While the engine of India’s “Bollywood” has been conspicuously firing on all twelve-cylinders, many have failed to take notice of a country with an even greater output, Nigeria.
“Output” is in fact the correct word here, as the quality and budgets per picture are far less than other nations. The speed of production is clocked at an estimated 2,500 titles per year; some have even estimated that the country produces up to 50 titles a week.
Budgets remain modest and virtually all of the films are designed to be direct-to-video releases with individual copies costing around one dollar. The final copies are often sold on the streets during the notorious two to three hour traffic jams in the port city of Lagos. The entire life cycle of a film from the creative concept to final sale seems to exist outside any infrastructure. The decision to shoot each film on location speaks more to the lack of sets and sound stages than it does a commitment to realism.
Inexpensive equipment means some features can be completed in just one week. “We’re doing films for the masses, we’re not doing films for the elite and the people in their glass houses,” explains Peace Fiberesima, a Nigerian director and producer. She continues, “It’s not about the quality at the moment, the quality is coming.”
In the mean time the diversity of titles offers locals a welcome reprieve from congested roads and daily stress.