A panel at this week’s Nigerian International TV (NITV) Summit explored the challenges and opportunities of the continued growth of digital consumption, distribution and disruption.
On the panel were Patrick Lee, chairman of the Cinema Exhibitors Association of Nigeria and chief operating officer at Viva Cinemas; Joy Odiete, CEO of Blue Pictures Distribution; Opeyemi Ajayi, exec director of cinemas and entertainment at Genesis Group; Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, president of the Association of Movie Producers (AMP); and Moses Iwang, CEO of Nollywood prodco Sneeze Films.
Amid all the disruptions caused by digital, the proliferation of content and the fast emergence of streaming platforms, Lee addressed how these and other factors have affected cinema in Nigeria.
For him, there have been challenges ever since the Covid-19 pandemic that enabled streaming platforms to take advantage of the situation. More people have switched to streaming movies and there are more movies releasing simultaneously on these OTT platforms and in cinemas as well. Another challenge he identified was piracy, but nevertheless he was optimistic about the future of Nollywood.
“We are still developing cinema and growing our customer base. There has been development from within Nollywood. Content is getting better. Most clients have started coming to the cinemas and this shows there is a future for cinemas in Nigeria and we are confident we can make the cinema business successful,” he added.
On how the AMP can assist the cinema industry, Anyiam-Osigwe said: “We are trying to educate our members on the need to keep the cinema business thriving. A lot of work needs to be done between distributors and producers. [We need to] organise events that bring them together so they can engage with each other better.”
Sneeze Films’ Iwang elaborated on what goes through the mind of a filmmaker. He said that after post-production, all a filmmaker wants is for their film to be screened in cinemas in the best quality. The film also has to be well marketed to achieve a return on investment, he said.
According to him, if Nigerian films are released alongside top foreign movies like Hollywood blockbusters, they have a low rate of success.
Regarding the digital challenge, Iwang suggested that films should have at least two weeks of exclusive streaming. “From the point of a view of a filmmaker, we look at how much money has been put into making a movie. How can we take the content owners from where they are to where they have a say? We need to do better with negotiations, especially with the streaming platforms and how our films are presented to the world, he added.
In an effort to encourage the next generation of movie producers, Blue Pictures’ Odiete said that the company was born out of the need for inclusion and that she wants to give people the opportunity to push forward.
Ajayi of Genesis Group concluded by saying collaboration was important and understanding challenges would help the industry forge ahead together. He also suggested finding a balance so movie makers could make more money.
“The cinema and film industry has massive potential and technology always changes things to make it better. Collaboration across the value chain with different players in the industry is the way forward,” he said.
tagged in: Association of Movie Producers, Blue Pictures Distribution, Cinema Exhibitors Association of Nigeria, Genesis Group, Joy Odiete, Moses Iwang, Nigerian International TV Summit, Opeyemi Ajayi, Patrick Lee, Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, Sneeze Films, Viva Cinemas