Most people know that Nollywood is the leading motion picture industry in Africa and the second largest in the world, but very few know how the film industry in Nigeria began. The early stage and evolution of the industry was captured in a mini documentary by Lagos State tourism ministry, presented at the Cannes Film Festival.
Lagos and Cinema
The documentary titled ‘Lagos and Cinema’ produced by Golden Effects for the Lagos Tourism, was shown to visitors at the Lagos State Pavilion, at the Pantiero-Side, at the Film Festival in France.
The documentary shows how Lagos, the former capital of Nigeria and economic nerve of the country, has contributed in no small way to the growth and development of Nollywood, extending its reach to the various parts of the country.
The documentary was preceded by the unveiling of the ‘Cinema in Lagos’ journal at the festival, and a viral video-presentation by renowned filmmaker Kunle Afolayan, and actor turned politician, Desmond Elliot that attracted stakeholders in the film industry as well as fans of Nollywood to the pavilion.
The Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr Fola Adeyemi, emphasized that Lagos state has contributed more than any other state in the country and is a film business heaven.
“It is the roles and potential of Lagos as the base of the film world and tourism hub that we are bringing out. Lagos is the seat of Nollywood. Every great movie in Nigeria is usually shot in Lagos.”
History and culture
The professionally done video documentary was Voiced by Bimbo Manuel and featured insider accounts from key stakeholders including the Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture Mr Steve Ayorinde, Tade Ogidan and Kunle Afolayan two distinctive filmmakers in the country.
Guests at the pavilion were taken on the journey of Nigerian film evolution, from the colonial days when film was an instrument of propaganda for the government of the day, through the moments of the historic travelling theatre, up to the emergence of home videos and modern TV dramas christened Nollywood and the the return to the tradition of cinema
It shows industry legends like Adeyemi Afolayan, aka Ade Love, Moses Olaiya, aka Baba Sala, Hubert Ogunde, Ola Balogun and their outstanding works which are the foundations on which Nollywood thrives
In his vote of thanks, the secretary of the Lagos State Film and Video Censors Board, Mr Dele Balogun invited guests to consider shooting their next film projects In Lagos
Two guests – Jean-Antonio Duprat, a professor with the Institute of planning and development of the Sorbonne, France, and a French film producer Monorom Youk – agreed that Nollywood has achieved global recognition has brought Africa under the global limelight
The festival which is still ongoing.