Genevieve Nnaji on Netflix , CNN : The most celebrated nollywood success story making waves this September is Genevieve Nnnaji ‘s movie, “Lion Heart”, which was acquired by Netflix, Inc, one of the largest providers of streaming television and movie content on the Internet, which currently boasts over 117.6 million subscribers and partners with content providers to license streaming rights for a variety of TV shows and movies.
The acquisition of the Nollywood movie by Netflix is a significant milestone for the Nigerian movie industry, Nollywood.
Although the exact amount have not been made public, streaming.com, a leading authority on online video for entertainment stated that Netflix might pay $3 million to own exclusive rights to a production.
According to information on the website, “Deals vary, but in general, Netflix pays two-thirds more than studios. One reason Netflix and Amazon are willing to pay more is because they often want exclusive rights in perpetuity. They want worldwide distribution so movie lovers who hear about a certain indie film can only see it on their platform. They’re award-eligible, that doesn’t always happen,” the website stated.
However, Lion Heart is not the only Nollywood movie listed on Netflix but it is the first original Nollywood film to be bought by the American movie streaming platform.
Other Nollywood films currently showing on Netflix include; Fifty, The Wedding Party, The Visit, When Love Happens, Dearest Mummy and Road to Yesterday.
Meanwhile, Genevieve Nnaji while speaking about her movie, “Lion Heart” while being interviewed on CNN by Richard Quest on Quest Means Business on Tuesday night, September 11, 2018, the actress disclosed how the movie was funded.
According to Genevieve Nnaji, they had to self-fund the movie, as there was no adequate funding for movies that they actually intended to go global, adding that there isn’t that provision yet.
“Nollywood stands a good chance of going global anytime soon, but language is the only problem that stands as a barrier.”
“I think the authenticity of the story which was what I loved about it. It provided an environment where I could showcase the things that made me proud of our culture, our talent and our values. We focused on quality this time.
On her deal with Netflix, she said:
”To be honest, I was happy for the country. I was happy for the industry, I forgot about me because I really didn’t set out to do a movie about Genevieve, it wasn’t a selfish endeavor, I really wanted something good and positive to come out of the industry finally, that was fulfilling and vindicating at the same time.
‘It is just an inspiring story about family values, succession, wanted to touch on women and the role they play in the society, especially in the work place, especially in an industry dominated by men and their challenges.
But most importantly, we wanted to put across the values that we actually share as Africans, and as Nollywood and everything that we embody as an industry in just one story and I think Lion Heart provided us with that environment.”
Happy and speaking about the positive development earlier, Nollywood Filmmaker, Charles Uwagbia had said that the deal means that Nollywood have indeed captured the attention of Hollywood and the world at large. According to him, what this means is that Nollywood need to churn out more quality movies, which are worthy of such recognition.
“I am proud to belong to Nollywood and even happier that I’m witnessing this in my time. Don’t forget that some Nigerians were recently inducted into the Oscars jury, so this means that Nollywood’s Oscar dream is here,” Uwagbia stated.
Lion Heart premiered at the TIFF festival on Saturday, September 9, 2018. It was her directorial debut.
She also stars in the movie alongside Nkem Owoh, Kalu Ikeagwu, Chika Okpala, Steve Eboh, Pete Edochie, Kanayo O. Kanayo, Onyeka Onwenu, Jemima Osunde, Yakubu Mohammed and Sani Muazu.
The movie also stars Nigerian rapper and singer, Chibuzor Azubuike also known as Phyno and Peter Okoye aka Mr P. of PSquare.
“Lion Heart” was produced by The Entertainment Network (TEN), which was founded in partnership with Chinny Onwugbenu. It was written by C.J. Fiery Obasi and screen played by Ishaya Bako and Emil Garuba.
Genevieve Nnaji played the role of Adaeze the protagonist of the film who in order to save her father’s ailing bus company, must work alongside her uncle Godswill who is played by Nkem Owoh.
Over time, Adaeze proved her keen ability to make a profit and to manage the most hysterical situations.
However, when her father falls ill, both she and her rival were passed over in favour of Adaeze’s unpolished uncle, Godswill, (Nkem Owoh)
Determined to fight her way to the top, but not wanting to go against her father’s wishes, Adaeze felt like the proverbial bus had left the station without her.
However, when she and Godswill discovered that Lionheart is running on fumes, the unlikely duo had to come together to save the company and their family name.