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'Best of Nollywood' honors industry's top players

posted 12 Nov 2012, 06:54 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 12 Nov 2012, 06:54 ]

Nollywood artistes and movie lovers flocked to Lagos over the weekend for the fourth edition of the 'best of Nollywood Awards'.

LAGOSNIGERIA (NOVEMBER 11, 2012) (REUTERS) - Hundreds of Nollywood artistes and movie lovers turned up in LagosNigeria's commercial capital, for the fourth edition of the 'Best of Nollywood Awards'.

The award ceremony, held over the weekend, is organized yearly to recognize the achievements of the people behind Nigeria's 'Nollywood'.

Categories like Best Actor, Best Actress, Movie of the Year and Best Kiss in a Movie were presented at the event - the longest-running of its kind in Africa's most prolific movie industry.

Joseph Benjamin, one of Nollywood's A-list, walked away with the 'Best Actor in an English Role' Award.

"You know how it is when you do work and you have all the people who appreciate what you're doing, and the platform of which BON (Best of Nollywood) is standing on, is just that platform that says, okay, I see what you guys are doing and we are very honored and appreciate it," said Chelsea Eze, aNollywood actress.

One of the highlights this year was the inclusion of awards for the country's dynamic Hausa film making industry. Hausa is one of Nigeria's main languages.

"I am sure today is my day, I am very sure, a day I shall never forget in my life, so I will like... thank you Ali Nuhu, thank you, for making my dream come true," said an emotional Napisa Abdulahi who bagged the 'Best Actress in Hausa Role'.

Despite the meteoric rise in popularity that the country's actors and filmmakers have experienced in recent years, influential industry players like Lancelot Imasuen Oduwa say they could do a lot more - with a little help.

"We need to do the business better than what we are doing right now, getting the right funding and the right government involvement, and corporate involvement too, give it a bigger push, yeah," he said.

Nollywood is Africa's largest movie industry in terms of both value and the number of movies produced per year. In 2009, Nollywood generated 450 million US dollars.

Iroko TV, a popular website for downloading Nollywood movies, estimates that about 50 movies are made each week in Nigeria.

Most Nigerian films are produced in local languages with English accounting for over 40 percent.

Bayo Tijani, received one of the most coveted prizes - Best Director - for the film 'Aiyekooto' which means 'people hate the truth' in Yoruba. The film won awards in five different categories, giving Tijani and his crew much cause for celebration.

Demand for Nigerian films continues to grow, not just due to interest from Nigeria's sizeable Diaspora and other African viewers, but also from a growing number of domestic cinema houses that premier the hottest Nollywood films.