October 22, 2013 at 12:30pm ET Berkman Center for Internet & Society, 23 Everett St, 2nd Floor
Nigeria's booming movie industry, known as Nollywood, rivals Hollywood and India's Bollywood as one of the world's largest producer of feature films. In less than two decades Nollywood has grown into an industry estimated at $250 million, employing over a million people and producing over 1000 films each year – a major success story in Nigeria’s economy. Nollywood's movies have an audience of millions in Nigeria, throughout Africa and around the world - from Bombay to Brooklyn.
The phenomenon of Nollywood is internationally recognized for quantity of films - but not for quality. The industry faces big challenge stemming from limited financing opportunities and rampant piracy. Today, in an effort to overcome these challenges, leading filmmakers in Nigeria consider themselves part of a growing movement they call “New Nollywood”. This movement refers to an increasing trend of better quality films, stemming from increased access to new technology and equipment, training, new sources of financing, and alternative distribution.
As Nigeria’s most popular entertainment platform, Nollywood is positioned as an extraordinary vehicle for engaging content. Nollywood filmmakers are confronting their society’s critical and controversial issues – including health and corruption. The widespread viewing of Nollywood films speaks to their ability to culturally connect with hundreds of millions of people. Nollywood’s massive and engaged audience is the envy of filmmakers around the world.
About Aimee and Colin
Aimee Corrigan is the Co-Director of Nollywood Workshops, a hub for filmmakers in Lagos, Nigeria that supports and delivers movie production and distribution, training, and research. She is also a documentary photographer and filmmaker. Aimee's passion for Nollywood sparked during her participation in the production of the documentary This Is Nollywood. Aimee is currently a fellow at the Berkman Center. Aimee completed her Masters in Education at Harvard University's Graduate School of Education.
Colin M. Maclay is the Managing Director of the Berkman Center, where he is privileged to work in diverse capacities with its faculty, staff, fellows and extended community to realize its ambitious goals. His broad aim is to effectively and appropriately integrate information and communication technologies (ICTs) with social and economic development, focusing on the changes Internet technologies foster in society, policy and institutions. Both as Co-founder of the Information Technologies Group at Harvard’s Center for International Development and at Berkman, Maclay’s research has paired hands-on multi stakeholder collaborations with the generation of data that reveal trends, challenges and opportunities for the integration of ICTs in developing world communities.
Colin and Aimee's work in Nollywood stems from work of an intercontinental team drawing from the Berkman Center at Harvard University, Digital Bridge Institute (DBI) in Nigeria, Georgia Institute of Technology, MIT Center for Civic Media, Hollywood, Health & Society at USC Annenberg's Norman Lear Center, and Nollywood Workshops. The team has been collaborating with filmmakers in Nigeria since 2005.