Monday, August 1, 2011

Watch out Bollywood

Which country produces the largest number of films every year ? The answer is easy - India, some 1300 films in all. Which country is the second largest producer of films ? You might scratch your head or have guessed Hollywood. Wrong. The reality is Nigeria. Watch out Bollywood; Nollywood is all set to overtake you.

The Nigerian film industry is apparently thriving and booming. Its the film capital for all of Africa. Some 1000 films are apparently made each year. Unlike the more traditional format of movie halls, Nigerian films are mostly released on videos - there's hardly much of the theatre format in Nigeria and almost all of Africa. Each video costs some US$ 2 or so - cheap enough to be affordable and not worth counterfeiting. The distribution channel is therefore by retail stores for home viewing. No doubt, cheap video parlours would have sprung up for those unable to own a video player.

The industry is still small - Only some $250m or so. But with enormous potential. Africa is under served by entertainment. Movies are a great way to bring some cheer to  people - as India has so amply demonstrated. A peculiarly African solution has emerged. A distribution system and a pricing methodology that suits the market. Videos rather than hall screenings. 

India is virtually saturated by movies. I read that an astounding 3.2 bn cinema admissions happen in a year in India. That's an average viewing of 3 films per year per person. Amazing. I know that such a number is laughably low for movie buffs such as  Zeno, but you must also count that there are worthies like me with a viewing habit of precisely zero. How much more can India grow - not much. Whereas in Africa, the market is still virgin.

Gils has some competition here. At this site you can read reviews of Nollywood movies. At this site you can even watch them. They seem to have a tendency to raunchiness in their titles - "Obama Babes" goes a movie title. "Ladies Gang" goes another. Before you get any ideas, these are not that sort of a movie - they seem to be more of the serials type of stuff that are inflicted on the unsuspecting public world over.

I might be even tempted to watch one of them and write a review !!!!!