Nollywood looks for silver lining after pandemic

More than 2,000 films are produced annually

Film producers in Nigeria hope to go back into production within the next two months, once the government gives its go-ahead.

Analysts estimate Nollywood, as the industry is known, has lost almost $30m (£24m) as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The government is still working on safety measures for film sets, and industry staff anticipate production costs will rise to account for ensuring safety of their cast and crew.

La Femme Anjola is one of Nollywood’s most anticipated films of 2020. It follows the story of a stockbroker who falls in love with a mysterious woman – with one of the industry’s biggest stars Rita Dominic playing the lead.

The film was initially set for release in April but was delayed by the pandemic and other issues.

Mildred Okwo, the film’s producer and director, says she’s now ready to release the film but cinemas across the country are closed.

“I don’t know when this will be released and obviously this is a film we spent money on. We have investors, their agreements, all that stuff is moot now,” she said.

Recent years have seen online streaming platforms play a role in the consumption of Nigerian films with platforms like IrokoTV and more recently Netflix. But cinema box offices and DVD sales are still the main sources of income.