Nov 17, 2019

Genevieve Nnaji's rise from Nollywood to Netflix

Nigerian star and film director Genevieve Nnaji has already shown that she is a force to be reckoned with, so the disqualification of her Netflix film from the Oscars is unlikely to frustrate her ambitions. The 40-year-old has starred in more than 80 films over the last two decades and her rise to prominence coincided with the exponential growth of Nollywood, as the Nigerian film industry is called, across Africa. These film studios, operating out of Nigeria's commercial hub Lagos and Onitsha in the south-east state of Anambra, largely bankrolled Nollywood in the 1990s and early 2000s. Film director Adim Williams say he takes some credit for "Her rise to fame" when he cast her in his 2002 film Sharon Stone - not a biopic of the US actress - in which she played a flirtatious woman. "Netflix has a quality control that is very high. Now they [producers] know that if it is a very good film they can sell it as an original and make more money," he told the BBC. Film critic Oris Aigbokhaevbolo agrees that the Netflix deal showed other filmmakers that good films could be profitable.

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