How Genevieve Nnaji Got The Netflix Deal

Genevieve Nnaji born 3 May 1979) is a Nigerian actress, producer and director. She won the Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role in 2005, making her the first actress to win the award.[ In 2011, she was honoured as a Member of the Order of the Federal Republic by the Nigerian government for her contribution to Nollywood. wikepaedia

Genevieve Nnaji at Toronto International Film
Festival (2018)

International film festivals are usually a marketable ground for filmmakers to strike new deals and Nigerian filmmakers are gradually tapping into the opportunities such platforms provide. This new fashion for international reach comes with certain perks – better quality movies for the consumers, a befitting platform for the cast and crew and an overall better projection of the industry at a grand scale.

Netflix $8 billion original production budget to work in Nigeria’s Nollywood movie industry as the online streaming company make their first move.

On September 7, a few days before its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) global streaming giant announced on their website claiming purchased of Genevieve Nnaji directorial debut film  Lion heart, it’s first original film from Nigeria.

The comedy, stars Nollywood bigwigs including Genevieve Nnaji, Nkem Owoh, Pete Edochie, and Onyeka Onwenu. Nnaji who has had some success starring in Hollywood productions, doubles as director on Lion heart.

Netflix has previously licensed Nollywood flicks including romantic comedy The Wedding Party as well as crime thriller October 1 but only after both had been screened in local cinemas.

This Nollywood films available on Netflix, but none of them is a Netflix film and were acquired after their cinema run.

Netflix acquired a world wide rights, as the sole right distributor of Lion Heart. They have been multiple reports that the American company bought Nnaji’s film for $3.5 million or more.

Over the years many Nollywood filmmakers don’t like associating themselves with film festivals, mocking those who aspired to attend as, “Festival filmmakers,” whose films have no commercial value.

Well, one of the Festival filmmakers is now 3.5 million dollar or more richer.

There are numerous Nollywood filmmakers who aren’t concerned by TIFF or Netflix, that is not their target demographic, so it doesn’t affect how and why they make films, which is fine.

In my candid advice, a filmmaker should attend film festival for some obvious reasons, irrespective of your own business model.

Also read…. Some High Points From 2019 Sundance Film Festival

Meet the Berlinale- 2019 Jury.

Once again a multitalented International Jury will decide who will take home the Golden and the Silver Bears at the Berlinale 2019.

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