The most recent jaw dropping headline regarding global investments in Nollywood is La Vida Studios $50 million deal with Story Labs in the U.S. My first reaction was whoa. My second reaction was.... Who are La Vida Studios? I've literally never heard of them. It makes me wonder how these big and seemingly monumental deals affect us working writers. Will they do open calls for scripts? Will they find ways to bring diverse and new voices around the table? Or will the same big players keep getting the big deals and use the same cabal of writers and actors that are in their inner circles?
Here's a link to the article if you haven't seen it - https://variety.com/2022/film/global/lavida-studios-dentsu-story-lab-nigeria-1235300562/
This is why I initially said, these are interesting times but let me draw your attention to something…
FDIs are great! Seeking for foreign funds are awesome BUT all of these things don’t guarantee the improvement of our industry. What you are looking at are isolated one-off deals that come sporadically and in reality benefit a few.
There’s a reason why Netflix moved most of their original slates to SA. We have filmmakers and NOT an industry. Our churn out ratio is what puts us on that list. There’s still a massive gap! Rome was not built in a day so I know it will take time.
SA has a proper industry with universal pay rates down to best boy. They have guilds that actually protect producers, director, writers, cinematographers etc
Take a look at South Korea, you see a deliberate effort from the government to empower creators at ALL levels Internally.
I agree with you, we need financial interventions for our film industry in Nigeria but if you look at the oil industry with all the investments done over 50 years both local and foreign, would you say it’s really booming ?
Deliberate, conscientious work needs to be done to actually build Nollywood and it’s beyond money.
Hi Nicole, while this is great news for the industry, we won't be wrong to assume that the studio in question will keep this opportunity within their circle/cabal.
This happened went Netflix came, it's happening with Amazon deals and the chances of this happening with this new studio is quite high.
Don't want to be the pessimist so I'll look at the bright side of this news, I believe Nollywood is about to enter it's golden age and deals like these (if utilized well) can only take us closer to the promise land.
Interesting. Overall, this is ‘probably’ great for the ecosystem IMHO - the big question is how (quickly) this trickles down and (the even bigger question of) who really will be pulling the imost mportant strings, a la creative vs commercial control? 🤔🤔🤔
Thanks for this platform Nic!
You‘ve posed a very important question. I think for the most part, it is great to see keen interests in our African creative industry. I am more than happy to see creators across the board really benefit. For me, I really hope the industry is better for it because all of this funding has to better the status quo, if not what’s the point of it all?
Let’s see more impact investing and deliberate initiatives to create funds that are actually accessible to creatives across Africa.
- Obinna Okerekeocha