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Nollywood Remaking 1990s Movie Classics

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American movies are getting a big punch in the Nigeria as millennial audience in Africas most populous country seek more classics.

There is a growing trend for high affinity for Nigerian movies as there is a significant shift from quantity to quality.

Over the next 12 months, as many as five 1990s classic films in Nigeria’s Nollywood movie industry are getting either a sequel or being remade.

Adapting nearly thirty-year old films for a younger, millennial audience that dominates box office attendances—was validated by last year’s success of Living In Bondage: Breaking Free, a sequel to its 1992 original.

Despite a story that had strong ties to its prequel, the movie proved a hit, becoming the top-grossing Nollywood film of 2019. And, in the wake of the film’s success, a revival of even more Nollywood classics is on the cards over the next 18 months.

Why are producers looking to the past?

”Nostalgia is their biggest play,” says Chris Ihidero, producer of popular TV sitcom, Fuji House of Commotion and drama series, Hush.

Ihidero also credits the work of the precursors of the modern-day industry in creating material that remains relevant decades later.

“What is now called “old Nollywood” had stronger story-telling that was relatable to a lot of people,” he says.

“It’s not  surprising that Living In Bondage: Breaking Free came out and made that kind of impact—old Nollywood still has that pull.”

Even though it now competes with global film industries for volume, Nigeria’s modern-day Nollywood industry is only about three decades old.

Yet, while pioneers in the early 1990s were known for high-volume movies with limited production quality, those efforts birthed a full-fledged industry as Nollywood titles—from comedy to drama—became widely popular across the country, and eventually, the continent.

But the evolution of the industry has seen more sophistication in production value and the emergence of cinema chains, culminating in the showcase of eight Nollywood movies at the 2016 edition of the influential Toronto Film Festival (TIFF).

 

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Amazon Studios Moves Filming From New Zealand to Britain

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Amazon Studios announced Friday it would film the second season of its original series, inspired by the books of J.R.R. Tolkien, to Britain.

New Zealand has long been associated with “The Lord of the Rings”. This shift to Britain is a major blow to the nation’s small but vibrant screen industry.

“The shift from New Zealand to the UK aligns with the studio’s strategy of expanding its production footprint and investing in studio space across the U.K., with many of Amazon Studios’ tentpole series and films already calling the UK home,” the company said in a statement.

The production is one of the most expensive in history, with Amazon spending at least U$465 million on the first season, which just finished filming in New Zealand, according to government figures.

The series employed 1,200 people in New Zealand directly and another 700 indirectly, according to the figures.

“This is a shock to everyone,” said Denise Roche, the director of Equity NZ, a union representing performers. “I really feel for all the small businesses, the tech people who invested in this for the future. Nobody had any inkling.”

Roche said people feel let down by Amazon, although she added that the industry was resilient.

Amazon said the as-yet untitled series takes place on Middle Earth during the Second Age, thousands of years before the events depicted in Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” books and the subsequent films directed by Peter Jackson.

Filming began last year but was delayed due to the coronavirus. Post-production on the first season will continue in New Zealand through June before the show premieres on Prime Video in September next year.

The move to Britain comes just four months after Amazon signed a deal with the New Zealand government to get an extra 5% rebate on top of the 20% — or $92 million — it was already claiming from New Zealand taxpayers under a screen production grant.

Many locations around the world compete for productions by offering similar, generous rebates.

At the time of the deal, New Zealand’s Economic Development Minister Stuart Nash said the production would bring economic and tourism benefits to the country for years to come and create “an enduring legacy for our screen industry.”

Nash said Friday the government had found out only a day earlier that Amazon was leaving and he was disappointed by the decision. He said the government was withdrawing the offer of the extra 5%.

Amazon said it no longer intended to pursue collecting the extra money. But it will still walk away with at least $92 million from New Zealand taxpayers.

“The international film sector is incredibly competitive and highly mobile. We have no regrets about giving this production our best shot with government support,” Nash said. “However, we are disappointed for the local screen industry.”

New Zealand became synonymous with Tolkien’s world of orcs, elves and hobbits after Jackson directed six movies in the South Pacific nation. “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy and “The Hobbit” trilogy combined grossed nearly $6 billion at the box office.

When Amazon Studios first announced it would film in New Zealand, it said the pristine coasts, forests, and mountains made it the perfect place to bring to life the primordial beauty of early Middle Earth.

The large ensemble cast includes Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Morfydd Clark, Ismael Cruz Córdova, Sophia Nomvete and Lloyd Owen.

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Nigeria’s Burna Boy Trounces Diamond At 2021 BET Awards

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Multiple award-winning Nigerian singer and songwriter Nigerian Artist Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu aka Burna Boy scooped an award at the 2021 BET awards announced on Sunday.

He scooped the Best International Act category.

Meanwhile, Tanzania’s Diamond Platnumz was among African musicians and only East African nominated in BET award for the BET Awards 2021 in the Best International Act category.

Unfortunately Diamond Platnumz lost the BET Award for the third time.

Diamond was trying his luck as this was his third nomination after giving it a shot in 2014 and 2016 in the category of Best International Act Africa.

Diamond’s 2021 BET Award nomination stirred an intense hate debate towards the Bongo Flava star on social media.

A number of Tanzanians, including fellow musicians, admitted to siding with Nigeria’s Burna Boy or WizKid on voting day.

In 2017, Rayvanny became the first artist from Tanzania to win a BET Award, after being crowned “The BET Viewer’s Choice Best New International Act”.

This made him the second artiste to win a BET Award from East Africa, after Eddy Kenzo from Uganda who won the International Viewers Award in 2015.

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Uganda’s Zari, Tanzania’s Diamond For Netflix Soon

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Zarinah Hassan, commonly known as Zari Hassan a Ugandan born socialite and Tanzanian artist Naseeb Abdul Juma Issack populaly known by his stage name Diamond Platinumz are scheduled to appear in a Netflix Documentary soon.

Netflix South Africa has announced that the celebrities will appear in a documentary titled ‘Young, Famous & African’ which will start airing in a few days online.

Zari from Uganda has already asked her fans to stay attentive, because they will get to know a lot about them and have fun as well.

“Born in Uganda. Flourishing in Mzansi. Now we’re taking over Netflix! See me bossing it up,” Zari said.

Meanwhile, Diamond will be the second Tanzanian to appear on Netflix after Idris Sultan who appeared on March 26 this year through a film called ‘Slay’ which brought together African stars like Ramsey Nouah, Fabian Adeoye Lojede, Simphiwe Ngema, Amanda Du-Pont.

The Netflix network was launched on August 29, 1997 at California in the United States, to date more than 200 million people worldwide have registered as subscribers.

Netflix is available worldwide except in Syria, North Korea and China, Also it has branches in Netherlands, France, Brazil, the United Kingdom, India, Japan and South Korea, South Africa and Nigeria.

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