Home ARTS & CULTUREFESTIVALS Unveiling The Pinnacle: Nollywood’s Epic Highlights In 2023!

Unveiling The Pinnacle: Nollywood’s Epic Highlights In 2023!

by inlandtownadmin
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A look back at all the significant moments of the Nigerian film industry this year.

In the last year, Nollywood has released a powerful lineup of films, both in cinemas and on streaming platforms, solidifying its position as a formidable player in global filmmaking.

This year, Nollywood has had its very own film festival, the African International Film Festival (AFRIFF) sang the praises of interesting movies. Some of the titles that were screened at the festival also recorded standout performances at the likes of SundanceCannesTIFF and so on. And now as the year rolls over, what moments stood out in Nollywood this year?

See below the defining moments of the year:

Directed by CJ ObasiMami Wata, a black and white film in Pidgin English, was announced on Sunday, October 15, 2023, as NOSC’s official selection for the 96th Academy Awards in 2024.

The film’s submission broke the two-year no-submission deadlock Nigeria has had at the Oscars and the fulfilment of the fight by the former NOSC head, Chineze Anyaene-Abonyi, to have Pidgin English included as a foreign language.

Mami Wata tells the tale of an African mermaid in a village that runs into chaos due to disagreements between villagers and the goddess’ intermediary over the deteriorating state of the village.

In September 2023, Editi Effiong’s highly anticipated thriller title made its debut on Netflix and got everyone talking. At first, its star cast filled with loads of veteran Nollywood actors led by Richard Mofe-Damijo was a major highlight. Along the line the feature film quickly became a global hit, ranking top 10 in various countries across the world.

Things didn’t stop there. It quickly became a blockbuster after the producers disclosed that the project had cost $1 million, a huge number by Nollywood standards. This new height went on to raise major discussions across various platforms on the future of film productions in the country.

Titles in English ranking top on the list of highest-grossing movies isn’t a surprising thing. But indigenous language epics took the spotlight this year.

First on the list is a feature-length film titled Orisa by Odunlade Adekola. Making its debut across cinemas nationwide on July 21, 2023, the movie broke the record of the highest-grossing opening film in Nollywood and the biggest epic opening of the year with ₦27.6 million.

After screening across cinemas nationwide for 14 weeks, Orisa made its exit from the box office with a total gross of ₦127.89 million, becoming the highest-grossing Nollywood title for 2023, so far.

Next in line is Kesari by Ibrahim Yekini which made its debut on August 25, 2023, and became the third highest-grossing Nollywood title for 2023, with a total gross of ₦78,106,925. Other films like Afamefuna which is in Igbo have shown great potential with over ₦33 million in just under two weeks.

The highly popular downloading website, announced in September 2023, that it would be discontinuing its services. The post online read, “It started as a personal hobby, then grew to a group archive, and then achieved enormous popularity, turning it into a fan favorite. Finally, it is sad for us to say goodbye to movies on Netnaija”.

Produced by Femi Adebayo, official Netflix data showed that on August 15, 2023, it had over 2.1 million hours of viewing time on the streaming platform. It also was in the top 10 list in 17 countries.

This record was a new one for the Nigerian film industry but also exciting that it was achieved by a Yoruba epic movie.

On October 18, 2023, the Lagos State Government, led by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, conducted the ceremonial groundbreaking of the Lagos Film City in Ejinrin, Epe Lagos.

The $100 million project sits on a land area of 100 hectares of land and is expected to be a creative hub that provides more opportunities for the youths.

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