Nigeria: Why Nigeria Female Filmmakers Produce Highest-Grossing Nollywood Films – Zulumoke

Female filmmakers produced five top highest-grossing Nollywood movies at the box office between 2016 to 2022.

In the male-dominated Nigerian film industry, the female filmmakers appear to take the lead, as they are behind the highest-grossing Nollywood movies.

Interestingly, five of the top highest grossing Nollywood movies at the box office between 2016 to 2022 were produced by female filmmakers.

The highest-grossing movie in Nigeria, ‘Omo Ghetto; the Saga’ (2020), which has raked over N600 million from the cinemas, was produced by Nollywood actress Funke Akindele.

Also, Zulumoke Oyibo, a Nollywood filmmaker, has produced two of the three highest-grossing Nigerian films, ‘The Wedding Party 1 & 2.

While Mo Abudu produced ‘Chief Daddy’, which ranks fourth in the box office list of highest-grossing movies, Jade Abimbola produced ‘Sugar Rush’, the fifth highest-grossing Nollywood movie at the box office.

In an exclusive interview with PREMIUM TIMES Newspaper, at a movie premiere in Ikoyi, Lagos State, Nollywood filmmaker Ms Oyibo revealed why Nigerian female filmmakers produce the highest-grossing Nollywood films in the industry.

Ms Oyibo, the co-founder of a leading movie production company, Inkblot Productions, said that female filmmakers strive beyond everything they face, both as wives, mothers, and filmmakers.

“The female producers are doing the best films in Nollywood, and I say that with my full chest. I am proud of being a Nigerian female filmmaker,” she said.

“If you check the top five highest-grossing movies ever in Nollywood, you would notice that they were all produced by women.”

Challenges

However, despite their successful career, Ms Oyibo also noted that female filmmakers still face the biggest challenge of financing their movies because of their gender.

She said that most investors tend to support their male counterparts much more.

“This is because it is natural for people to invest in people who look like you, talk like you, and think can do things you would do,” she explained.

According to the filmmaker, male investors usually tend to invest in their male counterparts to fund men’s dreams and not women’s dreams.

Ms Oyibo also called for more women’s representation in the film industry. She said,

“We need to represent ourselves more in films, we don’t just want women who are wives or girlfriends, or we want women who are at the top of their game and are willing to take risks and control their world.”

“We would need more women in high places and parastatals because it goes beyond the film industry, it goes into financing, so we just need more representation,” she added.

Speaking about how she combines her job and her marriage, the filmmaker said that the work of a producer is very intellectual.

Further explaining the rigours of her job, Ms Oyibo said that being a producer comes with a lot of late-night hours and juggling responsibilities as a wife and a mother.

Exploits

Ms Oyibo’s films, ‘The Arbitration’ and ‘The Wedding Party’, have gained international attention in Nollywood.

The prestigious Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) showcased her movies in 2016.

The filmmaker described “The Wedding Party” as her best work.

She said, “I will say that my best project will still be the wedding party. This is because of what the wedding party did for the Nigerian film industry. That film opened many doors and a lot of opportunities. It forced the International world to spotlight our country.”

According to her, “The Wedding Party” empowered many producers to invest in their movie budgets.

‘Wedding Party 1’ cost N60 million while the sequel cost N300 million.

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