Screenshot of Ikorodu Wood from Spotlight on CNN.

« »Ikorodu Wood“: Babatunde Sanni, Muiz Sanni, Malik Sanni and Fawas Aina have become social media sensations thanks to their ingenious methods of video production. The teenagers’ approach of parodying popular Hollywood and Nollywood (the Nigerian film industry), using rudimentary editing techniques and sharing them on digital platforms, have been an instant hit since their inception in 2017.

The “Ikorodu wood” film journey started when they started sharing videos on YouTube. They became famous for their hilarious impersonation of movies like “Money Heist”, “Squid Game” and others.

In April, Hollywood’s Tyler Perry recognized and applauded them to recreate some of his films.

In addition to sending a care package of professional cinema equipment in Ikorodu Bois last August, Netflix also showcased their creativity at the April 2021 Oscars, the annual film industry awards in the United States.

The success of Ikorodu Bois has offered hope to emerging and struggling filmmakers in Nigeria. After all, if these young people can make films that get global attention with cheap equipment and basic editing skills, then other aspiring filmmakers certainly have a chance too.

New Nollywood and digital platforms

Old Nollywood also known as Asaba movies (the term Asaba is derived from a town in Nigeria) are movies that existed in the late 1990s. Most old Nollywood movies were home videos, like the popular Living in Bondage by Chris Obi Rapu.

New Nollywood, according to Nigerian journalist Franklin Ugobude, refers to the contemporary cinematic wave which includes After “improved narrative complexity, aesthetic value and overall production quality.” These films contrast sharply with Old Nollywood films made “during the video boom” of the 1990s. Another key feature of New Nollywood is that fewer movies are being released on DVD. On the contrary, “most are theatrically released to many fans through cinemas or streaming platforms,” ​​says Ugobude. The best Nollywood movies of 2021 according to ok africa is “Faded awayby Daniel AdeminokanCollision course” by Bonlanle Austin Petersand “Swallowby Kunle Afolayan.

In 2020, Netflix launched in Nigeria and promoted a wave of content produced in Africa. Since then, he has commissioned a number of original television shows and films, the most recent of which was Kemi Adetiba’s seven-part series “King of Boys: The Return of the King.” Prior to its launch, the streaming giant paid for African content to be streamed on its platform.

Even though the Nigerian film industry has exploded, some aspects have remained the same. For example, over the years, Nigerian film producers have struggle to achieve international recognition due to repetitive storylines. These two moviesOsofia in London” (from Old Nollywood) and “10 days in Sun City” (from New Nollywood) have virtually identical scenarios. In both films, the main characters are either rural villagers or uneducated workers who have lived in Nigeria all their lives and suddenly have the opportunity to move abroad. However, once they’re gone, they find it difficult to navigate a world so different from their home country.Essentially, both films are about the culture shock resulting from globalization and migration.

One point that stands out from the comparison between New and Old Nollywood is the progression in the quality and quantity of films currently being produced in Nigeria. Nigerian film scripts are slowly changing. New Nollywood movies like “Omo Ghetto,” “king of boys,” “Wedding,” “Olotura,” “October 1st“, produced by Nollywood icons like Funke Akindele and Kunle Afolayan have become worldwide successes. The Prime timethe Nigerian online daily, reported that “Omo Ghetto” grossed NGN 468 million (approximately USD 1.1 million) in cinema revenue and NGN 636 million (approximately USD 1.5 million) at the box office. first movie, one of Nigeria’s leading film distribution companies, said “Wedding Party” grossed NGN 452 million (about US$1.1 million) in Nigerian cinemas. Undoubtedly, globalization and the rise of online streaming will continue to impact the movie industry, and Nollywood is no exception.

How Nollywood Movies Are Consumed

Nollywood VCDs displayed on a stand at the Kwakoe festival in Amsterdam Bijlmer. Image by Paul KellerJuly 9, 2006 (DC BY 2.0)

The success of Nollywood has increased the global demand for Nigerian Cultural Assets, especially as more and more streaming sites bring old masterpieces to life. Thanks to social media, movie memes like Tchidi Chikere’s 2014 comedy, “pretty liarshave made their way into modern pop culture. Not to mention the millions of viral videos and photographs of longtime movie characters Aki (born as Chinedu Ikezie) and Pawpaw (born as Osita Iheme), which aroused the interest of strangers.

@mroyiborebelAlaba Market Path♬ original sound – OYIBO REBEL

Nollywood has also tapped into the global market by including international players in its projects to gain wider appeal. “Half of a yellow sundirected by Biyi Bandele, starring Thandie Newton, Anika Noni Rose, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Ini Dima Okojie, included international actors such as Eric Anderson, Paul Hampshir and Roberto Davide. “Ruslaan Mumtaz”Namaste Wahala » which starred Bollywood celebrity Ruslaan Mumtaz is another notable example.

Film festivals have also played an important role in bringing Nollywood to new audiences. Several films have already been screened at various festivals around the world, winning a multitude of awards. In September 2019, Joel Kachi Benson’s film “Girls of Chibok” won Best Virtual Reality Story at the prestigious Venice International Film Festival. Similarly, at the Locarno Film Festival, the “Stories of Juju» was worth the Boccalino d’Oro Award for Best Film. Since its creation, “Eyimofe“, a film by Guardian Digital Studios (GDN), won several awards, including the Achille Valdata Prize at the 2020 Torino International Film Festival. Some film festivals have sections dedicated to Nigerian cinema, showing the structures, materials and people behind the country’s most important films.

Nigerian cinema has expanded beyond the country and is already making waves around the world. Ikorodu Bois and so many new generations of filmmakers have bridged the gap between Nollywood, social media and other film industries around the world.