A lot of the time, you hear people say “I don’t watch Nollywood films…” and then they list a variety of reasons, most of which you have heard before at some point, (some dismissive, some insulting, some condescending) so I wont repeat them. But recently, someone said something different that sounded like a valid reason, He said the reason that he doesn’t watch is that the genres that he likes are not available i.e Mystery,Fantasy ,Horror,Thrillers and Action.

If you go to the cinema and look for the Nollywood films screening, what genres are they? 99.9% will fall under rom-com, comedy or drama. Very few outside those categories are available. On tv it’s even less likely to find a thriller or Mystery film of Nigerian origin. So either those genres are available and fly under the radar(arent heard about) or are are not being made.

So what happens to those that want to watch local content, but can’t find local content in the genres they like? Why aren’t they catered to ?

Is it that producers aren’t interested in those genres? Screenwriters aren’t writing those genres. Directors arent interested? Or is the demand is too little to justify the investment?

When they don’t find those genres in local films, don’t they return to the foreign options and tend to stay there?

Is this a case where people want to eat guava and pear but are only offered apples and oranges? Wont they go find a grocery that sells what they want if they can’t get it at a certain place?

Is this something that needs to be addressed or isn’t significant enough for a discussion.

If you factor in the number of Nigerians that faithfully devour shows like Hannibal(thriller) Sherlock(mystery), Game of Thrones(fantasy), 24(Action) Ok,yes these are tv shows, not movies but give me a sec , either paying DSTV subscription or paying for Data to download, what if they found a local equivalent both on tv and in the cinema? Maybe not on the same scale , but interesting enough to build a following which then attracts more finance and better skill set = higher production value. That’s a lot of potential viewers.

We can debate about why are they not watching the available genres,call them snobs, elitists or just dismiss them as irrelevant. But look at it this way; some people will never watch Football, no matter how many viewing centers and channels show it. Not because they hate football, or have anything against it, they just cant be bothered cos their real interest is Tennis or Basketball. So whoever caters to them, has their attention and their cash.

Directors like James Omokwe ,Stanlee Ohikhuare and CJ Obasi have waded into the horror pool with the films AWAKENING, KPIANS and OJUJU respectively, but that’s just three directors in such a large industry (I’m sure there are others but those three are recent notables) Eric Aghiemen made an action film with A MILE FROM HOME. All films got good responses, some have been nominated for and won several awards, so this shows that people want to see these types of films.

As the industry grows,and more voices enter, expanding the types of stories told. The genres(options) that are produced will be vital in enlarging our audience and possibilities.

QUESTION OF THE DAY.
Do you think we need more genres? If so, what genres would you like to see. Leave your thoughts and comments .

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Writer, Director, and Cinema Enthusiast, Olu Yomi Ososanya has an MA in Creative & Cultural Industries from London Metropolitan University. His works spans sitcoms,drama, documentaries, talk shows, reality tv. A finalist in the 2007 Pan African Screenwriters Competion , His short film BLISS, got a Jury Special mention at the Corona Fastnet Short Film Festival.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Wow that was odd. I just wrote an extremely long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyway, just wanted to say superb blog! gkgdgadkfdbf

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