Nollywood has capacity to surpass Hollywood, Bollywood with FG support – Theo Ukpaa

Nollywood has capacity to surpass Hollywood, Bollywood with FG support – Theo Ukpaa

Media Executive and chief operating officer, Africa International Film Festival, AFRIFF, Theo Ukpaa delivered a very insightful lecture during his mas

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Media Executive and chief operating officer, Africa International Film Festival, AFRIFF, Theo Ukpaa delivered a very insightful lecture during his masterclass at the Oslo Urban film conference in Norway. He gave a detailed breakdown on the growth of the Nigeria film industry popularly known as Nollywood.

Nollywood ranks second in the world after Hollywood with a financial value of over $6.4 billion, making it one of the fastest-growing movie industries in the world and one of the biggest employers of labour in the country.

Ukpaa felt a need to enlighten the global film front about the Nigeria film industry while emphasizing that with Federal Government support, Nollywood has potentials financially to surpass Hollywood and Bollywood out together.

“To put the financial impact of Nollywood on the socioeconomic landscape in proper perspective, we must consider the known fact that the Nigerian movie industry is currently ranked the second largest film industry globally with the financial value of the film industry put at over $6.4 billion as of 2021” Ukpaa narrates.

The Oslo Urban film conference Norway in is organised by independent filmmakers and attracted speakers and facilitators from all over Europe, USA and Asia. At the event which also saw players and stakeholders in the industry from all over the world being rewarded with awards of various categories, the AFRIFF COO said the impacts of Nollywood in the Nigerian economy, if well sustained would open doors of prosperity to the country and beyond.

Ukpaa said, “Sonce the breakthrough by pioneers of the industry in the 60s and early 90s, “Nollywood has become a thriving space that not only provides an avenue for entertainment but also generates significant revenue for Nigeria’s economy.

“Furthermore, the job-creating potential inherent in the industry cannot be overstated as the industry currently employs over ten million people, making it one of Nigeria’s largest employers. Its capacity to employ a large number of people has been applauded by the World Bank, who acknowledged the job creation potentials of Nollywood,” he added.

There is no surprise regarding the high registration and turn out at Ukpaa’s Masterclass following the success of his Masterclasses all around the globe, incorporating his many film lectures at various international universities.

Ukpaa has spread his teaching to institutions in Europe, America and African continent. The Global film development Masterclass integrated Filmmakers technical and conceptual understanding of filmmaking with the practical dimensions of managing career in the Global film industry.

Young filmmakers were enlightened about the great influx of streaming platforms like Netflix and Prime video and the current industry business models and development plans to advance their careers in filmmaking on a global stage.

According to Theo, “Often times people focus merely on the show and glamor as well as the razzmatazz that comes with filmmaking, and end up dying broke. A strong national economy depends on a strong creative economy—and it all starts with a story.

“The film and television industry supports 2.4 million jobs, pays out $186 billion in total wages, and comprises over 122,000 businesses. As a Filmmaker, one of the best moments is directing real stories of real individuals, getting them to the big screens and smiling to the Bank”.

He believes that passion can burn out when expenditure and hard work does not produce financial returns. These are part of the important basics he taught at his Masterclass at the coal city film Festival.

Young filmmakers were also thought how to pitch their film project, how best to approach investors, how to access international grants, how to approach film distribution the perfect way and how to stay relevant in the film industry while maximizing profit.

Theo Ukpaa is an African filmmaker, playwright, and entrepreneur. He was listed as top 10 most promising new directors by Africa Kulture Magazine in 2020.

Ukpaa is a certified project management professional offering a Master’s in Business Administration degree from the prestigious Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California plus a Diploma in Contract Law from the esteemed Harvard University. A Native Nigerian with a passion to empower young art and culture creatives through teaching and Masterclasses at various free empowerment across Africa.

He also touched on the importance of a production treaty between Nigeria and the neighboring African countries to ease free flow of cultural exchange and breaking language barrier while leaching on great treaty benefits. The importance of Government tax incentives was also emphasized.

It was imperative to note that the Nigeria film industry contributes largely to the nations GDP and deserves a lot of support from the government as it relates to growth and sustainability in the creative sector of the country.

Theo has multiple speaking engagement lined up all year at various institutions including the Willshire Film festival in London, Sabia film festival in Monaco, the Francoise film festival in Paris, France and the United States of America.