As Film Africa arrives in London to celebrate the best contemporary cinema from Africa and its diaspora, this month on the blog we’re talking Nigerian film. Nigeria’s film industry is commonly known as “Nollywood" and is the world's second-biggest film industry. Producing approximately 2,000 films a year it is even bigger than Hollywood. Now that's a fun fact! And the Nollywood industry is gaining wider recognition across the globe with films made in Nigeria, made for everyone to enjoy. So as the weather gets colder, here are five Nollywood films to warm you up with their Nigerian spirit. So snuggle up and settle down to these:
This Nigerian rom-com had the country’s biggest opening of any Nollywood film to date. Produced by media mogul Mo Abudu - one of the 25 most powerful women in global television, having established her own film and TV empire in Lagos. The Wedding Party brings to life a lavish Nigerian wedding as it escalates into pure Lagosian chaos.
Art gallery owner Dunni is the cherished daughter of Bamidele Coker and his wife, Tunuade. When Dunni and her fiancé Dozie elect to marry, the Cokers decide to throw the wedding of the century. Success in Nigeria's oil industry has given them new wealth, so why not splash out for their only daughter? Besides, their reputation is at stake. While Dozie's parents, Felix and Obianuju Onwuka, believe their son is marrying beneath him, for the sake of tradition they're willing to leave the big day to the bride's parents. Barely.
As their big day arrives, the couple's lavish wedding plans turn into a nightmare of exes, fighting parents and uninvited guests – a hilarious take on the madness of a true Nigerian wedding.
Banana Island Ghost tells the story of two people: a woman who must save her late father’s house in Banana Island if that’s the last thing she does alive, and a man who thinks he must have a soul mate to go to heaven. When this man, Patrick, dies in an accident, he begs God for more time on Earth to hurriedly find a soul mate. God gives him three days. Feeling lucky he specifies his wishlist: a big girl living in Banana Island, Nigeria’s most expensive residential area.
His wish is granted and he lands in the bed of the same plus-sized woman whose house debt is due in three days. An unlikely pair, but they only have each other to get what they want.
The story is as silly as it sounds and it’s just what you need from a comedy. It had us in stitches! Catch it in UK cinemas from 27th October 2017.
Potao Potahto is a cheeky rom-com set in Nigeria directed by award-winning director Shirley Frimpong Manso.
It tells the story of a divorced couple who decide to share equal space in their ex-matrimonial home. They soon realise that this ingenious idea is easier said then done. Bent on flexing their egos and scoring points, the couple both devise hilarious tactics that soon inflame jealous emotions and turn an already complicated situation into a roller coaster ride.
Debuting at Cannes Film Festival, it received a resounding ovation and now coming to London as part of the Film Africa festival, you can catch it at Rich Mix on 1st November.
Having opened in London earlier this year, Isoken is another brilliant rom-com - this time for anyone who knows about the pressure to settle down.
Everyone in the Osayande family worries about Isoken. Although she has what appears to be a perfect life - she's beautiful, successful and surrounded by great family and friends - Isoken is still unmarried at 34 which, in a culture obsessed with marriage, is serious cause for concern. Things come to a head at her youngest sister's wedding when her overbearing mother thrusts her into an orchestrated matchmaking with the ultimate man, Osaze.
Osaze is handsome, successful and from a good family, making him the perfect Nigerian husband material. But in an unexpected turn of events, Isoken meets Kevin who she finds herself falling in love with and he just might be what she truly wants in a partner. The only problem is, not only is he not from her Nigerian tribe, he is a Brit.
Not strictly a film, Crazy, Lovely, Cool is the coming-of-age TV series directed and produced by award-winning director Obi Emelonye. Soaked in music, the series takes a fond look at the lives, joys and struggles of a group of charismatic students whose paths cross on the campus of Nigeria’s largest university via the shocking revelations of an eponymous gossip blog.
Hip, trendy and fast-paced, Crazy, Lovely, Cool takes us deep inside uni life, with all its rites of passages, innocent beauty, emotional rawness and uncomfortable moments.
The first episode premiers as part of Film Africa’s festival at Ritzy Brixton on 4th November.