History of Film in Nigeria

In this post, we review the History of Film in Nigeria. Here you will see how the film started in Nigeria and people that were involved when it all started. This article is useful to students, researchers as well as for curious learners.

The Nigerian aspect of filmmaking actually begins over five decades ago with people such as, Latola Films in1962 and also, the Calpeny Nigeria Limited, which anchored the escapade.

According to records, Latola Films was recognized as the only first film and also the earliest film production film in the country, which began film  production in the year 1962.

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History of Film in Nigeria
History of Film in Nigeria – Photo Source: https://www.youtube.com

More so, Calpeny Nigeria Limited was the company that produced the first Nigerian film, called the ‘Kongi’s Harvest’, which was  based on a play that was written by Wole Sonyika.

In 1980 many films produced in the country were then short plays, some were culled from books, the major challenge then was how to access resources, as well as, adequate facilities.

Besides such challenges, the Nigeria’s film industry was thriving. The industry actually grow from one challenge to another problem until the Nollywood was birthed, which is the apex body in charge of everything in the industry, from production, right to the distribution of produce in Nigeria.

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Nollywood was considered as a name that will resemble or be in similarity with other topnotch and big shots in the film industry, for example, the Bollywood and the Hollywood which are Indian film industry and the American film industry respectively.

Actors such as Kenneth Okonkwo, and Kanayo Kanayo and also Bod-Manuel Odogwu among other actors, are considered as those die hard Nigerian actors, and are also considered as those Nigerian actors, who actually made the first impression of what the Nigerian films are all about, and what they look like.

These set of actors have starred in some of the selected Igbo casts especially, when the Nigerian home film began, for example, the ‘Living in Bondage’, which was  produced then by Kenneth Nebue, and that was the time some of these films were shot with VHS cameras, and were also edited in television studios by using a gone extinct VCR machines.

A good number ofl Nigerian actors who took part in the making of Nollywood were Ola Balogun, and Eddie Ugbomah, and late Hurbert Ogunde, and Adeyemi Afolayan alias Ade Love who is a father to Kunle Afolayan, and Ladi Ladebo, and Moses Adejumo, and Adebayo Salami as well as, Afolabi Adesanya. Having said that, the film industry began some years back.

The Nigeria’s film industry came to be some decades ago. The film is made up of English language films, known as Bollywood, and the Yoruba film industry, and the Kano film industry, which also knoen as Kannywood – this area of film production also produces films in other languges, such as, Hausa language, and Igbo language, including other indigenous languages in the country.

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More so, what they called, the direct-to-video, that is, the VHS, VCD and DVD distribution system, that they considered as the hallmark of Nollywood in the country was actually started in the year, 1992 with this film called, Living in Bondage, it was however, the very first  successful movie that was shot straight-to-video.

It was that development that heralded a new dawn in the Nigerian film industry, which has actually demonstrated what the industry participants can accomplished with little resources and in the aspect of lowering barriers that could hinder the entry into reaching a good number of talented filmmakers.

Nigeria is a country of diverse cultural traditions and diverse lifestyles, and is made up of over 180 million people, and about 300 tribes with over 500 languages.

These diversities have offer quite a wealth of materials, whereby the Nigeria’s filmmakers have skilfully draw out some simple stories that have to do with the daily life which relates to Nigerians, and they actually, shared almost a similar culture and a similar heritage across the country and the Nigerian diaspora.

Therefore, it is these Nigeria’s colourful stories and their entertaining stories that eventually capture the imagination of Nigerians and other audience out there.

The film industry in the the country has succeeded in echoing Nigerians life-experiences, it has also feature a strong moral theme as well as, African juju, that is black magic.

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Nevertheless, this present generations of Nigeria’s filmmakers, have indeed, focused on that area of harder-hitting social issues like, rape, some called it, Tango with Me, and domestic abuse, also called, Ije and the one they called, cancer, that is, ‘living funeral’.

Nollywood generally in their acting, is considered and recognized as  expressing the depth and breadth of Nigeria’s and even Africa’s cultural diversity. It makes Nigerians to be able to tell their own story.

The Nollywood has distinctively tell the story of Nigeria’s diversity, and this has held a broad appeal to the Nigerians, and even at that pace of success, the films production in the country is actually tended to be low, in terms of technical quality.

Films that have predictable storylines are the kind of films that have been churned out into the public, and these are according to tried, as well as, tested formulae.

For some years now, filmmakers in the country have made many films without recourse to formal script, and even actors and actresses are making up their own lines as they go along.

Just of recent, I think is some years now, filmmakers in the country are actullay working hard in order to make sure that the amateur in the country are shed out of practices as well as, working towards enhancing the quality of their products.

For the most part,, the country’s film industry has informal structure such that is understood by filmmakers and it had worked for Nigeria’s filmmakers.

The Nigerian film industry has actually spread across Africa, and Europe, and for the most part, Nigerian films are also loved in other places like Asia.

And as a result many Nigerian actors and Nigerian actresses, who were simple people, have gotten international recognition, as well as fame, they have earned fortune beyond what they could have think, just by starring in a good number of Nigerian films.

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The Nigeria’s film industry came to be some decades ago. The film is made up of English language films, known as Bollywood, and the Yoruba film industry, and the Kano film industry, which also known as Kannywood – this area of film production also produces films in other languages, such as, Hausa language, and Igbo language, including other indigenous languages in the country.

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Joseph Athanasius

Joseph Athanasius is a Content Developer at InfoGuideNIgeria.com. InfoGuide Nigeria is a team of Resource Persons and Consultants led by Ifiokobong Ibanga. Page maintained by Ifiokobong Ibanga. If you need a personal assistance on this topic, kindly contact us.

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