The Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) 2016 kicked off with ‘The Birth of a Nation‘ on Sunday night and is currently underway with Industry Sessions, Film Screenings, and Master Classes going on at various locations across Lagos.
Earlier today, industry delegates and special guests engaged in a conversation on ‘Creative Distribution’ in the Industry. What exactly are the channels Nigerian Filmmakers use in distributing their works and what are they ignoring as it is.
Cinema: The forefront of the new age Nollywood films.
Pay TV: One of the next steps for new age Nigerian filmmakers after the cinema run of their movies.
Online Streaming Platforms: The other step for new age Nigerian filmmakers after their cinema run.
VCD / DVD: The first resort for the low budget Nigerian film tailored to the tastes of the masses but a last resort for the new age filmmaker due to Piracy.
Questions revolved around how the growing Nollywood industry could maximize its potential from the market by improving on its distribution channels including mobile film distribution, improved cinema receipts, and just maybe killing piracy and tapping into the DVD market.
Points taken home from the session include:
- Filmmakers need to research a bit more on their audiences to make films audiences would love. This reduces the efforts required to market these films to the audiences.
- Cinemas: The need for more screens is apparent, however filmmakers need to improve on marketing efforts before film releases, coupled with 1 above; this could potentially improve the number of people trooping into screens to watch Nigerian films.
- Online Streaming Platforms: There are currently a few platforms delivering content to the audiences, however, 1 above will also determine how much these platforms pay for content and how well audiences actually consume the content.
- VCD / DVD: The major problem with this particular distribution channel is how easy it is for Pirates to jump on this platform. While this has curbed new age Nigerian filmmakers from using this channel or relying on it as a last resort, the idea is to not ignore this platform totally.
Key conclusions from the session was that, ‘to improve the industry, it needs to be more commercially viable’. This can only happen where content resonates with audiences, where distribution channels are viable and where the government plays an active part in curbing piracy.