At the reading of his new novel Burma Boy on 21 June, Biyi Bandele disclosed that he was flying to Lagos in a number of days, to write a piece for the Observer on Nollywood. And today the result of Bandele's trip appeared in a 4-page spread in The Observer Film Magazine.
Bandele took a ride to the heart of the Nollywood industry, the suburb of Surulere in Lagos and interviewed 'prolific' directors who in just over a decade have knocked out 150 films; who talk of having stripped the 'excesses' of Hollywood (baffled at why a film takes 60 days to shoot when a Nollywood video-film takes far less) - who dream of attaining Hollywood standards regardless.
There's a brief run-through of the birth and ascent of Nollywood across Africa, and mention of a Nollywood classic, Living in Bondage. Bandele's piece is also very up-to-date, touching on a very public spat between Nollywood star Zeb Ejiro and an actress, Ibinabo Feberesima over a film titled - wait for it - "A Night in the Philippines." Bandele arrived for his pre-arranged interview with Ejiro to find the premises closed. A call to the star led nowhere, and then the line went dead. Even well known playwright-novelists can get the run-around in Nollywood.