The Nigerian film industry, popularly known as Nollywood has received a major boost with the announcement of a new three-million dollars film fund to support and promote the industry’s growth.
The fund, launched by Nigerian film production company, Labari Africa Productions Ltd. is expected to fund a slate of films in Nollywood and support filmmakers in developing and producing new films.
A statement on Thursday by the company quoted Mr Tunde Leye, Managing Partner, Labari Africa Productions Ltd. as saying that the fund would also provide mentorship and on-set training opportunities for practical filmmaking experience to emerging filmmakers.
It would also go a long to provide support for distribution and marketing efforts.
According to Leye, it is the first in a series of funds to be raised over the coming years, as details on accessing funding will be revealed in due course.
“We are excited to launch this new film fund and support a new wave of Nollywood filmmakers who tell the important stories that help position Africa favourably.
“This three million dollars fund will help provide the resources and support filmmakers’ need to bring their stories to life and showcase the incredible talent and creativity of the Nigerian film industry to the world.”
“The first investment of the film fund was heist-thriller which recently closed principal photography. The film “The Lagos Job” is produced and directed by the award-winning filmmaker, Femi D. Ogunsanwo, a General Partner in Labari Africa Productions.
“It features some of the biggest names in Nollywood, such as Joselyn Dumas, Baaj Adebule, Antar Laniyan, Omowunmi Dada, Ade Laoye, Bimbo Manuel, Frank Donga, Teni Aladese and Daniel K Daniel, while UK-based Charles Oleghe is the cinematographer.”
Leye added that the fund would fully bankroll first-time feature filmmakers with at least one short film completed and a feature-length film script.
Adedayo Amzat, Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of the Zedcrest Group and one of the General Partners in Labari Africa Productions, was also quoted as saying that Nollywood had become a major contributor to the Nigerian economy
Mr Amzat noted that Nollywood contributed 2.3 per cent (about 600 million dollars) to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2021.
“We believe the time is right to bring expertise from the world of finance to bear on how our films are funded and ensure Nollywood’s continued growth and success.
“The fund will be open to established and emerging filmmakers, focusing on supporting projects that showcase Nigeria’s diverse culture and talent,” he said.
Nollywood films have gained recognition and acclaim at international film festivals, as the industry had seen significant growth in both domestic and international markets.
With an estimated output of over 2,500 films per year, the industry is known for its unique storytelling and had gained global following with films being distributed in over 150 countries.