Welcome to Nollywood


“Relentlessly entertaining and informative, Jamie Meltzer’s Welcome to Nollywood boasts wall-to-wall bravado filtered through African-style entrepreneurship: Hook any of the producer-directors profiled here to a generator and the energy might just offset global reliance on oil. Genially boastful Chico Ejiro (aka “Mr. Prolific”), of Grand Touch Pictures, has made so many films he can’t recall all of their incredibly florid plots. His company’s name was inspired by the fact that Whoopi Goldberg pic “Sister Act” came from some outfit called Touchstone. Izu Ojukwu, who grew up with 40 family members on one modest spread “all eating out of the same pot,” stole money as a kid to sneak off to the movies. Izu got a gander at a projector, went home and built one of his own from scratch, then figured out that motion pictures are made up of still frames. Izu describes how he feels at one with the camera, risking his own neck to get impressive action shots. Helmers interviewed are also producers, and they hail “the democratization of the means of production” in the form of digital video. “Celluloid was expensive — if you didn’t have the money, you didn’t have a voice,” one practitioner asserts.” Lisa Nesselson, Variety

Roger Corman would swoon at the DIY antics employed by Nigerian moviemakers, like shooting chase scenes dangling from car bonnets and hiring former guerrillas as extras.Churning out nearly 2,500 straight-to-video releases a year, they’ve made the West African nation the world’s third-largest movie market after the U.S. and India. Director Jamie Meltzer (Off the Charts) paints an astounding backdrop— cardboard plots, three-day shoots, failing generators—then follows “Mr. Prolific,” Chico Ejiro (who wrapped 80 films in a five-year period), as he mounts his most daring production to date, a re-creation of Liberian civil war that threatens to bankrupt him.


-TimeOut NYC

Full Frame Documentary Film Festival


AFI Film Festival

Melbourne International Film Festival

Mill Valley Film Festival

Avignon Film Festival

New York African Film Festival

The Paley Center for Media DocFest