Nollywood insiders, filmmakers, actors, writers and Nollywood content creators gathered in Lagos for the first-of-its-kind Nollywood Summit hosted by TikTok. The event brought to an end the activities of #NollywoodNovember, a series of in-app activations that sought to celebrate the vibrant Nigerian Film Industry.
On Thursday, an incredible event brought together a diverse array of esteemed guests, including the renowned gossip aficionado Tosin Silverdam, the beloved Big Brother alumni Alex Asogwa, the rising Big Brother Naija authority Belove Olocha, and the esteemed Nollywood veterans Kate Henshaw and Chidi Mokeme.
The atmosphere was filled with joy and camaraderie as everyone came together under one roof to savour delectable cuisine, explore a fascinating makeshift Nollywood Museum brimming with cherished memorabilia, and admire a nostalgic makeshift Nollywood Wall adorned with classic Nollywood video cassettes and CDs.
Since the platform began to take off in Nigerian years ago, launching new careers for content creators and reviving classic ones, Nollywood content, especially nostalgic Nollywood content from the earliest days of the industry, has become interwoven into the fabric of how content on TikTok is created.
“Nollywood embraces TikTok to share productions with unlimited creative possibilities, from pre-and post-production to promoting films and experimenting with new storytelling techniques,” Bianca Sibiya, Head of Content Operations for TikTok Sub-Saharan Africa, said.
So far, TikTok has shown to be a powerful tool for the promotion of Nollywood projects, starting from during production to post-production.
Publishers like Multichoice (Africa Magic and Showmax parent) to Inkblot Productions have leaned into the metrics of the platform to promote their projects.
“What’s next in terms of our goals?” Bianca Sibiya asked during her keynote address. “Well, we are here as TikTok to partner and to collaborate on the immense opportunities in order to further spotlight Nollywood content to the 1 billion-plus TikTok users around the globe,” she continued.
She brandished the reach of the platform (3.5 billion plus downloads) and the features on the platform as key reasons for creatives in the Nigerian movie industry to come on board and stay consistent, using TikTok to promote and share their work.
“We gather today, so let us embrace the transformative power of Nigerians and the Nollywood industry. TikTok has over 3.5 billion downloads. That’s how much people are sharing content in the world,” she said. “With over a billion active users on the platform every day, it’s very important to keep in mind that the platform has a remarkable opportunity to amplify your creativity, your voices… and forge a deeper connection with your fans,” Bianca Sibiya added.
“The platform’s algorithm and user interface align well with the entertainment industry. By leveraging TikTok, Nollywood stakeholders can increase visibility, drive engagement, and attract new opportunities for collaborations and monetisation,” popular Nollywood actor Chidi Mokeme said of the platform.
“Each individual’s creative process is unique, and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to content production. Consistency is key; maintain a steady output of your work and avoid limiting yourself in creativity. In acting, infuse life into your role, regardless of whether it’s a small or substantial part. Your commitment and passion will shine through, no matter the size of the role,” popular Nollywood actress Kate Henshaw said.
“TikTok is a melting pot that unites individuals through art and craftsmanship, offering a straightforward platform to express thoughts and perspectives on global issues. TikTok has propelled our art forward, taking it to global audiences without intermediaries, cutting through obstacles we faced when disseminating our work, and delivering it directly to consumers,” another popular Nollywood actor, Jim Iyke, said.
During the panel session, Adesola Ade-Unuigbe, Entertainment Lead, Sub-Saharan Africa, TikTok, Kanyinsola Aroyewun, Director of Marketing, Corporate Communications and Content Growth, Pulse, Damola Ademola, Co-Founder and Head of Marketing at Inkblot Productions and the content creator Belove Olocha spoke on their experiences using the platform.
The panellists spoke about how useful TikTok has been in promoting their content. Olocha, who started pushing out content actively just under two years ago, spoke on how she has grown her followers to 76k followers with her breaking news-esque approach to reporting on the Big Brother Naija housemates, celebrities and other content creators.
Ademola of Inkblot spoke on how magnetic the platform has been for his audience. Aside from behind-the-scenes posts on TikTok, Inkblot reedits its movies to fit the landscape display of the platform, by so doing offering camera angles that don’t necessarily make the actual movie.
The production studio, which has inked a partnership with Amazon Prime, now has 95.7k followers.
Aroyewun of Pulse emphasised that the media brand, one of the biggest news media brands on the continent, joined the platform with “zero followers” but has grown to millions of followers. Pulse Nigeria and Pulse Ghana, for instance, have 3.2 million and 1.2 million followers, respectively. For at least three years, Pulse has had a designated TikTok reporter whose primary job is to make TikTok videos.
TikTok said this is the first of the Nollywood Summit, hinting that it could be a recurring event.
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