Photo Credit: NOLLYWOOD MIRROR® 2014.
How To Break Into Nollywood Without Stress
~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima
Nollywood is estimated to be worth US$5.1 billion (₦853.9 billion ) as at 2014 and continues to be Africa’s largest film industry and the second largest in the world in number of annual film productions.
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.
Nollywood contributed in boosting the rebased Nigerian economy and increasing the gross domestic product (GDP) to $510 billion from $262 billion making Nigeria the largest economy in Africa and the world’s 24th largest economy. And Nollywood is the hope of over 5.3 million unemployed Nigerians with more than 1.8 million joining the congested job market every year according to the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. Nollywood may not offer as many dream jobs as blue chip companies in Africa’s most populous country, but it is the second largest employer after agriculture with over one million people engaged in film production and distribution of the millions of copies of home videos sold in Nigeria and in other countries in Africa where Nollywood movies provide daily home entertainment and made the stars household names. But over 80% of the movies are pirated with impunity and the World Bank estimates that for every legitimate copy sold, nine others are pirated.
As much as Nollywood is booming and employing hundreds of thousands of people, breaking into the film industry and making it to stardom is not easy, because of the fierce competition for roles among the millions of aspiring actors and actresses who dream of being the next Omotola Jolade-Ekeinde, Genevieve Nnaji, Ramsey Noah and Mike Ezuruonye. There are always auditions every week, but majority of the unknown aspiring actors don’t often make the final cast. Many are called, but only few will be chosen. The producers and marketers prefer casting popular faces to attract the legions of their fans to buy the DVDs of the movies or go to the cinemas to watch them. So, the famous names make the posters while the unknown faces are mere shadows in the background. Yes, it is normal and it is nothing new, because the celebrated stars of today were among the unknown wannabes of yesterday until they paid their dues and had their breakthrough.
Highly recommended for you:
NOLLYWOOD HUSTLERS, starring Ramsey Noah, Uche Jombo and Monalisa Chinda is a must watch for anyone who wants to break into Nollywood.
CHEATERS Book 2 Chapter 1, starring Jackie Appiah and Adjetey Anna and also watch CHEATERS Book 2 Chapter 2.
PS: Read the complete article in the second edition of NOLLYWOOD MIRROR® coming out in June 2014.