By Dipo Olowookere
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg visited Afrinolly, a studio which is using cutting edge technology to help make Nollywood films.
Whilst there, he met some of Nigeria’s top stars including comedian Basket Mouth, Kunle Afolayan, Rita Dominic and Yemi Alade.
Nigeria is home to the second largest film industry in the world, known as Nollywood, which produces more than 100 movies a month.
Zuckerberg was in Nigeria this week to see first-hand how entrepreneurs in the country are creating the next wave of mobile innovation and to learn how Facebook can better support tech development and entrepreneurship in emerging markets.
Mark was given a tour of Afrinolly by Chike Maduegbuna, who runs the production studio.
Maduegbuna gave Zuckerberg an overview of how films are made and distributed in Nigeria, with Afrinolly’s mobile app being one of the most popular ways that Nigerians watch African music videos, films, comedy and trailers.
Maduegbuna demonstrated how Nollywood film studios are already using cutting-edge 360-degree cameras and virtual reality to create new experiences. He also gave the Facebook CEO a guided tour of the studios where the films are made and introduced him to some of the talent in front and behind the camera.
Chike Maduegbuna, owner of Afrinolly said: “Nollywood is struggling to grapple with the level of organization and resources required to provide Studio-based Production Infrastructures/Services. Similarly, piracy and inadequate cinemas have limited the movie distribution channels available to Nollywood.
“We see two opportunities for Nollywood: first, is to embrace technology and establish viable mobile-phone distribution of movies to complement the expanding cinema chains. Second is to reconcile content production and its business model to accommodate technological changes in available audience-screens. It used to be cinema, TV and DVDs but we now have a huge digital audience that use Mobile phones and Portable Devices to watch movies. Nollywood must adjust to the new audience by redefining content production to include short films, comedy skits and music videos. These are areas that Afrinolly is currently focusing on.”
At the end of the tour Mark dropped in on a special content creators’ workshop which was being held with some of Nigeria’s biggest stars, designed to help them master Facebook Live and Instagram Stories.
Stars in attendance included Basket Mouth, Kunle Afolayan, Rita Dominic, Richard Mofe-Damijo, DJ Cuppy, Chidinma Ekile, Yemi Alade, Stephanie Linus, Adebola Williams and more.