XPloreNollywood: What Influences the Choice of the Nollywood Movies You Watch?

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With 2017 somewhat behind us and the euphoria of 2018, goals, aspirations and resolutions I felt an overbearing need to find out what pushes people to go see a Nigerian movie.

Now what brought this about? For Nigerian movies, I believe some years are better than others; but for some reason, I was withdrawn from watching Nigerian movies and picked only a handful of them based on knowledge of the writer or director or maybe the cast, and due to this valuation, I literally begged my boss for his ticket to go see The Wedding Party 2!

Now, I am not a fan of some sequels, I wrote an article chastising the foreign ones right here, but I felt differently about this sequel. I felt Enyinna Nwigwewould be a better lead, and his leading lady Daniella Down would bring that innocence and feistiness she had in ‘Mom, Dad Meets Sam’.  I felt the script would be tighter making great use of humor, language, innuendos and not our usual slapstick comedy and exclamations one would expect from our Nollywood movies! Alas, if wishes were horses was all I could mutter out of my mouth as I struggled to get out of Eko Hotel at 12 midnight on a Sunday.

Anyway, this post isn’t just to rant, as the headline stems from an office augment of what Nigerians really want to watch, which also got me thinking. Cinema owners, some producers and directors, believe that since Nigeria is a tough country, all we want to do is relax and watch a movie that would make us laugh and be merry. When we see any of our favourite A listers, we tend to gravitate towards those movies, as well as movies that are overhyped. However, won’t it be great to know and understand what influences us to go see a movie and have actual proof of it?

According to a survey carried out by Google and Millward Brown Digital in 2014 on how Americans and Canadians decide what to see at the cinemas, it was deduced that “most moviegoers in these countries like to do their research before seeing a movie. 39% of them are influenced by the movie trailer, 11% information on the cast and 8% a friend’s opinion.

In addition to the survey, an article written by an NYU Screenwriting Lecturer, Allen Palmer – ‘My philosophy (or why I believe people go to the movies)’, he says people watch movies for the following reasons:

  1. To expand our emotional bandwith – to feel sensations that we rarely experience in our normal lives.
  2. To reconnect with our higher selves – to be reminded of what humans are capable of, in terms of both good and evil, and to alter course if we’re steering more towards the latter than the former.
  3. To be reminded we’re not alone – that by the collective reaction of others in the audience we realize that we are not the only one’s wrestling with life’s eel.

While this is a foreign perspective, I agree with it, as there are different movies I have seen in my lifetime that have gotten me to the reasons mentioned above. Now does this translate to our Nigerian movies? Well… in some cases ‘YES’ in many others, I fear it’s a big ‘NO’!

This is where you guys come in. I would like to know why you watch a Nigerian movie and see if we can put things in better perspectives for filmmakers.

Tell me: what influences you to see a Nollywood movie?

  1. To be entertained and immerse yourself in a world where different rules apply
  2. For a shared experience and to be part of the conversation
  3. To support the Nigerian film industry and the content they put out?
  4. To understand different cultures and be more tolerant
  5. To appreciate the peculiarities of our country and inspire to make a difference?

If your reasons aren’t listed, you can also write them in the comments section.

Photo Credit: © Milkos | Dreamstime.com

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