The Lagos State Government, Nigeria – through the INNOVATE LAGOS project and Nollywood Workshops proudly announce the launch of the Nollywood Upgrade Project (Nollywood UP). Nollywood UP is an initiative to support sustainable growth in the Nigerian film industry through training, capacity building and innovation in film financing and distribution.
Through Nollywood UP, the Nigerian film industry will have access to cutting-edge training and compelling film grants. The initiative seeks to pave the way for continued investment and innovation in Nollywood, including the development of community movie cinemas throughout Lagos State.
Nollywood Workshops is a non-profit organization based in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Lagos, Nigeria with the mission of empowering independent filmmaking through training, collaboration and innovation. Since 2005, the Nollywood Workshops team has collaborated in Nigeria on a wide range of trainings and film productions, including the award winning feature length documentary, This Is Nollywood. Nollywood Workshops was co-founded by filmmakers Bond Emeruwa, Aimee Corrigan, Robert Caputo and Franco Sacchi. The team is committed to leveraging the power of film in emerging economies.
In 2009, Nollywood surpassed Hollywood, trailing close behind India’s Bollywood as the world’s second largest producer of feature films. Despite Nollywood’s enormous success on the global scale, piracy threatens to overcome the Nigerian film industry. Estimates suggest that up to 80% of Nollywood’s profits are being lost to piracy.
As a commitment towards supporting and developing innovation in Lagos, in May 2011, the Lagos State Government partnered with Living Labs Global 2011 to explore an innovative solution to digital piracy in Nollywood. After an extensive review of various solutions, Nollywood Workshops was invited to Lagos for consultations with the Lagos State Government, Lagos Innovation Advisory Council and local stakeholders, to develop and present their holistic strategy for the Nollywood Upgrade Project, covering production, financing and distribution. The Nollywood UP initiative is a part of Living Labs Global’s commitment to action at the Clinton Global Initiative.
“We are pleased to see this important activity which demonstrates the viability of the Lagos Innovation Advisory Council that grew out of cooperation between Lagos State and Harvard Kennedy School’s Executive Program on Innovation for Economic Development. The work demonstrates the importance of building capacity in innovation management in African countries.”
Professor Calestous Juma, Faculty Chair, Innovation for Economic Development Executive Program, Harvard Kennedy School.
“We’re a small team of filmmakers with a big idea about the power of creative industries in emerging economies. Living Labs Global empowered us to share our solution with the Lagos State Government, ultimately creating a bridge between the Nigerian filmmakers and the support they need to thrive.”
Aimee Corrigan, Director, Nollywood Workshops
“Our intention is to help the Nigerian film industry continue to thrive, despite the challenges of digital piracy. In collaboration with Nollywood Workshops and a diverse team of filmmakers, academics, and local stakeholders, the Nollywood Upgrade Project will ensure that the Nigerian film industry remains a global leader in entertainment.”
Moji Rhodes, Deputy Chief of Staff, Lagos State Government and Coordinator, INNOVATE LAGOS project
“The Nollywood UP approach to fighting piracy is about creating value. It’s a real opportunity to improve the industry and make it more sustainable. The vision of Lagos State Government in sponsoring Nollywood Up is impressive – they see that it’s important to bring this kind of group together to dive in and chart out the future of the Nigerian Film Industry. Nollywood has the opportunity to develop the next generation model for a creative industry.”
Colin Maclay, Managing Director, Berkman Center for Internet and Society Harvard University; Nollywood Up Project Advisor
“This is the most promising intervention Nollywood has seen to date. Nollywood UP will illustrate how we can “make the pie bigger” through the creation of new commercial strategies and opportunities.”
Bond Emeruwa, Filmmaker. Director of the Coalition of Nollywood Guilds and Associations, Nigeria (CONGA)
“This work is bringing together a unique partnership of filmmakers, private sector investors, NGOs and government to think through how we could redo the finances of the Nigerian Film Industry and make it more creative, more professional, and reach more of a global market.”
Ethan Zuckerman, Director, MIT Center for Civic Media