Watch out, Nollywood! There’s a new player in town.
Given Nollywood’s enormous growth potential, it is not surprising to find investors in the burgeoning film industry. In fact, movie director Femi D. Ogunsanwo recently launched a new production company called Labari Africa Productions in collaboration with financial sector executives Tunde Leye and Adedayo Amzat. Additionally, this production business wants to transform storytelling in Nigeria by using its $3 million film fund.
The three founders are no strangers to Nollywood, having worked together on the Finding Hubby sequel and the Funding Hubby romantic comedy helmed by Ogunsanwo. When asked about the objectives of the production company Leye simply stated that “We are excited to launch this new film fund and support a new wave of Nollywood filmmakers who tell the important stories that help position Africa favorably,” He went further to state “This $3 million fund will help provide the resources and support filmmakers need to bring their stories to life and showcase the incredible talent and creativity of the Nigerian film industry to the world”
What’s more, the $3 million fund will be used by the creators to produce several Nollywood features, aid local filmmakers in developing and making new movies, offer mentorship and on-set training opportunities for up-and-coming talent, and aid in distribution and marketing initiatives. The recently released heist thriller, The Lagos Job, which was produced and directed by Ogunsanwo with a script by Dare Olaitan, was made possible thanks to the usage of the fund.
Starring Joselyn Dumas, Baaj Adebule, Antar Laniyan, Omowunmi Dada, Ade Laoye, Bimbo Manuel, Frank Donga and Daniel K. Daniel, the film centers on a young woman’s quest to avenge her father’s death. Leye hopes that with future investments, the production company will be able to complete at least one short film and a feature-length film script.
Similarly, his Labari partner and co-founder, Amzat stated that “From its humble beginnings, Nollywood has become a major contributor to the Nigerian economy, contributing 2.3 percent (about $600 million) to Nigeria’s GDP in 2021, We believe the time is right to bring expertise from the world of finance to bear on how our films are funded and ensure Nollywood’s continued growth and success. The fund will be open to established and emerging filmmakers, focusing on supporting projects that showcase Nigeria’s diverse culture and talent.”