iRoko TV launches Nollywood channel in U.K.

Nov 28 2016 - 1:15pm

iroko-tvNollywood is making an inroad into the European market with “iRoko Cable TV”, the biggest digital distributor of Nollywood films, creating a new channel in the U.K.

Damilare Ogunmowo, the Public Relations Officer of Quadrant Company, a public relations outfit made the disclosure in a statement on Monday in Lagos.

The statement said that The CNN Marketplace Africa organised a programme in London to celebrate the launch and meeting of actors and filmmakers in Nigeria’s film industry in the U.K.

It said that Jason Njoku, the owner of iRoko Cable TV, Africa’s largest distributor of Nigerian movies, noted that “there are billions of black Africans in the world.

“I think we have not even gone as far as we would love to go on this journey to actually connect with those black communities.

“First and foremost, it is about grabbing people’s attention and making them to fall in love with the channel.

“Making sure the stories resonate, making sure we are grounded in the reality of a lot of people,’’ the statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) said.

“A lot of people are suffering, so, it is about bringing inspirational stories to make people feel good about themselves.

“Give people that confidence that you know that we are black, our lives matter, and we can really push forward and do some amazing things.

“It is my hope that Nigeria film industry could eventually become a success in the global economy,’’ the statement quoted Njoka a saying.

It also said that his wife, Mary founded Rok Studios, a division of iRoko, in 2013 and helped to launch the Nollywood Movies channel on British Television.

“Mrs Njoku outlined the scale of the Nollywood Movies channel which is being produced both in London and Lagos.

“As of today, we have over 150 movies which are produced in-house with our partners, and we have over 12 TV series. So, basically, 80 per cent are produced in-house,’’ it said.

It added that a Nollywood actor, Bobby Obodo, who attended the launch in U.K., said the expansion of iRoko Cable TV to U.K. was a significant moment for Nigerian film industry.

“We finally have the opportunity to showcase our talent, our craft, what we can do to the rest of the world.

“We are kind of being constricted just within Africa but this is like a global outreach for us,’’ the statement said.

It said that actor and presenter, Ozzy Agu, noted the launch was a partnership that would bring in great things, especially with our African entertainment going to the world.

“Coming to the U.K., and going from the Internet to homes, as well is fantastic.’’.

The statement quoted filmmaker, Desmond Elliott, as saying that the long-term impact of growing into new international markets was a welcome development.

“There is going to be a challenge producing better Nollywood movies which previously focused on quantity rather than quality.

“This couldn’t have come at a better time because Nollywood is evolving and I am so glad that this is an opportunity for us to be able to showcase what we have.

“We need a lot of funding to help in telling the stories better. The reason why we rush a lot in our films is because we have to meet up with budgets,’’ it said.

The CNN Markeplace Africa says that the office of National Statistics had disclosed that between 2001 and 2011, the black African population in the U.K. has more than doubled from 0.8 percent to 1.8 percent making a big market for Nollywood.

The Nollywood industry is estimated to generate 600 million dollars with the expansion to U.K. and will be the second largest movie industry by volume after Bollywood. (NAN)

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