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The Nigerian Movie Industry (Nollywood) – The Origin (History)

Here is an abridged model (yet richly enlightening) from one of the articles i wrote regarding this problem matter.


Film exhibition started to thrive in the course of the Colonial generation, with Glover Memorial Hall playing host to a range of memorable films considered by means of “ability Nigerians”, in August 1903. However, the non-availability of proper data reflecting the identify of the debut movie exhibited has created a lapse inside the precedent inventory. Notwithstanding the lacuna, the way had been paved for the exhibition of greater overseas movies at the Hall and different precise venues.

The emotionally traumatizing “Master – Servant” relationship, evident in the steady assaults, batteries, intimidation, segregation, victimization, finished by using the Colonial masters on the colonized, with darkened clouds of resentment, vengeance, thirst for freedom, giving manner to splattering drops of such mind, instinctively projected through the colonized intermittent in-subordinate actions, commenced to spread amongst the blacks. The British knew they had to thread with caution in the event that they nevertheless desired to play “god” of their lives while films including Tales of Manhattan, Trailer horn, Tarzan collection commenced to stir up a revolution inside the hearts of Blacks throughout the globe.

Aware of the lethal energy of insurgency which will be unleashed thru the Film medium, the British out of worry for his or her lives and possible loss of the Queen’s sovereignty took the bull by way of the horn, and swiftly created a Colonial Film Censors Board (FCB) in 1933 to censor and classify films earlier than they had been launched for visible consumption by means of the general public. Following the establishment of the board, Films along with “The primitive, primitive man, Dixie, Buffalo Bill, The Keys of the Kingdom, Sleepy Town Girl were tagged ‘appropriate’ to be watched, while Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Clive of India, The Isle of Forgotten Sins, House of Frankenstein had been taken into consideration mistaken for viewing.

The Censor’s frame underwent a metamorphosis method into the Federal Board of Film Censors (FBFC) from the aforementioned, and the laws from which the transformed frame derived its powers ranged from the 1948 Cinematograph Laws of Nigeria, the Cinematograph Laws of 1963, to the 1963/sixty four Cinematograph Law and Regulations. The present National Film and Video Censors Board came into existence via virtue of decree, now Act eighty five of 1993. The introduction of Nigeria’s Independence (1960) and the Republican fame (1963), heralded the sunrise of a new generation in all sectors.

“The Yoruba Travelling Theatre Group” of the 60’s and 70’s may be referred to as the “Fountain Head” of movie productions in Nigeria. The veterans with high-quality Theatrical talents and top notch performances took their works past the level, and dove into the sea of film productions the usage of the Celluloid format. Notable film makers at the Roll call of Honour in the course of the Celluloid growth generation of the 70’s include Ola Balogun, Eddie Ugbomah, past due Herbert Ogunde, Adeyemi Afolayan a.Okay.A Ade Love (father of Kunle Afolayan of the Irapada repute), Ladi Ladebo, Moses Adejumo, Adebayo Salami and Afolabi Adesanya.

The listing of documented films produced at some point of the 70’s generation and transcending particularly into the 80’s is truly astounding and is going to reveal that the Movie Industry has been round plenty longer, contrary to the ‘1992 perception syndrome’ most have been injected with. Such works include Kongi Harvest (1971), Alpha (1972), Bull Frog in the Sun (1974), Amadi (1975), Ajani Ogun (1975), Muzik Man (1976), Bisi, Daughter of the River (1977), Ija Ominira (1978), Aiye (1979), Kadara (1980), Jaiyesimi (1980) Efunsetan Aniwura (1981), Cry Freedom (1981),Ija Orogun (1982) Owo L’Agba (1982)

The price of manufacturing films in that technology became financially again breaking, with Nigerians similarly irritating the efforts of the filmmakers with the aid of opting to look at films of occidental and oriental origin at the Cinemas and Exhibition centres, instead of the locally produced ones. The Cowboy movies had been exhilarating to observe while the Chinese films paraded among others, the Legendary “Bruce Lee” in (Lo Wei’s, The Big Boss (1971), Fist of Fury (1972), Way of the Dragon (1972), Enter the Dragon (1973), The Game of Death launched in 1978) who exhibited Martial Arts dexterity, obviously a combating method alien, yet fascinating to us at that time.

Indian films in the past due 60’s and well into the 70’s paraded famend names like Rajesh Khanna, Dharmendra Singh Deol, Mumtaz, Amitabh Bachchan, Anil kapoor, Hema Malini, and produced hits such as “Bobby”, “Sholay”, “Kabhi Kabhi”, “Dharamveer”, “Amar Akbar Anthony”. Their stars displayed amazing performing capabilities against the backdrop of affection topics, and ear captivating songs coupled with synchronized dance steps, produced with sound and computer graphics, although incomparable with what obtains today bought over the indigenes loyalty for their films.

