Content is king, so they say in many quarters; content drives interest and participation and it’s a great way to get people engaged and entertained. The movie industry is content driven and in recent times there have been a cry for exceptional content from film producers, little wonder Chris Ihidero put out a thread on twitter some time ago where he talked about great content as an integral part of the industry, and he made a distinction between the old Nollywood and the new, saying the old was largely made up of emotional content the movie lovers can relate to but the new is majorly focused on the value chain and making money. But there should be a way to bridge both the old and the new.
Over the years we have seen a steady growth of the Nollywood in several aspects, number 2 in the world in movie productions and international collaborations has made it easy for our stories to be told to a new audience and showcase our talented actors. But there is still the need for more professional hands in the industry, creating captivating content that will elicit real emotions and at the same time shake the box office. For this reason, several film academies have sprung up over the years with some of our popular movie celebrities chairing such, and they go as far as creating opportunities for their students, this has led to new faces being on and off our screens and while it’s a laudable effort; it’s always good to have young and fresh actors on in the industry, can we accurately say these new crops of professionals are getting it right in the content providing business?
The Pan Atlantic University recently commenced film production programs all in a bid to drive growth in Nollywood through unique content provided by trained professionals. Although the course is at Masters Level, it aims to change the narrative about Nollywood content and other crucial essentials that are stalling the growth of the movie industry in Nigeria. In an interview with Nairametrics an online news platform the Dean of the School of Media and Communication, Ikechukwu Obiaya had this to say “We are in a particularly important moment in the entertainment industry in terms of communication, with this whole business right now that content is key, people are looking for contents. So if we are able to produce graduates who will produce fantastic contents, I don’t think there will be a problem in getting people who will say yes I will be willing to support that” With his statement it is clear that the issue of content is of utmost importance in the industry and going back to what Chris Ihidero said, this might just be a way to bridge the old and the new Nollywood.
A lot of Nigerians who are passionate about the film industry and would like to participate fully either in front of the camera or behind it before now usually feel the need to attend international film schools in London and the U.S. The New York Film Academy is one of the most popular, the school admits students from all over the world, and their method of training is exceptional, through practical learning, students are able to get their hands and brains working on the clock, churning out contents that are real, newsworthy and sellable. From script/creative writing, directing, producing, to TV Interviews, New Media, Cinematography, etc, students go all out honing their skills and doing the work themselves to produce captivating contents.
Is it safe to say the film academies back home can rival or at best be at par with their international counterparts? Can we truly argue that these film academies have been able to change or positively affect the narrative in Nollywood? How many stars have been born as a result of these film academy that we can boldly say is doing very well in the industry?
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- Ose is a cartoon enthusiast sugar junkie. He loves to travel, make new friends and he never gets tired of spaghetti and plantain.