‘The Black Book’ is Nigeria’s first runaway Netflix hit

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By journalsofus.com


Edithi Effiong’s enthusiasm Is contagious. His crime thriller is less than three weeks out, black book, premiered on Netflix and the film has already received over 70 million views. “I’m in a very happy place,” says Effiong. “You create a thing and see it go out into the world, it will become [anyone] Happy.”

black book It is one of the most expensive Nigerian films ever made, with a $1 million budget raised from Nigeria’s tech elite, including co-founder of fintech unicorn Flutterwave, Gbenga Abagula, and Piggyvest’s Odun Iweniyi. The success of the film – it claimed the most watched film on the platform in South Korea and was the number two ranked film in several countries in South America for over a week – making it one of Nigeria’s rare breakouts on the streaming platform. And perhaps this is a confirmation of Netflix’s decision to invest in the local industry known as “Nollywood”.

“Thank you for black bookNollywood filmmakers can now say, ‘Bet on us, support us with the right funding, and we’ll give you movies that can compete globally on your streamer,'” says Nigerian film writer Daniel Okechukwu.

Effiong began his theatrical career writing and directing plays in church, which attracted him to production design. At the age of 12, while working on a play about the crucifixion of Jesus, he became obsessed with creating the perfect cross, he spent time designing realistic Roman Empire uniforms, and even a Also developed props that would squirt fake blood when soldiers were “stabbed” in the play. “With a spear.

This same kind of ingenuity is required to succeed in Nollywood, which has always been a low-budget endeavor. Although its stories have often been highly dramatic and moral, they have always had the ability to entertain. Filmmakers primarily work with small budgets, Between $25,000 and $70,000, production is usually finished within a few months. In the early days, they released their work on cassette, but although the rise of cinemas and streaming networks has stepped up the game for filmmakers in terms of production quality, there remains a huge gap in the industry.

When Netflix formally entered the Nigerian film industry in 2020, many in the business thought it would mean more money flowing into productions. The streaming giant had previously licensed existing Nigerian movies and made them available to its over 200 million global subscribers. When it began investing in its slate of original content, Nollywood hoped it would bring a creative boom as well as a financial boom, giving filmmakers a chance to explore new ground. But Netflix’s early titles were broadly similar to those that came before them, in similar genres, though with slightly more advanced production values. And the money was also not very good. reports Nigerian filmmakers have been shown to be paid much less than their counterparts in countries with much smaller markets. The average licensing fee for Nigerian movies on Netflix is ​​between $10,000 and $90,000 techcableMuch lower than other parts of the world.

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