The Nollywood movie industry has been simply amazing in how they tell the African story, through breathtaking movies, dramas, series, etc. When millions of Africans in the Diaspora want to get a dose of Nigerian entertainment, Nollywood has been their best option, with many of her movies lining big movie collections such as Netflix.
One of the many directors in Nollywood who have continuously made great movies for Nollywood is Kenechukwu Okafor. We interviewed him on one of our episodes, and this is what he had to tell us about himself and his recent projects:
Tell Us About Yourself:
I am Kenechukwu Okafor (formerly known as Ken Jewel Okafor) an actor, producer & director. A graduate of the Economics University of Nigeria Nsukka. I’m from Anambra State. I am the CEO of Nollycraft Limited a frontline movie production and distribution company.
I am also Co-Founder & CEO of Sherman and Christian Partners Limited (S&C Studios) a motion picture production and distribution company whose story inspiration is Rooted in Africa.
What exactly do you want to tell the world?
These are yet early days for me in my quest to tell awesome African-rooted stories in movies. It is my vision to make films that outlive this era and yet maintain relevance, creative works that will be celebrated globally.
What projects have you carried out before?
Emily’s Muddle, The Consortium, Captain Myths, Devils Contract, Games Students Play, Blind, Nwa Ekwensu, Ofe Nsala, and many others.
What’s your biggest film project and also tell us about your upcoming projects?
At the moment, I would say my biggest film project is my most recent film “Captain Myths”. It’s a tragicomedy series shot in Onitsha, Anambra state and features Nollywood legends like Nkem Owoh, Kanayo O Kanayo, Chika Okpala (Zeburudaya), Obi Okoli, Ifeanyi Azodo, and also new spectacular actors like Lillian Echelon and Christian Prince. Yes to round up 2021 productions, I have some great upcoming projects from S&C Studios like LOVE COST A THING, HAPPY MOTHERS DAY & a new Comedy Series PROFESSOR BATH, I think this new series will become one of the greatest films in Nollywood when released.
Enjoy The Behind The Scene Of Emily’s Muddle
1. Do you think Nollywood is growing at the pace expected?
Ans: There are two facets to this question. Yes on one and no on the other. When you consider the size of the audience Nollywood continues to reach as a yardstick for its growth then certainly, it is growing at a rate that is desirable for filmmakers. Because of a rich diversity of distribution channels, that are unique in themselves with target audiences, films have been able to reach defined demographies with their genres and this has helped expand the genre field from Nollywood.
On the other side of the discourse, when we look at the revenue coming from film sales and how much percentage of Nigeria’s GDP Nollywood contributes, I would say while the current figures cannot be considered deplorable, the rate of growth leaves so much to be desired.
2. Talents’ welfare is still a major problem, so do you think talents get the numeration they deserve?
Ans: No. And this still comes from the fact that content sales revenues are not allowing film entrepreneurs enough room to expand their investments in talent financial compensation. Because filmmakers and their investors would only peg their capital input to be at least a bit under their projected revenues from the immediate sale of the film, and these figures are not always buoyant, to be honest, it limits just how much goes into talent payment and oftentimes some key factors of production.
3. We have seen some movies that went to the cinemas but in an actual sense doesn’t have the quality, does the industry have a pillar of measurement when it comes to quality?
Ans: It’s a shifting circus. The market and its free competitive factors should decide what quality is seen on the big screen which is supposed to be the apex platform of film consumption. When you see the film you consider not up to cinema standard being screened, just take it those are the best we are putting out at that time. If there are better films in the hands of the cinema distributors, they would of course put them out. So there is no pillar of quality assurance or something like that, I believe the distributors and cinema owners are just showing the best of what they think cinema-goers would enjoy.
4. They have said Nollywood is the new oil, what are the things government can do to harness the industry?
Ans: There’s a lot the government can do. At this stage of the industry, certain infrastructures have become expedient. There should be proper production studios fully equipped to support the production of a high-quality, Hollywood standard movie. Most filmmakers will tell you their biggest challenge with shooting is scouting and finding the ideal location that best interprets the psychological, emotional, and intellectual spirit of a script. And most times we settle for the third or fourth-best location which ruins the whole thing.
You can follow him on Instagram via his handle @ken101live