NOLLYWOOD Just doing it

25 minutes Documentary

Director/Producer/Camera/Sound/Editing: Jane Thorburn

Documentary investigating the varied motivations and the direct financial relationship with audience of the emerging Nigerian Film &Video industry. The documentary seeks to make a serious investigation into the types of production the umbrella term 'NOLLYWOOD' actually covers.

It questions how the new industry can develop technically, creatively and financially in order to win wider recognition, without alienating the audience in Nigeria.

Does the Nigerian financial and creative model offer a useful example for film makers in Europe?

Despite the fact that the UN declared in 2009 that 'Nigeria surpasses Hollywood as the world's second largest film producer' in 2008 there was very little academic research into 'Nollywood' productions. The few documentaries that existed always assumed a patronising and mocking tone, adversely comparing the speed &cheapness of production with high budget films made for cinema in the Europe and America. In reality, although all were fictional dramas, the majority of the output was more akin to television serials or domestic soaps.

I wanted to make a serious investigation of this rapidly growing industry to see if it had anything to teach us financially and creatively. I wanted to find out if Nigerian entrepreneurial creativity was also present in the film making and whether starting film-making 'from a standing start' was leading to original and creative film-making.

Were the film-makers developing a new film grammar that spoke directly to their audience or were they copying American &European styles?

Most filmmakers were not trained but were developing a film language that spoke to the Nigerian audience and diaspora but not to anyone else. I was interested to find out about the diverse aspirations of key directors and producers without my voice- over interpreting their contribution. The film clips included are intended to give a flavour of the range of productions previously only seen by African audiences.

The documentary draws together a wide spectrum of film-makers with different training, experience and ambitions in terms of scale and content.

  • NEW RESEARCH exhibition. University of Westminster - January 2008
  • MUNDOS LOCAIS Festival Portugal - April 2008 Curated by Paula Rouche
  • AFRICAN SCREENS festival Berlin. Curated by Manthi Diawara - October 2008
  • Screened HiTV (Nigerian Channel on SKY)
    4th April 2010 – Nollywood just doing it at 8pm
    18th April 2010 – Nollywood just doing it at 8pm
    (alternating with later documentary Nollywood 2 Doing it Right)
  • CAMRI conference 'The Media & Development in Africa' - March 2008
  • BOB TV Expo. Abuja, Nigeria - March 2008
  • AMAKULA KAMPALA International Film Festival UGANDA - October 2010
  • GALWAY AFRICAN FILM FESTIVAL. Huston School of Film & Digital Media. Ireland - May 2013

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