This is according to Nigerian film producer and director, Victor Okhai, who said that the Nigerian movie industry is growing due to the gradually increasing appetite of Africans for Nigerian movies.
“We usually talk about African cinema and that’s what Nollywood typifies right now. The reason for that is simple, when you watch a Nigerian movie and you’re a Tanzanian, for example, you probably thinking of your uncle or being reminded of your cousin in that story,” he said.
“What’s interesting is that the Nigerian movies are doing what I call cultural neo-colonialism of the African continent.”
According to Okhai, Nollywood is currently the second largest producer of home movies in the world after India’s Bollywood, meaning that the America’s movie industry, Hollywood, has been moved to third place.
(READ MORE: Nigeria’s film industry grows at alarming rate)
“Nigeria is the only country in Africa that has knocked Hollywood out of its place, not even Europe has been able to achieve that,” he added.
“What the American movies used to do to us is change our way of life and our way of talking and this is what Nollywood movies are doing for the rest of the world right now.”
He said that many expat Nigerian film makers and investors are returning to Nigeria to produce films due to the growth in the industry.
For example, Okhai believes that investment in Nollywood should begin to grow soon due to the latest Nigerian film, Half of a Yellow Sun, set to be released in August 2014,
“Half of the yellow sun, for example, is coming out now in cinemas and is expected to break records. We expect it to do very well and if that happens, I’m sure it will make a lot of investors take a lot more interest.
(WATCH VIDEO: Half of a yellow sun to hit Nigerian big screens in August)
However, while Nollywood may be gaining in popularity, the industry continues to face a number of challenges such as piracy and insufficient funding for film projects.
“There is a large appetite for Nigerian movies and we are not meeting those needs and that is why piracy is thriving,” explained Okhai.
Also, the movies are expected to have a high production value in order to compete with Hollywood films that are being shown in Nigerian cinemas, which has been a challenge for local film makers.
“The cinema houses create obstacles for local movie producers as you have to pay to do a premier. They insist on it even though you want to show the movie in their cinemas which means that if you make money that’s fine but if not, then that’s too bad,” he added.
Okhai therefore believes that Nigerian filmmakers need to focus on quality rather than quantity.