad, funded by foreign investors or directed by Africans in the diaspora, it’s no wonder there’s a growing debate in and outside the industry on what exactly counts as a Nollywood movie today.
“It’s not a term that’s as simply defined,” said 31-year-old Nigerian-American filmmaker, Faraday Okoro . “One person’s criteria may be different from the next.”
Okoro is the writer and director of the heist thriller, Nigerian Prince, the first movie to win the AT&T/Tribeca “Untold Stories” initiative, an inclusive film programme run by AT&T and the Tribeca Film Institute that helps diverse filmmakers and awards $1 million in funding to the winning script.
Nigerian Prince with its diasporan lens and plot about the notorious 419 phenomena, particularly the popular email scam that targets Westerners, represents an emerging crop of movies that are expanding the scope and definition of the Nollywood film. For Okoro, the movie, like him, has a dual citizenship because despite its foreign funding, Nigerian Prince was set mainly in Lagos with a majority Nollywood cast, except for its leading stars, the African-American Antonio Bell who plays a Nigerian-American, Eze, and the Nigerian-American, Chinaza Uche.
In the past, the term Nollywood did not just refer to a direct-to-video filmmaking industry but also the guerilla filmmaking process where movies were made with any tools available. Nollywood has since matured into a million-dollar industry. It is today featuring both the low-budget movies that paved the way for its success and high-budget ones, made locally and abroad, that signal its future.
And that future is looking increasingly bright owing to the growth of Nollywood’s two sizable markets: Africans on the continent and Africans in the diaspora, with the latter wielding more economic power than the former on a per capita basis, especially as more Africans migrate to the West. The diaspora’s financial clout is evident in their high remittances back to the continent , estimated at $37.8 billion in 2017. And the rising appetite among Africans back home can be seen in investments in movie theatres and calls for more.
Nollywood was built on the idea of Nigerians telling Nigerian stories for Nigerians, and that broadened to storytelling by Africans for Africans as Nollywood collaborated with and recruited talents from other parts of the continent. As such, through its filmmaking process and range of stories, the industry has long reflected the live experiences of its audience, thus necessitating its wider definition today.
One particular trait that is endemic to the industry is the Nigerian entrepreneurial spirit and that is seen in the evolution of distribution channels from the inexpensive VHS tapes and players to movies on low grade video-CDs and now to streaming platforms such as irokotv, SceneOneTV, Netflix and YouTube; all of which allow Africans in the diaspora with better internet connectivity to access them.
For this fast-adapting industry, evolution is also about responding to the demands and realities of globalisation as the industry sets its distribution sights beyond the West, seizing opportunities wherever they rise. China-based Pay-TV operator StarTimes, for instance, is working with movie distributors in China to export Nollywood content to the Chinese market.
“Nollywood isn’t looking into getting into Hollywood. They’re more interested in their work getting beyond the shores of Nigeria…and to get some monies back for the industry,” explains Shaibu Husseini, a Nigerian Nollywood film critic and jury member of the African Movie Academy Awards.
Contrary to other film critics who see the emergence of high-quality cinema from Nigeria as a deviation from an old “stigmatized” Nollywood or the rise of a “new Nollywood,” Husseini asserts it is simply an inevitable evolution with the times as the idea of Nollywood grows into an umbrella term for films produced by Nigerians.
Husseini says an entirely Nollywood film is a movie by a Nigeria-based filmmaker, produced and shot on the continent with a relatable narrative, predominantly Nigerian cast and local/industry-driven funding.
Nonetheless, films like Nigerian Prince by diaspora-based Nigerians will still get due recognition back home. Africa-based awards like AMAA have special categories for diaspora films and storytellers. This addresses any concerns from domestic filmmakers regarding competing with non-local players in the industry on an uneven playing field.

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I’m Eager To Find Love Again -Tiwa Savage

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Nigerian singer, Tiwa Savage, has declared her desire to find love and experience once again. The Koroba Crooner shared her deepest wish with her fans and followers via her instagram page. The number one African bad girl is highly optimistic that her prince charming will seek her out soonest as she is ready to be found and pampered with love.
Tiwa shared a picture of herself as she looked gorgeously dressed in a beautifully tailored pink dress for Toyin Lawani’s wedding reception. She captioned it ‘somebody’s son will find me one day.
Savage was married to Tunji Balogun popularly know as Tee Billz Balogun on November 23, 2013 the couple held their traditional marriage at the Ark in Lekki, while their white wedding was held on April 26,2014 at the Armani Hotel, Dubai.
In 2015, Tiwa gave birth to her first child with Tee Billz. However, in 2016 the singer announced the crash of her marriage as she accused her husband of financial recklessness, drug addiction and abandonment.

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Burna Boy Drinks From Grammy Award Plaque

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It is no news that Burna Boy was nominated by the organisers of the grammy awards event and won the award with his popular album Twice As Tall. The award remains a highlight for all the nominations, awards won and every other achievement so far in his musical career.
The self acclaimed African Giant was out clubbing with friends over the weekend and made sure to take along his grammy award plague. In the viral video which surfaced on the internet, the kilometer singer was seen in the club in the company of friends as they celebrated his taking receipt of his grammy win.
In the course of their celebration Odogwu held out the gold plague as champaign was poured into it after which he drank the entire content. The video has gone viral and got social media users talking and expressing diverse opinions, while a popular boy has criticised the Afro fusion singer for taking his plague to a club, noting he and his plague have begun a nation wide tour and may visit all the 774 local government areas in Nigeria.
Social media users have become defence ministers for Burna Boy and they have slammed the blog while hailing the artite, noting the grammy win was well deserved and he can celebrate and do whatever makes him happy with his plague.
Dansonko said: “Celebrate your wins, you worked for it, you deserve it and no one can tell you otherwise.

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Alibaba, Banky W, Others Attend Wizkid’s Debut Album’s 10th Anniversary

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On June 12, 2021, Grammy Award winning music star, Wizkid celebrated the 10th anniversary of his debut album, ‘Super Star’. In a documentary shared on Wizkid’s insa stories, industry giants like Bankyw, Alibaba, Femi Kuti, Basket Mouth and others took turns to speak on the 30-year-old singers evolution since his successful debut.
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the release of the album under BankyW’s Eme, Wizkid released a docu-series titled. “A super star’ made in Lagos on his you tube page and shared across his social media handles.
Speaking in the docu-series, wizkid reflects on his childhood, recalling his early days in Surelere and being the last child of his parents. Wizkid took time to share his experience in BankyW’s Enyire Maths Entertainment (EME) which signed him and released the album.
“Getting signed to Bankyw was one of the amazing things that happened to me, it was just an amazing moment for me, it changed my life,” Wizkid said.

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