February 11, 2021

The Nigerian Film Industry (Nollywood) is globally recognized as the second largest film producer in the world.

We all have a list of Hollywood movies that we love and would like to watch again and again, and even those that we eagerly look forward to watching. However, with the rise in popularity of several OTT platforms, our exposure and accessibility to watch movies originating from all around the world is manifold!

Apart from the popular Hollywood and Bollywood—the oldest and the second oldest film industries respectively; the Nigerian film industry, known as Nollywood is growing in popularity. Nollywood is the second largest film production industry in the world, with India’s Bollywood being the largest film producer. Yes, you read that right! While Hollywood is the largest in terms of box office revenues, Nollywood is bigger than Hollywood in terms of output, producing more than 2000 films a year.

Nigeria is a country in West Africa, and its cinema is not only popular among its locals, but many of its movies have been representing African movies and have received praise across the world. Nigeria’s film industry started to take shape in the 1990s, with the society’s need to share their stories with the world. The boost in intensive production patterns within Nollywood was made possible by advanced digital filming, production, and editing tools.

There was a time when Nollywood meant African movies that were low budget and high drama, focusing mainly towards the West African audience. But Nigerian cinema has evolved with time and have started scripting films with grittier subjects, winning international acclaim. Nollywood is Africa’s largest film industry, and certain African movies from Nigeria have also been screened at international film festivals like the Cannes Film Festival, the Berlin Film Festival, and the Toronto International Film Festival. While Hollywood has the budget to enhance its storytelling, Nollywood is now a good mix of storyline, content, lighting, and performance helping raise the standards of African movies.

The African audience plays a huge role in the popularity and success of this film industry. Apart from the large population and diversity in Africa, there are many Africans who have settled in different parts of the world, and the demand for African movies, or Nollywood films, increases with them. And did you know? Over 50% of Nollywood movies are produced in English!

African movies from Nigeria are full of talent, action, drama, and adventure. Apart from the romance, drama, and comedy genres, Nollywood films portray storylines in politics, historical events, and address various social issues.

Check out this list of best African movies from Nollywood:

1.   Lionheart (2018)

2.   30 Days in Atlanta (2014)

3.   Maami (2001)

4.   Okafor’s Law (2016)

5.   Married But Living Single (2012)

6.   The Wedding Party (2016)

7.   From Lagos with Love (2018)

8.   Violated (1996)

9.   Living in Bondage (1992)

10.   Contract (2012)

11.   Up North (2018)

12.   Cairo Station (1958)

Even though Nollywood can’t compare to Hollywood’s large budget films, its mid-to-low budget films still captivate audiences with interesting storytelling and acting. Read more about how Nollywood became the second largest film industry.


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