Contrary to popular belief, we’re actually not yet in the New Nollywood Era. We’re still on a train taking us there. Nollywood is evolving rapidly and it’s clear that the demand for more entertaining content that addresses a lot of issues is rising. In recent years, there’s been larger consumption of local content by international audiences and this has influenced the quality and quantity of media content we produce and push out. Nollywood of now is certainly not the Nollywood of then.
Different Nollywood eras had their significant tropes and storytelling methods. Nollywood’s Golden Era which ran from the early sixties to the late eighties had reoccurring themes of moonlight storytelling infused with indigenous languages.
The second major boom of the industry which began in the 1990s to date has had an exceeding number of films surrounding cultism in universities, ritualism, little or no romance with a dash of wicked stepmothers. In the last six years, the film industry has been leaning towards a more glamorous portrayal of Nigerians. Which isn’t a bad thing per se but most times these movies come off as empty.
The new Nolly wave is all about creativity and contemporary methods of storytelling in the film industry. It’s about stepping out of the box and creating something entirely out of the ordinary because in case you haven’t noticed unorthodox and quirky is IN. Globally we’re in a time where representation and recognition is the norm, which our present Nollywood is yet to fully incorporate into its content. New Nolly is about expression and intentional storytelling. It’s not about bigger budgets (although that is needed), but about the experience a film gives its audience. No more stereotypical representation or flimsy comedies masquerading as films.
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I believe this creative era we’re being ushered into will be spearheaded by the youth, not limited to, but led by a demographic who understands the ever-changing nature of the 21st century. We have hundreds of us out here already breaking boundaries in the industry in the little ways they can. A younger generation of actors are taking over from those that helped put Nollywood where it is today and we’re totally here for it. Also with the influx of Nollywood content now available on Netflix for worldwide streaming, the new generation of filmmakers are able to showcase their work to a more diverse audience.
In the next ten years, filmmaking in Nigeria is going to have taken a sharp turn onto a new and exciting age. We’re sitting on the talent and creativity, it’s literary just a matter of time before we make our next stop in the New Nollywood Era.
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