Netflix for Nollywood

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NollywoodHollywood, Bollywood… and along comes Nollywood. 3,000 Nigerian films have a new distribution channel – It follows the Netflix model closely, and so far is available for US customers only. Who's taking bets on how long it takes Netflix to add a Nigerian category to its foreign film offerings? From Emeka Okafor.

Update: The Economist (July 29th) has a great piece on Nollywood.

Today, filmmaking employs about a million people in Nigeria, split equally between production and distribution, making it the country's biggest employer after agriculture, according to the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB). The industry has sales of $200m-300m a year...

So far, the industry has grown with little or no help from Nigeria's government. The films cost anywhere between $15,000 and $100,000 to make, and the money comes directly from the market...

Nollywood is divided over whether it wants help from the government. Some filmmakers fear that the industry's growth could slow if the authorities discourage popular voodoo storylines. But many filmmakers would like the authorities to start a fund to offer cheap loans for films.

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