The Nigerian movie industry has no doubt come of age. Gone are the days when movies are just churned out every week just for the sole aim of selling.
Today, almost all Nollywood movies are produced using digital cinematography technology.
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The enhanced production and content quality of Nigerian films indicate the growing professionalism in Nollywood with the industry making an average of N1.72 trillion in 2013 analysts say.
Last year (2014) witnessed the rise of quality movies produced in the industry that made it to the cinemas grossing millions of naira for the producers.
These movies also garnered rave reviews across the continent and indeed the rest of the world; this acclaim has translated to professional recognition, as a number of them, including those listed below, have been nominated for the 2015 Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCAs).
See below 4 outstanding movies of 2014:
1. 30 Days In Atlanta: The Movie Produced by A-list comedian, Ayo Makun, popularly called AY has been announced as Nollywood’s Highest Grossing Cinema Movie of all time, after it amazingly grossed N76million in 7 weeks of showing on cinema screens across Nigeria. A romantic comedy film directed by Robert Peters, the film was shot on location in Lagos and Atlanta. It is probably one of the best movies Nollywood has ever made. The movie was star studded with the appearance of AY, veterans Richard Mofe-Damijo and Rachel Oniga, Ramsey Noah, actor turned politician; Desmond Elliot, Omoni Oboli, Ghana’s duo of Majid Michel and Juliet Ibrahim, Mercy Johnson, Ada Ameh, Yemi Blaq, Fashion icon, Kesse Jabari and American actresses; Lynn Whitfield, Vivica Fox and Karlie Redd, with brief appearances by Cool FM’s On-Air-Personality and Hip-hop artiste, Solid Star.
2. A Place In The Stars: The movie is a crime thriller written by Ita Hozaife and J.K. Amalou, co-produced and directed by Steve Gukas. The film was inspired by the tenure of Late Professor Dora Akunyili as the Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC). Akunyili was reputed for reducing to the barest minimum the activities of fake drugs merchants in Nigeria. It is one of the most talked about feature films, that is a given considering the fact that it took 6 years to be produced. A Place in the Stars features some of the best actors in Nigeria; the likes of award winning actor, Segun Arinze, also starring in the movie are Gideon Eche-Okeke, Dejumo Lewis, Yemi Blaq, Femi Branch, Matilda Obaseki, Julian Mcdowell, Armajit Deu and Amaka Mgbor.
3. October 1st: A reflection of the Nigerian movie scene would be incomplete without mentioning this masterpiece. Written by Tunde Babalola and produced/directed by ace actor and director, Kunle Afolayan, the film is set in Colonial Nigeria and narrates the story of Danladi Waziri (Sadiq Daba), a police officer from Northern Nigeria who is posted to a remote town in Western Nigeria to investigate the frequent female murder cases in the community. Waziri is tasked with solving the mystery before the Nigerian flag is raised on October 1, Nigeria's Independence Day. One of the most talked about films of 2014, October 1st boasts a stellar cast including: Sadiq Daba, Bimbo Manuel, Kanayo O. Kanayo, Kunle Afolayan, Deola Sagoe and Femi Adebayo.
4. Invasion 1897: This epic movie tells the tale of the punitive expedition which ravaged the ancient Benin empire in 1897. The movie is based on the invasion of the Benin Kingdom by the British Empire in 1897 and looting the priceless ancient artifacts of the Benin kingdom, including the famous commemorative head and pendant of ivory mask representing Queen Idia (from court of Benin, 16th century) who was the mother of Esigie, the Oba of Benin who ruled from 1504 to 1550. Directed and produced by Nollywood veteran, Lancelot Imasuen, Invasion has garnered rave reviews not just in Nigeria, but across the continent and the rest of the world.
It will be recalled that controversial fashion designer, Emmy Collins, criticised some top female celebrities for the dresses they wore to last year's AMVCA