Covering Cinema From All Across The African Diaspora

Nigeria's Nollywood - Future "Oscar-Winning" Industry

Forget about trying to be an "Oscar-winning industry" and instead just focus on producing higher caliber projects. This need to seek approval from the west - essentially emulating style and even substance - shouldn't be the ultimate goal, and possibly hinders any opportunities Nollywood has to find an identity that's entirely its own - one that other industries will be forced to acknowledge and even reckon with.

However, it's great that the flurry of worldwide attention Nollywood has received in recent years has led to a "great deal of soul-searching" amongst those in the industry, and that there is a growing desire to evolve - possibly ensuring that, sooner than later, the kind of simplistic, sub-par productions that have almost always dominated the market, will become the exception. reports the following:
Nigeria's success with its Nollywood film industry is leading to a great deal of soul-searching. The country's censorship board NFVB has attempted to licence film distributors and is making pronouncements about how Nollywood films should reflect "a more positive Nigerian Image internationally". Kiszo DuFay learnt his film-making skills at the Hollywood Film Institute but he returned to Nigeria two years ago to make films in his home country and to launch the African Roving Film School as a way of raising skills locally. Russell Southwood spoke to him last week.

Q: What's your company Taradome Entertainment Group do?

It used to be a distribution company but now we do film productions. We want to tell African stories that are done well and we have various projects in development at different stages.

Q: What are the projects?

We've got three projects that we're hoping to realise starting next year. We've finished scripting two of them. One is Lagos Jumping, a buddy-style movie done in an African way. It deals with drug dealing via South Africa and narrated in the American style.

The second project is The Drive which is about three African doctors from different parts of the continent who are friends. They attend a medical conference and miss their flight but they have to get back to attend the wedding of one of them. They have to drive to the next country to get another flight and it's about the obstacles they encounter. It looks at the different prejudices there are about being different Africans.

The third one is an experimental project using Shakespeare's Othello to make a psychological thriller and we've not finished scripting it yet. It's a different twist on the relationship between Iago and Othello. We're trying to do all of them on internationally costed budgets and we're looking internationally as well as locally for the best possible persons to act and make them.

Q: How did the African Roving Film School come about?

It was born out of necessity. When I came back to do production, the skills needed were grossly wanting. I was trained in LA and I thought how can I have an impact on the industry? If you train someone, they'll never lose that.

Q: Where do you think the Nigerian film industry will be in five years time?

It will have produced an Oscar-winning product with great quality and talent. We have have the creative talent: the writers, the actors and the musicians. We haven't had the proper platform to showcase their talent. These are the kind of people we'd like to go after.
You can read the entire interview here: NOLLYWOOD WANTS AN OSCAR


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