Film making is as old as human civilisation itself. From the era of the Roman Amphitheatre to the various early stage plays in ancient British Empire, to list but a few, the idea in creating plays that entertains the public have been germane in logic, to the point of using such medium to create gainful employment to actors.
The contemporary thinking however goes beyond just creating gainful financial reward to those involved in creating this niche. To ensuring that contents so created contribute to the GDP and indeed, generate much desired foreign reserve for the government, professionals are investing in talents in the country.
And this is where the challenge of technology, finances, human capital and a state of the art TV production and film making forum comes to place.
First, it is important to accept that beyond the availability of the necessary technology, finances and technical know-how to move the industry from adding a paltry 1.5 per cent to the national GDP, there is the need to widen its scope to accommodate as much talents and seek a place, either as actors, script writers, directors, etc; in Nollywood’s place of stars.
That is, creating a fresh-from-the-kitten kind of environment that discovers, harnesses and nurtures talents to compete on same global scales as the Grammys, and other such events that promotes individual actors, directors, script writers, etc, to worldwide acclaim and recognition.
It is on this ground, and having as a Nigerian, a movie lover, a media critic and a believer in local contents, reviewed events in the country’s movie/entertainment industry, suggest to stakeholders in Nollywood, and would-be executive producers to promote through whatever means necessary, the upcoming “Nollywood Idol” that seeks to give room to young and aspiring wanna-be actors, script writers and Directors.
Benneth Joshua, who is an entertainment columnist said it is no secret thousands of movies are produced by Nollywood producers and directors yearly, which has so far ranked Nollywood the second largest movie, after Bollywood.
“In 2014, Nollywood was estimated at about five billion dollars. A year after, it added over 1.5 per cent to the GDP of Nigeria. Two years later, 2016, Nollywood was valued at figures three times that number.
“To add to this statistics, from 2014 to date, the Nigerian movie industry has released over 3000 movies, as it struggles to meet the growing demands for its contents in Africa, Asia, America and the rest of the world,” he stressed.
While this achievement has left the rest of the civilised world in awe, it has equally thrown up yet another, unintended reality – the race for quality, timely and poignant contents that addresses not just tribal, local or religious concerns, but global issues.
This new development is relevant to give the country an important place in world conversation. A place that guarantees that global trends are interpreted by Nollywood’s contents to project the African, and in particular, the Nigerian narrative.
“This is “filmplomacy;” a generative term that guarantees that movie contents tell the story of a people, in a productive sense, to the rest of the world,” he said.
To this end, the upcoming reality TV series “Nollywood Idol” is very much significant in raising a new breed of TV production experts to take the country and the continent to a new level.
Experts also revealed that the TV/Internet Talent Hunt series will do much more in giving individuals with talent and passion a level playing ground to pursue a career in the Nigerian movie industry.
Like other TV productions in its genres, the eight month-long series targets participants from four locations – the North Central, South-South, South- East and South-West to be part of an auditioning process across 10 Nigerian cities. One can only believe that the grand finale of this process will be held in Abuja, bearing in mind the security situation in the country.
Another concern that makes Abuja the appropriate location for the final of the epoch making TV production, is sequel to the need to guarantee the safety of all 56 contestants who are to be housed for 13 weeks in a preferably secured environment with 24/7 electricity supply and steady portable water supply.
Beside the peculiar national GDP, individual income and continental prestige that comes from the popularity attached to Nollywood movies. Nollywood movies have helped consolidate home fronts.
The forthcoming Nollywood Idol will further consolidate on this through a captivating eviction process that will ensure viewers contribute to the work of judges on the show, by voting to retain or evict housemates. The reward for the audience-participation is a cache of prizes to be won weekly.
If this project, whoever the sponsors are, comes to fruition, a whole lot including admitting fresh and dynamic minds into the country’s movie industry, to usher in a new era, would have been achieved.
This way, Nollywood would be on the pedestal for greater things ahead.