Thus, the Movie Founding Fathers commenced to face the challenges of recouping their investments, which gradually became truly an not possible project, an anthem they constantly rendered plenty to the pain of capability financers. They counted their losses and licked their wounds sustained inside the financial war with every film they released. The deluge of VCRS within the 80’s created a paradigm shift from the Cine to the VHS layout, which made productions less difficult, quicker and less expensive by using a milestone in contrast to the former. Cinema homes and different Exhibition centres have been ultimately shut down and the Baton of Cine film making slipped from the palms of the Founding founders as they tried handy over the film baton to the following era in the stipulated Baton Exchange Zone. The dream of becoming a re-nowned Movie Industry changed into shattered when the go with the flow of the Film Relay cycle changed into damaged.

Home Videos have been produced which served as an alternative to the cinemas, and the name evidently stems from the reality that you can seat inside the comfort of your private home and watch the films produced in the VHS layout via your VCR. Film Makers capitalized on the profits of the Home Video concept supplied, and started out producing movies the use of the Yoruba language as the manner of verbal exchange. However, the year “1992” has time beyond regulation been extensively time-honored because the triggering length of Home Video productions, with Ken Nnebue’s “Living in Bondage” stated to be the primary film made for industrial purposes the usage of the Igbo/English language.

The movie absolute confidence struck the “Movie Well”, which invoked a mass exodus of human beings from different spheres into the artwork of film productions, having seen the opportunities that lay within the Gold mine place. Thus, did the Home Video Industry tagged “Nollywood” emerge.

The reality that “Living in Bondage” became ascribed with the honour of being the primary film made for industrial purposes and the only upon which the Home Video revolution turned into allegedly based on, culminating into Nollywood, did not go unchallenged. Late Alade Aromire earlier than his dying, ignited a controversial fireplace, insisting that his and now not Ken’s movie have to were conferred with such an honour. When confronted by using a reporter on the problem he’d said that Ken had produced over 40 Yoruba films, and had commenced with “Aje N’yami”.

There were a flourishing movie enterprise earlier than he came on board, so ken couldn’t have started out it.
The confusion stems from the Censors board of the day, whose hands were amputated by using the Law it drew its powers from, (1963/64 Cinematograph Law and Regulations). The powers conferred on it to modify the Industry did not increase to “Home Video”. The present National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) did now not exist until 1994. On this raging difficulty, Late Alade Armoire produced films consisting of Ekun, Omije (pts 1-3), Obirin Asiko, Ayo ni o, Adun, Orire which were launched to the public between 1985 and 1991.

Ken Nnebue nevertheless insists that his movie “Living in Bondage” was the first Home Video movie made for business functions. His stand on the problem is rather shaky, having prior to the manufacturing of Living in Bondage sponsored business films in Yoruba language which includes Ina Ote, Aje N’iyami and others. Let’s now not neglect the barrage of Yoruba TV dramas that were mass produced on VHS tapes and bought to the public earlier than 1992. One can not fail to mention the legendary Eddie Ugbomah’s movie “The Great Attempt” (1989), which could have made history because the 1st Nigerian cine movie inside the video tape layout to were censored by way of the defunct Federal Board of Film Censors (FBFC) based totally on a “special concession” granted him formally via the permanent secretary of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture at that point.

Unfortunately the strong contents projected within the movie had been taken into consideration unsuitable for public viewing through the Board, as a result the film turned into in no way launched. Tunde Alabi -Hundeyin’s “Iyawo Alhaji” is formally on document as the first commercial (direct to exhibition hall) video movie to be censored and classified via the NFVCB in 1994 on the National Theatre, (Cinema Hall) Iganmu. Despite the arguable hearth raised, the global exposure given to “Living in Bondage” over the years forever imputed the movie into our memory banks because the flag bearer of the Home Video revolution of all times. People, regardless of Nationality, race, gender, and tribe are confronted with demanding situations on a daily basis. Some of these issues are of a global nature, even as others are peculiar to numerous societies. Movies offer people the opportunity of telling their very own memories, unfastened from alien interference.

Nigerian film producers leveraged on this and produced movies projecting our lifestyle, culture, nearby fashion, burning troubles, problems plaguing our society, regardless of the choking stench of tribalism perceived in all sectors. Movies have been made for the viewing pleasure of Nigerians first of all, (before the mass exportation craze), with messages to encourage, inspire, reprove, and accurate anomalies in particular in the Political, Social systems, to eschew violence and all varieties of evil.

The tactical use of the English language as the verbal exchange tool, advertising strategies and execution through the usage of trailers through T.V, Posters (now banned in Lagos State), recorded a boost in sales, and accelerated the viewership base beyond the seashores of our Nation to countries along with Ghana, Togo, South Africa, Kenya, U.S.A or even the U.K.. Unfortunately, the movies churned out at an alarming fee had been technically poor in key regions considered as germane within the manufacturing manner.

The famous “shoe string price range” tag has come to be synonymous with the Industry’s antecedent of making movies on extraordinarily low budgets in comparison to different movie our bodies in other international locations, ($10- $15,000 initially), but presently stretches to $25,000, with a microscopic range of producers in addition stretching the reputedly economic limit to N 7,10,20 Million and greater. The movies were and are nevertheless shot dominantly between 10-12 days, through Beta cam (now HDV cameras), had been produced in the VHS layout (now VCD & DVD), replicated in mass and sold by using the Marketers who additionally doubled as Distributors.

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