We really need to stop spreading this falsehood that Nollywood has always told one kind of story; it’s an exhibition of ignorance of our own film tradition. Right from inception, Nollywood has always told different kinds of stories.
We can argue that perhaps a type of storytelling tends to find favour with a mass audience but even that isn’t as simple as that. Different kinds of films have been blockbusters.
Where there was Living in Bondage, Circle of Doom and the likes, we also had Rattlesnake, Violated, Onome, Mortal Inheritance etc. We have told love stories that have nothing to do with juju or cults or ritualistic.
Core Nollywood is a commercial filmmaking tradition. It makes no pretences about being otherwise. It will always move towards films that may make money. This is a valid aspiration and we need to stop apologising for it.
As we have seen countless times, that you think your film is artistically superior to ‘those Nollywood films’ and therefore should sell- is mere self-pleasuring. If it’s a commercial film, the audience will decide, not you.
Art and commerce are not antipodal. Profit is not a dirty word. Focusing on making money as an artist is not selling out; it’s not being a saboteur to creativity. It’s being smart.