What Are “Nollywood” Movies?

Nollywood is the colloquial name for the cinema of Nigeria. As of 2012, more than 1,200 films are produced in Nigeria annually, making Nollywood the second largest film industry in the world in terms of movies produced, after Bollywood in Bombay, India.

The average Nollywood film takes only 10 days to shoot, and is made on a budget of $15,000. Most Nollywood movies are released direct to video, often hand-delivered to shops by the film’s cast and crew. The average movie sells about 50,000 copies, while successful films sell several hundred thousand. Nollywood films outsell Hollywood movies in Nigeria and most other markets in Africa.

Nollywoodmovies.com features a list of Nigerian films including new releases. Wikipedia.org also provides a page on Nigerian films. Since the 1960s Nigerian cinema has produced hundreds of films each year and ranks as the third largest film industry in the world, behind India and the United States, as of May 2015. Most Nollywood films address moral dilemmas faced by modern Nigerians and center around family life and related issues. However, recent advances in filming technology caused Nollywood film production to increase significantly in the late 1990s.

Nollywood films include both direct-to-video productions and films shown in cinemas. Most Nigerian films are produced by independent companies or by individuals with personal cameras and low budgets. The average direct-to-video Nollywood film is filmed in under one week’s time. Nigerian films are viewed even in very remote areas in Africa. The documentaries “Welcome to Nollywood,” “Good Copy Bad Copy” and “This is Nollywood” provide further overview of the Nigerian film industry.

Some popular Nigerian films, often referred to as Nollywood films, include “One God, One Nation,” “The Mirror Boy,” “The Captivity of Zion,” and “The Journey.” Others include “The Dirty Girl,” “Half of a Yellow Sun,” “Heart of Sorrow, Soul of the Poor” and many more.