Recently, I wrote a piece about Nollywood, Nigeria’s booming movie industry that has become the 2nd largest in the world. If that piqued your interest, then you’ve got to watch the 2008 documentary “Nollywood Babylon.” This quirky little film, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, gives an insider’s glimpse into how and why the Nigerian movie-making business has boomed.
The documentary focuses mainly on celebrity filmmaker Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen’s techniques as he films yet another Nigerian hit. Lancelot’s intensity, pride and charisma come through and make “Nollywood Bablyon” a fun watch.
The way Nollywood operates is certainly interesting — most filmmakers in the biz depend heavily on their faith to encourage and foster productivity. In the trailer, Lancelot preps his actor by invoking Jesus Christ and asserting that they will “function above capacity.” This inside look at how Lancelot encourages his actor teaches the audience about Nollywood and its importance to the Nigerian people. After all, this industry has become the No. 1 employer of native people after the government.
I think the most inspiring thing about “Nollywood Babylon” is that it shows viewers how independent and organic the industry is. From sex, magic and voodoo to urban culture, Nollywood represents a business that is exclusively made by and for Nigerians. And what’s cooler than that?
“Nollywood Babylon” is available on Netflix