With the film industry in Nigeria leading the growth of the Creative Industries (CIs), collaborative production across a range of CIs is inevitably altering New Nollywood with concerning implications. How has the growth and collaboration within the Creative Industries shaped the production and aesthetics of New Nollywood films? Previous attempts to unpack New Nollywood have focused on individual filmmakers and thematic analyses of films made from 2010. Focusing instead on industry practices, the paper explores this question drawing on interpretive frameworks from Lobato’s informal creative economies, Adejunmobi’s “neoliberal rationalities” and Graham and Gandini’s collaborative production to chart and interrogate the narrative decisions, tensions and production models in New Nollywood. Based on previous and on-going fieldwork from 2020, and using qualitative methods, the paper emphasizes the integral connections and disconnections between New Nollywood and the other leading CIs namely, music, comedy, and fashion. It argues that attempts to understand and characterise New Nollywood post 2016 have to be located within the context of prevailing practices in the Creative Industries, which emphasize Nollywood’s symbiotic relationships with the music, comedy and fashion industries. To illustrate this, the paper analyses The Wedding Party 1 (2016) & 2 (2017), as the exemplar of the convergence of Nigeria’s Creative Industries and the emergence of new production models and templates. The paper responds to the questions of New Nollywood’s contemporary practice as it converges with and formulates its aesthetics within a period of rapid growth and global attention to the CIs. The outcomes of such creative collaborations, their implications for practice and scholarship as well as the tensions generated by them are discussed. At the risk of homogenising an industry, the study argues that the dominant roles played by Nollywood in the creative economy give rise to new forms of digital productions in unconventional albeit productive reconfigurations of film and screen content broadly speaking.
Añulika Agina is an Associate Professor of Media Studies at the Pan-Atlantic University Lagos researching Nigerian film and cinema-going cultures. Funded by the European Research Council in 2019, she joined the Screen Worlds project at SOAS University of London as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow to investigate Nigerian screen cultures, which led to the production of a documentary on film exhibition titled Behind my Nollywood Screen (2022). She has a forthcoming co-edited book on Contemporary African Screen Worlds by Duke University Press. Her work has been published in Black Camera, Critical African Studies, Journal of African Cultural Studies and other reputable journals.