Nollywood filmmaker and founder Zintramedia, Rex Moses has charged filmmakers to look within and produce more Nigerian stories.
Nigerian film industry has been making headlines in recent years for its contributions to the African film industry, especially with its unique blend of culture, tradition, and storytelling that has successfully captured the hearts of millions of people across the continent and beyond. As the industry continues to grow, there is a need for more original Nigerian stories to be told.
“Nigeria is country rich in culture and history, with a diverse population of over 200million people. Yet, many of the stories told in Nollywood films are not reflective of this diversity. Instead, many films rely on tired tropes and clichés, such as the love triangle or the rags to riches story. While these stories may be entertaining, they do not accurately represent the richness and complexity of Nigerian society.
“To truly revolutionize the African film industry, Nollywood needs to embrace more original Nigerian stories. These stories should reflect the diversity of Nigerian culture and traditions, and should be told from the perspectives of the people who live them”.
One example of an original Nigerian story that has been successfully adapted for film is the 2019 movie, “The Milkmaid”.
The movie, which was directed by Desmond Ovbiagele, tells the story of a Fulani milkmaid who confronts religious extremism in rural sub-Saharan Africa.
According to him, the film was praised for its nuanced portrayal of the complex issues facing the region, and was selected as Nigeria’s entry for the Academy Awards.
By telling more original Nigerian stories, Nollywood cannot only showcase the unique diversity of Nigerian culture, but also contribute to a more nuanced understanding of Africa as a whole. These stories can help to break down stereotypes and misconceptions, as well as promote a more accurate and empathetic portrayal of African societies. Telling more Nigerian stories can also help to create a more sustainable film industry.
“As more filmmakers embrace original stories, they can create a more unique and authentic brand that sets them apart from other film industries. This can help to attracts more funding and investment, and create more opportunities for Nigerian filmmakers to tell their stories on a global stage, he added.
By Rex Moses