Monday, March 26, 2018 11:44 am
The presentation of some Nigerian movies in Hollywood, Los Angeles, over the weekend, has been described by Nollywood artistes as another rare feat for the Nigerian movie industry.
The artistes told the Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the event, ‘Nollywood in Hollywood’, was the biggest cultural showcase for Nigeria outside the country in decades.
Kunle Afolayan, Steve Gukas, Dakore Akande, Jimmy Jean-Louis, Hakeem Kae-Kazeem and Nigerian-American filmmaker, Ose Oyamendan were among the Nollywood artistes at the event.
The Nollywood artistes expressed excitement that they used the platform to promote Nigeria talents and called for co-productions and technical cooperation between Nollywood and Hollywood.
They, however, regretted the lack of support from the Government and called for the support to change any negative perception about Nigeria and project the country’s image positive.
The screening of Nollywood films – 93 DAYS, THE BRIDGE AND ISOKEN – which started on Friday and continued on Saturday, was the first collaboration between Nollywood and Hollywood.
It was also the first time that the national film series and the most historic of all of Hollywood’s cinema houses, are teaming up to bring a film series from Africa to Hollywood.
Oyamendan, organisers of the event, said: “I didn’t know what to expect. I have never been part of the planning of a film showcase. I didn’t really know what I had gotten myself into.
“But now I was in the thick of it. It turned out well thankfully. Hopefully, the filmmakers and actors will get the attention of the industry.
“We are actually talking now about how to make Nigerian filmmakers qualify for some sort of membership in the Directors Guild of America (DGA) so that’s a huge leap”.
Steve Gukas, Director of 93 DAYS, described the experience as “really fantastic”, adding Nollywood can compete favourably with any film industry anywhere in the world, if given the right support.
“I think the notion that a lot of people still have of the Nollywood industry of when the industry was still rudimentary is no more where it is now.
“I guess what happened was people paid attention and they didn’t see much at that time and so that turned the attention away.
“But in the time when they looked away, a lot of progress has happened and they are not aware of that.
“So I believe that the crux of this outing is to re-establish Nollywood in the minds of the different people in the industry that Nollywood is a strong player.
“Not just in the number of output but there’s also a lot of quality output”, Gukas said.
Dakore Akande, who starred in ISOKEN, described the event as an opportunity that comes once in a lifetime and the selection of her film to feature in the showcase.
“I’m excited because I see the possibility of the doors being opened to us in the industry and to be an Ambassador on behalf of the Nigerian films, is just awesome and a great honour.
“I see a very bright future for our industry, a lot of mutual appreciation as well as mutual collaboration on how to raise the bar and correct some negative perspectives in the West about Africa.
“This collaboration will be a win-win situation where we get to have greater distribution and access to technology and high-level film-making classes in terms of trainings.
“Hollywood on the other hand, will get centric stories out of Africa with African actors representing not just themselves but the industry because Hollywood has been in the game much longer,” she said. (NAN)