This is Nollywood

  • This is Nollywood
Genre : Social
Type : Documentary
Original title :
Principal country concerned : Column : Cinema/tv
Year of production : 2007
Format : Mid-length
Running time : 56 (in minutes)

Armed with a few thousand dollars, digital cameras, and some lights, Nigerian directors have created a $250 million industry, thousands of jobs, and a sense of hope on a continent better known for blight and despair…

A film by Franco Sacchi

USA, Nigeria / 2007, Documentary, 56 min.

Featuring: Bond Emeruwa, Zeb Ejiro, Peter Red Ejiro, Peace Anyiam Fiberesima, Emmanuel France, Emeka Ossai, Saint Obi, Roboger Animadu, Toyin Alausa, Pamela Olisa, Rykardo Agbor, Kevin "Books" Ikeduba, Maleke I Moye, Pat Achegbulu, Sonny McDon

When I first read about Nigerian directors producing hundreds of feature-length films with digital cameras, a week, and a few thousand dollars, I found the subject irresistible. Here was not only a rare positive story about Africa, but one that embodied the egalitarian promise of digital technology-anybody can make a movie. And Nollywood was virtually unknown.

When I approached the Center of Digital Imaging Arts at Boston University (where I teach) with the idea of producing a documentary film about Nollywood, the reaction was immediate. Nollywood is a perfect example of CDIA's philosophy: embrace technology and don't be afraid to tell stories that matter to you.

Aimee Corrigan, a young and talented photographer with a great passion for Africa, and Bob Caputo, who also teaches at CDIA, quickly signed on. Bob told me that in 30 years of covering Africa for Time and National Geographic as a writer and photographer he had never come across a story so positive and full of hope.

The three of us set out for the Nigerian capital Lagos in October 2005. Just the ride in from the airport-two hours to go a few miles in utterly snarled horn-blaring traffic, eyes aching from the smog-gave us a small taste of the conditions Nollywood directors face daily. Our admiration for their determination began at that moment.

We agreed immediately that African actors, directors, and producers should tell their own story in our film without commentary from us or other westerners. Of course, we filmed and edited the Nollywood story with our own sensibilities but our greatest hope is that the authentic voices of the Nigerian filmmakers will be heard.

Nollywood filmmakers are conscious of the responsibility they have toward their society-director Bond Emeruwa says they feel an obligation to "put a message in there." But the production of each movie is also an adventure-overcoming hurdles unimaginable in the West, racing against an impossibly short clock.

In the end, the film we made, This Is Nollywood, is about more than a fascinating and unheralded movie industry. It's about people surmounting obstacles to achieve their dreams.

Franco Sacchi

Franco Sacchi

Robert Caputo
Franco Sacchi

Associate Producer
Aimee Corrigan

Franco Sacchi

Franco Sacchi
Robert Caputo

Executive Producers
Robert Daniels
Robert Frazier

Production Coordinator
Eke Ume

Production Assistant
Kejiro Obere

Still Photographer
Aimee Corrigan

Assistant Editors
Erin Gallagher
David Chin

Bond Emeruwa
Zeb Ejiro
Peter Red Ejiro
Peace Anyiam Fiberesima
Emmanuel France
Emeka Ossai
Saint Obi
Roboger Animadu
Toyin Alausa
Pamela Olisa
Rykardo Agbor
Kevin "Books" Ikeduba
Maleke I Moye
Pat Achegbulu
Sonny McDon W

Publicity and Web Design
Samuel Miller
Jennifer Mills
Shuana McNamara
Linda Devincentis

Graphics and Title Design
Yari Wolinsky

Lead Sound Designers
Abe Stein
Graham Tobias

Sound Design
Jason Tables
Frank Marsden
Erica Borkowski

Special Thanks To
Job Osi Ailuogwemhe
Susan Linnee
Dominique Mollard

Ted Corrigan
Alan Perez

Presented by The Center for Digital Imaging
Available in streaming on Fandor

FESTIVALS (Selected):
Winner, Audience Award, Abuja Intl Film Festival, 2007
Official Selection, Rhode Island Intl. Film Festival, 2007
Official Selection, Roxbury Film Festival, 2007
Official Selection, Woods Hole Film Festival, 2007
Official Selection, London's Raindance Film Festival, 2007
Official Selection, Rhode Island Intl. Film Festival, 2007
Official Selection, Cannes, Pan African Film Festival, 2008
Official Selection, Amakula Kampala, Uganda. Film Festival, 2008
Official Selection, Rhode Island Intl. Film Festival, 2008
Official Selection, Africa in the Picture Film Festival, Amsterdam. 2008

BROADCASTS (Selected):
SABC1 (South African Broadcasting Corp.), 2008
Sky-Arts. UK, 2008
Quest HD, Canada, 2008
Turner Broadcasting (TBS), Latin America, 2009


Un documentario su Nollywood: la nascente industria cinematografica Nigeriana. Un fenomeno nato alla fine degli anni ottanta e presto diventato la terza forza nel settore, dietro a Stati Uniti e India. Il regista nigeriano Bond Emeruwa deve girare un lungometraggio in soli nove giorni, armato di camera digitale, due luci e 20.000 dollari. Affronta una serie interminabile di imprevisti: normale routine per chi sceglie di lavorare a Lagos e dintorni. Un'industria capace di produrre tra i 500 e i 1000 film all'anno, mossa non solo da fini commerciali ma anche sociali. Le pellicole infatti trattano di temi come aids, corruzione, diritti delle donne e si propongono di contribuire efficacemente all'educazione degli spettatori.

Regia: Franco Sacchi

USA, Nigeria - 2006

Durata: 56'

Interpreti: Bond Emeruwa, Zeb Ejiro, Peter Red Ejiro, Emmanuel France

Produzzione: Franco Sacchi, Robert Caputo


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  • Arterial network
  • Media, Sports and Entertainment Group (MSE)
  • Gens de la Caraïbe
  • Groupe 30 Afrique
  • Alliance Française VANUATU
  • Zimbabwe : Culture Fund Of Zimbabwe Trust
  • RDC : Groupe TACCEMS
  • Rwanda : Positive Production
  • Togo : Kadam Kadam
  • Niger : ONG Culture Art Humanité
  • Collectif 2004 Images
  • Africultures Burkina-Faso
  • Bénincultures / Editions Plurielles
  • Africiné
  • Afrilivres

With the support of