Nigerian filmmakers, producers and actors are hoping a spotlight on Lagos at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) will open Nollywood up to the world.
But equally important, the filmmakers say, is maintaining the originality and fresh storytelling that has made the well-established Nigerian film industry such a national and regional success over the past two decades.
Actress Ljeoma Grace Agu and director Daniel Emeke Oriahi of the film’Oko Ashewo’ at the TIFF in Toronto, Canada [J Countess/Getty Images]
“Our stories are original. That’s what makes us stand out,” said Omoni Oboli, the filmmaker, producer and actress, whose movie Okafor’s Lawhad its world premiere at the festival this year.
“I feel like the audiences are bored. Hollywood is churning out the same thing over and over again … We have fresh stories. It’s original,” Oboli said at a press conference in Toronto. “If they’re bored, they should look to us – look to Nollywood.”