The 41st Toronto International Film Festival is bringing a spotlight on Africa’s powerhouse film industry known as Nollywood. The Nigerian film industry is the second biggest in the world. Fortune Magazine took notice in an article last year detailing the early days to its current dominance in the world as a $3 billion dollar industry.
The City to City programme is focusing on Lagos and has been curated by Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director of TIFF. There are eight films to choose from with storylines that cover everything from an elaborate wedding to a woman accusing her ex of rape. This is the eighth year that TIFF has had its City to City programme. Past featured cities include London, Tel Aviv, Istanbul, Buenos Aires, Mumbai, Athens and Seoul.
Nigeria has proven through its productions over the years why they should be included in such an international showcase of film. Cameron Bailey calls Nigeria “Vital, complex and inspiring.” Lagos is an interesting city filled with traditional culture that rivals modern day society.
Even the thousands of low budget films from Nigeria still manage to rake in over $1 billion in box office sales annually. That doesn’t include all the bootlegs people manage to get their hands on. With this new generation of filmmakers, they are creating a new narrative of Nigeria and African film as a whole. They have bigger budgets and are now creating quality films that tell stories from their perspective like the ones being featured at TIFF.
Tickets are already selling quickly with some almost sold out. Check out the trailers below and decide what film you want to see if you’re in Toronto over the next 10 days.
Green White Green
Just Not Married
Oko Ashewo (Taxi Driver)